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City of Christian Love

The History and Importance of Nazareth

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Raouf Abujaber

City of Christian Love provides a detailed history of Nazareth from the dawn of the Christian Era until today with special focus on the religious communities found in this sacred city, including both the periods of tension and the periods of profound interreligious partnership and solidarity.

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Chapter Six: Wars and International Crises: Four Leaders in Nazareth, A.D. 1777–1877

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Chapter Six

Wars and International Crises

Four Leaders in Nazareth, A.D. 1777–1877

The Ottomans were truly relieved to see the end of Shaikh Dhaher in 1775 and it did not take them long to appoint Ahmad Pasha Al-Jazzar (the Butcher) in 1777 as Wali of Saida, which province included Acre and its region. This event brought in a period of fear and distrust that the people of Northern Palestine and Southern Lebanon had to suffer through until the death of this tyrant in 1804. His history is one of treachery and bloodshed, and has been recorded in a comprehensive work written by Emir Haydar Shihab, of the famous Lebanese ruling dynasty, who himself was born in 1760.1 This reference book with others written by Palestinian historians will be the base from which we refer when writing about this strange character.

His early life was in a village in Bosnia, where he was born in 1720. When he was sixteen, he raped his brother’s wife and ran away to Constantinople. There, he lived in distress and to obtain some food, he sold himself to a slave trader. His owner brought him to Egypt where he was sold in the slave market of Cairo to the household of the Mamluk Commander Ahmad Bey Abu Al-Dhahab. When he had proved his worth in the fights around the region, he was sent as governor of a ← 57 | 58 → small city in Egypt,...

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