'The House of the Priest’ presents and discusses the hitherto unpublished and untranslated memoirs of Niqula Khoury, a senior member of the Orthodox Church and Arab nationalist in late Ottoman and British Mandate Palestine. It discusses the complicated relationships between language, religion, diplomacy and identity in the Middle East in the interwar period. This original annotated translation and accompanying articles provide a thorough explication of Khoury’s memoirs and their significance for the social, political and religious histories of twentieth-century Palestine and Arab relations with the Greek Orthodox church. Khoury played a major role in these dynamics as a leading member of the fight for Arab presence in the Greek-dominated clergy, and for an independent Palestine, travelling in 1937 to Eastern Europe and the League of Nations on behalf of the national movement.
Contributors: Sarah Irving, Charbel Nassif, Konstantinos Papastathis, Karène Sanchez Summerer, Cyrus Schayegh
Sarah Irving is a Leverhulme early career research fellow and Lecturer at Staffordshire University and editor-in-chief of Contemporary Levant, a journal of the Council for British Research in the Levant. She was awarded her PhD from the University of Edinburgh in 2018 and has taught and researched at King’s College London and Leiden, Edge Hill and Linnaeus Universities. She is the author of a number of scholarly articles on the social history of Late Ottoman and Mandate Palestine and on contemporary Arabic literature, and prior to her return to academia also authored a number of books on Palestine.
Charbel Nassif is senior researcher within the ERC-Advanced project TYPARABIC and researcher at the CEDRAC (Centre de Documentation et de recherches arabes chrétiennes, Beirut). In 2018-2019, he was a Postdoctoral Fellow at Leiden University on the NWO funded project CrossRoads - Europeans’ Cultural Diplomacy and Arab Christians in Mandate Palestine (1918-1948). A Connected History, working on the Melkite community of Palestine. His research interests are focused on liturgical and iconographical heritage of the Melkite Church, correspondences between the Melkite Church and Rome and comparative history of Byzantine Churches in the modern period. Nassif has two PhDs: History of Art (University Paris IV–Sorbonne, 2017) and Theology (Catholic Institute of Paris, 2017).
Karène Sanchez Summerer is Associate Professor at Leiden University. She obtained her PhDs from Leiden University and EPHE (Ecole Pratique des Hautes Etudes, Paris Sorbonne). Her research considers the interactions between European linguistic and cultural policies and the Arab communities (1860-1948) in the Levant, missionaries' modalities and impact and Arab Catholic communities in Palestine. She is the PI of the research project (2017-2022), CrossRoads - A Connected History between Europeans’ Cultural Diplomacy and Arab Christians in Mandate Palestine (project funded by The Netherlands Research Council). She is the co-editor of the series Languages and Culture in History with W. Frijhoff, Amsterdam University Press. Her last publications include Sanchez Summerer, K. and S. Zananiri, Imaging and Imagining Palestine - Photography, Modernity and the Biblical Lens (1918-1948) (Brill, 2021); Sanchez Summerer, K. & Papastathis, K., Contemporary Levant, special issue, Eastern Christianity in Syria and Palestine and European Cultural Diplomacy (1860-1948). A Connected History, vol. 6, issue 1, 2021.
Foreword. Khoury’s Memoirs as a Palestinian Palimpsest Cyrus Schayegh Notes on Contributors Notes on Transliteration Maps of Niqula Khoury’s Trips in the Levant, Western and Eastern Europe
Introduction Sarah Irving and Karène Sanchez Summerer
1 National Politics and Religion in Mandatory Palestine: Niqula Khoury and the Arab Orthodox Movement Konstantinos Papastathis
2 Eastern Orthodoxy: Snapshots on Arab Orthox in Palestine and Jordan from the Franck Scholten Photographic Collection, 1921–1923
3 Memories Containing the Most Significant Incidents and Events That Occurred during My Lifetime Niqula Khoury, translated and annotated by Sarah Irving, Charbel Nassif, Vicky Moussaed, Konstantinos Papastathis and Karène Sanchez Summerer
Those interested in the modern and contemporary history of the Middle East, religious studies, Orthodoxy, identity formation in the Middle East, contacts between Christianity, Islam, Judaism; diplomacy.