Photographing the First World War in the Middle East: The Suez Campaign in Palestine, 1915

The Center for Contemporary Arab Studies & the Georgetown Institute for Global History are proud to present the 2013-2014 Middle East and North Africa Public Lecture Series and Workshops: "The New Middle East: The First World War 100 Years Later"

Photographing the First World War in the Middle East: The Suez Campaign in Palestine, 1915 

Issam Nassar

Associate Professor, Illinois State University

NEW DATE: Thursday, March 6 2014

6:00 p.m. 

CCAS Boardroom, ICC 241 

The Fourth Ottoman Army, lead by Jamal Pasha, launched a failed campaign to conquer the Suez Canal in 1915. The war effort was photographed by local Jerusalem photographers Khalil Raad and John Whiting. Their photographs depicted the celebrations in Palestine surrounding the start of the war and the arrival of the troops as well as commanders, military installations and trenches. They illustrate Ottoman preparation for the war as well as the mindset of the leadership at the time. Using the photographs as historical documents, Dr. Nassar will examine the role photography played in the war and propaganda efforts and question the assumed objectivity of the pictures in reflecting the realities of the Syrian region at the time. Furthermore, his talk will raise questions regarding Jamal Pasha’s vision of himself, his troops, and the general populace. The intention is to challenge the presumed historicism by photography by using not only the images themselves, but also memoirs and dairies from the period.

Issam Nassar is Associate Professor of Middle East history at Illinois State University, and co-editor of Jerusalem Quarterly. He is the author and editor of a number of books, the latest being: The Storyteller of Jerusalem: the Life and Times of Wasif Jawharriyeh, 1904-1948, co-edited with Salim Tamari. Nassar writes on the history of photography of the Middle East and his current work is on photography of the Great War in Ottoman Lands. 

Thursday, March 6, 2014 at 6:00pm to 7:30pm

Edward B. Bunn, S.J. Intercultural Center, CCAS Boardroom, ICC 241
37th and O St., N.W., Washington

Event Type

Academic Events


Center for Contemporary Arab Studies, Edmund A. Walsh School of Foreign Service




Open to the public and the press?


Google Calendar iCal Outlook

Recent Activity

Event Registration Required

This event requires registration.