Episode 43. Nadia Ait Said-Ghanem: Iraqi antiquities dealers of 19th century: transcript

0:13  JT

Hello, and welcome to the Thin End of the Wedge. The podcast where experts from around the world share new and interesting stories about life in the ancient Middle East. My name is Jon. Each episode I talk to friends and colleagues, and get them to explain their work in a way we can all understand.

0:32  JT

Objects that form part of Iraq’s cultural heritage are found across the world. Increasing importance is attached to the longer history of those objects. How did they get to where they are now? Object provenance and collections history are hot issues in the heritage sector.

0:52  JT

Today we look at the antiquities trade of the late 19th and early 20th century. Then, as now, America, Britain, and France, for example, were key centres for the trade. So, too, was Baghdad. While some attention has been paid to the western collectors, less interest has been taken in other parts of the network. Who were they? What were they doing, and why?

1:21  JT

Our guest is an Assyriologist who has been immersing herself in the archives, using contemporary records to reconstruct the Victorian-era trade in cuneiform tablets and other objects from Iraq. She introduces us to some of the Iraqi dealers who were supplying the objects to the west.

1:41  JT

So get yourself a cup of tea, make yourself comfortable, and let’s meet today’s guest.

1:54  JT

Hello, and welcome to Thin End of the wedge. Thank you for joining us.

1:59  NAS-G

Hi, Jon. Thank you for inviting me.

2:02  JT

Could you tell us please: who are you, and what do you do?

2:06  NAS-G

Sure. My name is Nadia Ait Said-Ghanem. I’m a postdoctoral fellow at a university in London called the School of Oriental and African Studies. We often abbreviate it to SOAS. And there I have a three year project funded by the British Academy, which started in September 2019. So as part of this project, I’ve been writing about antiquities dealers from Baghdad, or based in Baghdad, in the late 19th century, who sold 1000s of artifacts to the British Museum’s department of Egyptian and Assyrian antiquities. Today, this department is roughly the equivalent of the ancient Middle East. So to reconstruct their activities and part of their life stories. I’ve been using the letters that they wrote to the department when they offered collections for sales; letters that still exist today in the archive of the British Museum. And in the last year and a half, I’ve been especially interested in two dealers, who had a long trading relationship with the department. One is a woman called Ferida Antone Shamas. And the other one is a man called Ibrahim Elias Gejou.

3:24  JT

Could you set the scene for us please? The context of the time the place and who those people are?

3:30  NAS-G

Sure. So Ferida Shamas corresponded with the department for a solid 10 years between 1894 and 1904. And the person with whom she corresponded at the department was a man called Wallis Budge, who at the time was the keeper of the Egyptian and Assyrian antiquities. And Ferida was writing from Baghdad, and she was sending artifacts from Baghdad throughout her business relationship with the BM. And this is where she lived and where she was born. As for Ibrahim, his earliest letter dates to 1895. He was 27 years old then. And it’s clear from the content of his letter that he had written before. And I suspect he began to write, possibly from 1894, like Ferida. And then his last letter dates to 1940. Gejou passed away in 1942. So he really traded until the very last years of his life. And what seems to have stopped him from selling after 1940 was, of course, World War Two.

4:42  NAS-G

So the correspondence that exists for Gejou is really amazing, because we have 45 years of written evidence to reconstruct the activities of an antiquities dealer active in the late 19th century up to the mid 20th century. And Gejou is the only dealer for whom I have this amount of documents that stretch over such a long period of time. So Gejou wrote to several of the British museum curators, because he sold artifacts for such a long time. But like Ferida his contact at the BM was Wallis Budge. And Budge would remain Ibrahim’s contact until Budge himself retired in 1924. So they corresponded for 20 years. And I found only one interruption in 1916 and 1917. Because Ibrahim Gejou couldn’t trade with the UK during World War One, although he did trade with other countries. So these 20 years with Wallis Budge were also Ibrahim’s early years of trade. So they were formative years for Gejou.

