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The Merchant of Syria and his Ottoman ancestors

Speaker: Diana Darke

December 13, 2018
Thursday at 6pm
Booking essential

Royal Anthropological Institute, 50 Fitzroy St, Fitzrovia, London


Diana Darke’s fully illustrated talk will focus on her new book “The Merchant of Syria” and his Ottoman origins. The merchant of the title was a real person whom she knew in his final years. He was a Syrian cloth merchant from Homs, born under the French Mandate in 1921, who died aged 92 during the Syrian war in 2013. The story of his tumultuous life is set against a socio-economic history of the region, looking at how societies survive through war and political turmoil.

With her Damascus house in use since 2012 as a refuge for displaced friends, Diana Darke’s links with Syria are deep and ongoing. She has been back seven times since the current uprising began in March 2011, most recently in April 2018, and remains actively committed to helping Syrians achieve a better future.


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