‘What did the Ottomans ever do for us?’ Modern Medicine and Administration in late Ottoman Jerusalem

DSpace Repository

URI: http://hdl.handle.net/10900/130887
Dokumentart: Buch (einzelnes Kapitel)
Date: 2022-08-15
Source: Ben-Bassat, Yuval; Büssow, Johann: From the Household to the Wider World. Tübingen University Press 2022
Language: English
Other Keywords: Jerusalem
modern medicine
medical discourse
European involvement in late Ottoman Palestine
Arabic and Hebrew press
Jewish immigration
Show full item record


The contribution of the late Ottoman Empire to the development of Palestine in general and Jerusalem in particular has received ample historiographic attention. While earlier studies have highlighted the absence of the Ottoman state in the development of Jerusalem, later works have underlined the state’s agency in developing and modernizing the city. Paraphrasing the famous scene from Monty Python’s Life of Brian (1979), this chap- ter asks, “What did the Ottomans ever do for us?” (“us” the Jerusalemites), by focusing on the expansion of modern medicine in late Ottoman Jerusalem. The chapter examines this field through five prisms: the city’s reaction to and engagement with cholera, the modern medical discourse in the local Hebrew and Arabic press, the training of local physicians, the establishment and role of the Municipal Hospital, and the sectarian division in the field of health care. This analysis demarcates the diversity of local and foreign actors and delin- eates the Empire as one actor amongst many, acknowledging its space and agency while remaining critical of its limited or contested purview

This item appears in the following Collection(s)