5:49  NAS-G

Now, contrary to Ferida, Gejou was not writing from Baghdad. But he was born in Baghdad in 1868. He had left Iraq to go and live in Paris as a young man, probably when he was about 18 or 19 years old. And then he settled in France for good. But he was getting his collections from his brother Isaac, who was in Baghdad. Isaac was Gejou’s brother, his younger brother, and he remained in Iraq until he died in 1930. So it’s very clear in the British Museum archives that both Ferida and Ibrahim, as well as many other dealers from Baghdad, begin to send archaeological artifacts for sale to the department from 1894. And that year is a very interesting year in the history of the British Museum, because it is the year in which Wallis Budge was appointed as Keeper of the Egyptian and Assyrian collection.

6:50  NAS-G

Budge wasn’t new to the British Museum, of course. He had started to work at the department in 1883. But his appointment as Keeper is particularly fundamental to the study of antiquities dealers in Europe, who approach the British Museum often for the first time in that period. Because it’s Budge who asked dealers in Baghdad to send artifacts directly to the British Museum, when he first visited Iraq in 1888. And during his keepership, which lasted 20 years, Wallis Budge pursued a strong policy of acquisition by purchase. His biographer, Matthew Ismail, writes that during his keepership Budge, and I quote here, “tripled the size of the collection under his care through limited escalations, and the network of agents he maintained in Iraq and in Egypt”. So just to give a little background about how Budge began things rolling from 1888, I’ll just say that there were several reasons why Budge was sent to Iraq. I won’t go into the crux of it, because it would be too long a story for the podcast. But for anyone who wants to know the details, I would highly recommend reading Matthew Ismail’s biography of Wallis Budge, which is called Wallis Budge, as it would. And in this biography, Ismail recounts the background to this mission to Iraq in 1888. And it is really jaw-dropping. It’s a very enjoyable read.

8:29  NAS-G

One of Budge’s tasks when he was sent to meet antiquities dealers, it was to find trusted agents, as the correspondence calls them, who would be happy to send artifacts directly to the British Museum from Baghdad, despite the exportation ban that had been put in place by the Ottoman authorities since 1884. So four years before Budge’s first visit. And this exportation ban was part of the third antiquities law of the Ottoman Empire. And Iraq at that point in its history was part of the Ottoman Empire. And that ban applied even to foreign excavation missions, which was a shock to them, and to foreigners generally, who wanted so badly to get their hands on physical objects from the region. Because previously, they had been allowed by law to bring a share of what they found during excavations. And before that they even had been used to pretty much grab and take whichever they felt like.

9:33  NAS-G

But everyone who knew how things stood on the ground in Iraq soon realised that, despite their restrictions, the Ottoman authorities could not stop antiquities dealers from smuggling artifacts out of Iraq to sell in Europe and America. The network was so widespread and so deeply ingrained just everywhere, that soon all foreign parties who wanted artifacts decided to simply buy from antiquities dealers turned smugglers to continue getting the supply they so badly wanted. So as soon as Budge landed in Iraq, he started making deals with dealers who were happy to smuggle. And the deal was that they would send artifacts directly at the door of the British Museum. And in return for the risks they took, they were ensured that the artifacts they sent would be bought for a good price. And so it is in 1888, that Wallis Budge first met Ferida Shamas. She sold him a collection of cuneiform tablets at that point. And this generally is the environment in which Ferida and Ibrahim were operating, when they first started to write to Wallis Budge in 1894.

10:51  JT

So you mentioned there that you’re reconstructing this network using letters from Ferida and Ibrahim. What material is there? And are there any other sources that you’re using?

11:03  NAS-G

So I’m mostly working from the letters that they sent. There’s also all of the answers of Wallis Budge that are kept in the archive that I haven’t been able to read yet, because they’re in really bad condition. And they need to be treated before they can be read. The paper is very thin, it’s falling apart. But there are letters in other museums, especially for Gejou. So not Ferida Shamas, but Gejou sold so widely to museums in Europe and America, that many museums have kept the correspondence, especially when it led to an acquisition. And so there are letters of his in other museums that I’ve been collecting. And in some of these, I do have the answers of the curators. So it’s more of a balanced exchange when I have how Gejou responds. Also what he was being asked to do. But aside from letters, I’ve also been using the diaries of a man called Joseph Svoboda, who was a contemporary of Ferida Shamas and Ibrahim Gejou. And in fact, he knew them both very well. And he speaks about them in his diaries.

