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Geographies of Contact

Caroline Lehni
Fanny Moghaddassi
Hélène Ibata
et al.

I. Scripting the Orient

Gregory Wortabet “of Bayroot, Syria”: A Failed Encounter?

Jacqueline Jondot

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Gregory M. Wortabet “of Bayroot, Syria”1 proposes a tour of Syria in the 1850s, entitled Syria and the Syrians: or, Turkey in the Dependencies. Published in London in 1856, the two volumes of his travel narrative offer an extensive journey through Syria (which includes today’s Syria, Lebanon, Jordan and Palestine) together with a pilgrimage to the Holy Land. G.M. Wortabet’s father, Jacob Wortabet, was one of the first converts to Protestantism in Syria2 and “the first Evangelical Missionary to [Sidon]” (GMW1 334). Brought up in Sidon (GMW1 334) and Beirut (“Bayroot! happy home of my youth!” [GMW1 29]), G.M. Wortabet is well read and well travelled. He has toured his native land several times (“having re-visited his country” [GMW1 xv])3 and the instance which provides this narrative comes “after a tour of several years in Europe, Africa, Asia, and America” (GMW1 xv). The book is written from England although G.M. Wortabet claims to have “penned [it] on the spot after the fatigues of ...


Professor at Toulouse 2 University (France) and doctor in English literature, Jacqueline Jondot wrote a 3rd-cycle thesis on Orlando by Virginia Wolf and a PhD thesis on Middle Eastern Arab authors who write in the English language; she wrote articles on Ahdaf Soueif, Edward Atiyah, Carl Gibeily, Yasmin Zahran, Jamal Mahjoub, Fadia Faqir, Susan Abulhawa… as well as on British women writers (Virginia Woolf, Penelope Lively, Mary Shelley). She has also translated Outremer by Nabil Saleh. Her photos of Cairene mashrabiyyas and Egyptian Revolution graffiti have been exhibited. She has coordinated an issue of Horizons Maghrébins on The Revolution in Egypt, including her photos of street graffiti. She is currently working on a book about the Egyptian Revolution graffiti.

© Presses universitaires de Strasbourg, 2017

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