Al-Jazeera / February 2, 2022
A thriving trading nation or a land without a people? Historians and witnesses tell the other side of the Palestinian story.
“A land without a people, and a people without a land” is how the relationship between Palestine and the Jewish people was described by Christian writers in the 1800s. And the 20th-century history of the Middle East has largely been written through these eyes.
But this film from Al-Jazeera Arabic looks at Palestine from a different angle. It hears from historians and witness accounts, and features archive documents that show Palestine as a thriving province of Greater Syria and the Ottoman Empire at the dawn of the 20th century.
The evidence suggests that its cities had a developing trade and commercial sector, growing infrastructure, and embryonic culture that would enable it to meet the challenges of the decades ahead.
However, the political ramifications of the Balfour Declaration, San Remo Conference and British Mandate set in motion a series of events that profoundly affected this vibrant, fledgeling society and led to the events of 1948 and beyond.
This film is the other side of the Palestinian story.