12:22  NAS-G

Joseph was born in Baghdad in 1840. And when he turned 22, he started to work as a purser on a steamship. So purser is someone who looks after the purse strings, after the money on board ship. And the steam ships on which Joseph worked belong to a British company owned by three brothers called the Lynch brothers, who operated two commercial steamships in Iraq at that point. And these boats were tasked with transporting people and merchandise from Baghdad to Basra, a city in the very south of Iraq. So they were doing this about twice a week, sometimes more. And then they would also carry the mail, both national and international, stopping in many ports in between to do so.

13:09  NAS-G

So from his first day of work in 1862, until he died in 1908, Joseph wrote diaries about his life on board ship, his life in Baghdad, and generally his life in Iraq under Ottoman rule. And he wrote about the people that he met on board ship, naming them by name. And this is where it gets really interesting for the history of archaeology in Iraq, generally, but also the history of antiquities dealers in Iraq at that point. Because by virtue of his work, Joseph met many individuals who are traveling to and from excavations, who were involved in some fashion in the search for artifacts in that country. Because so many sites were being excavated in the late 19th century in Iraq and in neighboring countries. So Joseph wrote about these individuals, and he recorded many anecdotes about them. He wrote about meeting Budge, for example, in 1888. He also met many foreign archaeologists, and many of Joseph’s friends were antiquities dealers.

14:13  NAS-G

And so it’s from his diaries that I’ve been able to gather information about how all of these people were connected to each other. Because often in the letters that’s not obvious. So it’s in Joseph’s diaries, for example, that I knew the names of Ibrahim Gejou’s sisters, who were called Sarah and Loulou. It’s from Joseph diaries again that I knew that Ferida Shamas’s sister was married to a man called Abdulkerim Toma, who is a well known antiquities dealer and who also was a skilled Iraqi archaeologists. And Abdulkerim was one of the people at the source of the crisis that made the British Museum send Budge to Iraq in 1888. If anyone is interested in these diaries, they’re written in English. They’ve been digitised and placed on open access on the website of the University of Washington.

15:10  JT

Perhaps we could focus now on these two individuals. Let’s start with Ferida. Who was she? And what’s her role in this network?

15:20  NAS-G

So she seemed to have been part of the small, tight-knit community of a first generation of children who were born from European parents; foreigners who had come to settle in Iraq. And she seems to have been around her 40s when she starts writing. And she does write that she has three children. One of them is about 16 years old. And she was also married. So when she starts writing, she seems to be already in the full flow of her operations as an antiquities dealer. And what seems to have brought her to send artifacts to London, seems to have been her meeting with Budge in 1888, but her first letter days to 1894.

16:15  NAS-G

And it’s not so much of a surprise, because Budge returned to Iraq twice more after 1888. He returned in 1889. And another time in late 1890, until the spring 1891. So I think that when he started corresponding with these people in writing, well, first of all, he knew them very well. And they knew him very well as well. But they probably had realised he wasn’t coming back to Iraq. So they start writing. So she refers to one of their meetings in her first letter, or I should say, the earliest letter of hers that I found in the archive. I’ll read you a little extract, just to give you an idea of how their communication was going. So it’s dated the first of November 1894. And she opens by saying, “Sir, when you were in Baghdad, you were kind enough to say to me, when you were at our house, that if I had any antiquities, if I send them to you, you would see what you could do for me. By the SS Arabistan, I have shipped one case and by the SS Turkistan, two cases marked ‘FA number 1 to 3’ and insured them for 20,000 francs”. And then she goes into the details of the delivery. And she ends her letter by saying, “Kindly send all letters on his business to me, Ferida Shamas Antone, trusting I may be of further service to you”.

17:42  NAS-G

So this letter was written in English, I haven’t translated it. And Ferida used translators to write her letters in English. She says so in her letters, and she also sent letters in French. And from the handwriting, it seems to me that they were written by her daughter Susanne, who also corresponded with Wallis Budge independently from her mum. And Ferida was fluent in French, but she used her daughter and clerks to write her letters, because she was partially blind. She had been losing her sight since 1890. And she recounts this again in her letters. In fact, selling artifacts was one of the ways she had found to earn a living.

