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For the most part denied due credit and recognition, these interpreters are finally here given a new voice. An engrossing story emerges of how through their many and varied actions and roles, they had a crucial part to play in the introduction to Britain and America of these mysterious past cultures and civilizations.
“This book is a fascinating read from beginning to end. It comes at a time when a post-colonial approach has finally begun to be applied to early archaeological work and not only to non-professional travellers. This new interest, however, has never taken the linguistic issue into account, and thus this book comes to complement the work of scholars engaging with early archaeological colonialism.” – Arietta Papaconstantinou, Associate Professor, University of Reading, UK.
“This interesting and accessible book presents both new and little-known information on the social history of dragomans and interpreters in Egypt and Mesopotamia in the late 19th to early 20th centuries and casts light on and the Anglo-American aversion to learning Arabic and Turkish that made them necessary. Mairs and Muratov excavate new archival sources: a diary and curated testimonial book to discover the voice and agency of two individuals who shaped westerners’ experience of the Holy Lands, thereby rescuing them from the anonymity of a client-based perspective.” – Susan Heuck Allen, Visiting Scholar, Department of Classics, Brown University, USA.