Hanna Abdallah Giacaman from Bethlehem, aged 82, discussing the Ottoman period and World War I

Hanna Abdallah Giacaman (82 years old, born 1922 from Bethlehem) interviewed by Saba al-Khoury on 26 June 2004.

He discusses the following: World War I and Ottoman rule in Bethlehem; Ottomans never opened schools, only churches provided schooling and the Ottomans would prohibit Muslims from joining them; the Ottomans levied taxes but did not use them to support local infrastructure – all the money went to Istanbul; Muslims were drafted into the army, Christians had to pay a tax for exemption but this changed in World War 1 when they started drafting everyone, even people above the age of 40; 95% of the men conscripted into the army were killed but some escaped or managed to survive; the removal of so many local men from the workforce was one of the factors behind the starvation of World War I; another factor was that the Ottomans took a lot of the local crops; people lived off foraging and picking barley out of horse manure; discusses the locust plague; during the cholera outbreak the Ottomans used to kill the sick; people fled conscription; different people were deployed in different ways for the war effort.

Original audio recording: cassette tape.
Transcript: summary.
In the original collection at Bethlehem University this cassette tape was categorised as File 1 of Box 12.

This fileset exists as part of the Ottoman Empire and World War I collection within the Bethlehem University Oral History project of the Planet Bethlehem Archive.