18:27  NAS-G

And she took the opportunity of selling to the British Museum very seriously. From this letter, one can see that Budge clearly visited Ferida in her own home. And this meeting is an important factor in understanding the way Ferida speaks to Budge throughout their correspondence. Because when they met, it was as much of a business call as a social call. And I know he met her children there during his visit, and I’m sure that in keeping with Iraqis’ generous hospitality, he would have been welcomed in a very friendly and relaxed manner. So to me, this meeting explains why her letters are so different to those of Ibrahim Gejou. Throughout her dealings with Budge, Ferida spoke to Budge as a friend. While Ibrahim doesn’t adopt this tone at all, ever. He’s very deferential toward Budge, and very businesslike in his letters. He just talks about artifacts and prices. That’s it.

19:25  NAS-G

I haven’t found evidence that he had met Budge before he started writing to him. He would eventually meet him, but at the British Museum, so in London, within the very restricted context of work. Another reason why Ferida seems to have traded with the British Museum is that … and she says this in her letters in the year 1900. It’s a funny year because she gets all confessional in that year … She says that what she really wanted to find was an object so rare and spectacular for the British Museum that it would make the British government give her some some form of award. And she got this idea in her head, because she says the French archaeologist Ernest de Sarzec had himself been given special treatment by his empire, as she calls France. And she thought the UK Government would or could make a gesture toward her in recognition of her work for the British Museum if she found a spectacular artifact.

20:25  NAS-G

So that kind of wish seems a little mad to read about today. And it did seem so to me when I first read it. But she had had great foresight, because three decades later, in 1926, Ibrahim Gejou was made Chevalier de la Legion d’Honneur. It’s a French term that means Knight of the Legion of Honour. And it’s France’s highest order of merit, which is given by the government. And he was awarded this for enriching the national collections of France. So I don’t know if Ferida was alive when this happened. I don’t have a date for when she died. Because she fades away from the archive from 1904, when she had fallen out of favour. Basically, Budge didn’t want to deal with her anymore. But the fact that she fully realised that antiquities dealers had a huge impact on the collections of national institutions, and that she felt that their work should be acknowledged by these institutions is very interesting to me.

21:28  JT

Turning now then to Ibrahim, who is he? And what’s his impact?

21:34  NAS-G

As far as I can see, Ibrahim had a special place among these antiquities dealers. He had a huge impact on museum collections in Europe and America. Specifically for the British Museum, just to give you a number, the British Museum is said to own around 130,000 cuneiform tablets. And Ibrahim sold them a little over 14,000 tablets throughout his career. So that’s around 11% of the collection that was acquired solely from him. So these were not all his own tablets. He worked as an agent for other people who didn’t want to deal with the hassle of selling, or who didn’t have the contacts. So he would take 10% on the sale price as payment for his services. But he also sold a lot of cuneiform tablets and other artifacts that he had personally invested money in. So Ibrahim sold widely to many museums in Europe and America. And we know he enriched the collections of these museums substantially. The Louvre Museum in Paris, for example, told me that Ibrahim is considered as their most important seller. In total, Ibrahim sold just under 18,000 artifacts to the British Museum over his 45 year business relationship with them.

22:58  NAS-G

And that’s the number he sold in his own name. I won’t go into this, because it would be too long for the podcast again, but I’ll just shortly say that payments were often issued, not to the dealer, but to the shipping company or the delivery company that dealers used. So on paper, these artifacts don’t appear to have been sold by a specific dealer. But when you read the letters, they often mention who was the client behind the sale, and you find that the number of artifacts linked to a specific dealer in fact increases. So I should say Ibrahim had a big impact. And he was a well known antiquities dealer in his time. But he didn’t work alone. As I said, it is his brother Isaac, who was supplying Ibrahim with artifacts from Baghdad. And who was keeping him in the loop of what was going on on the antiquities market in Iraq, which was very important to him to keep abreast of all the rare artifacts that were being found. And of where excavations were being conducted, not just by foreigners, but by Iraqis themselves as well, as they made some striking discoveries.

24:10  NAS-G

So Isaac was an antiquities dealer in his own right. In his diaries, for example, Joseph Svoboda mentions meeting Isaac, buying cuneiform tablets from Tello in 1894, which is why I think Ibrahim may have contacted the British Museum before 1895. So the brothers worked in tandem throughout their lives. And Isaac died in the year 1930. So if they work together from 1894, that means they traded together for 46 years, and then they seem to have had no other profession than to trade stuff. They were merchants, who were not only selling archaeological artifacts, in fact. Again, in the Svoboda diaries I found references to Ibrahim sending shoes and perfumes to Isaac to sell in Baghdad. They weren’t presents. They really were stuff to sell.

25:07  NAS-G

I think they were buying and selling a variety of commodities. And Ibrahim sold a variety of artifacts as well. He mainly sold cuneiform tablets, because that’s what scholars wanted at the time. But he also sold gold and silver coins. And he sold rare Arabic and Persian manuscripts. Also manuscripts in Coptic. And in fact, I discovered he had a long correspondence with the Manuscript department of the British Museum between 1897 and 1906. And these manuscripts are today in the British Library. So Gejou enriched the collections and had a big impact on the collections of museums across the world. And what’s visible is just museums, because of course, he saw to many private collectors. And so he had a big impact numerically speaking. But he also found rare artifacts that would make or strengthen the reputation of institutions who bought them.

26:09  JT

How well did Ferida and Ibrahim know each other?

26:13  NAS-G

Ibrahim doesn’t speak about her in his letters, but she speaks about him in several of her letters. Ibrahim, it seems, would always return to Iraq at least once a year. From Ferida’s letters, I gather that at least on a couple of occasions, he approached her to try and buy off artifacts that she had herself set aside to sell to the British Museum. And she wanted to make these sales herself in case that turned out to be the rare artifact that she was so keen to find, and that was going to give her an award. So she was reluctant to deal with Ibrahim. At the same time, he seems to just have got on her nerves.

26:53  NAS-G

And by the time she was falling out with Budge in 1904, she was blaming Ibrahim for Wallis Budge’s change of heart towards her. There are reports that Ibrahim was feeding lies about Ferida and all that business. But Ferida also new Isaac, Ibrahim’s brother, very well. And it’s not so surprising. They were living in the same city, and were part of the same community of antiquities dealers. And he seems to have equally got on her nerves. But I think for him, it’s just because there were competitors, and he knew all of the secrets that she knew. And that was a hindrance, because of course, there was a lot of competition between dealers to be the first to get hold of the latest discoveries. Yeah, they’re a funny pair.

27:45  JT

Have you found any trace in the letters of these rumours? Does Ibrahim write nasty stories about Ferida?

27:52  NAS-G

No, he never talks about anyone. Sometimes he says to some of the curators to whom he writes, not just Budge, but others. He refuses to talk about other dealers. He says, “I’m not jealous. I don’t care”. That’s a word he often uses; “I’m not jealous”. But it’s others who write about him that I’m getting these rumours from. And sometimes it’s not just Ferida speaking. There are other dealers, who are writing on her behalf, saying, we’ve heard you’re believing this man. Don’t believe this man. He’s really bad. So yeah, I don’t know what was going on there. I think he was very successful. He must have been very cunning as well. So there’s some background to these shenanigans going on between dealers.

28:39  JT

If we could turn now more to you, how did you get interested in the letters that antiquities dealers are sending to museums?

28:47  NAS-G

So I got interested in his letters after having read a really entertaining and engaging PhD thesis about Ibrahim’s selling tactics. It’s a thesis that was written by a French scholar called Dr. Magali Dessagnes. And she submitted her thesis in 2017. So it’s not published, but it’s available online on open access. And she was writing about Gejou in connection with the circulation of mathematical tablets, acquired by museums and private collectors. And of course, Ibrahim is at the source of many of these tablet acquisitions, since he sold so much and so widely. So she wrote a small profile of the Ibrahim Gejou to introduce him, of course. And it left many gaps, as she herself noted.

29:38  NAS-G

Although Gejou is a well-known name among scholars who study artifacts from Iraq, there’s no biography of Gejou. I’d love to write one, but there’s not one yet. And so Dessagnes really made me want to fill these gaps myself and to investigate his activities in depth. And so a good chunk of her thesis is about the ways in which Gejou negotiated. And she studied his methods based on the letters that he sent to the Yale Babylonian Collection in the US. So the YBC have an important archive of his correspondence. Magali Dessagnes noted that there was also a huge archive of Gejou’s letters in the British Museum and in various other institutions. Since I’m very lucky and privileged to have an office that is only five minutes’ walk away from the British Museum, I decided to go and dig in the archive and see what I could find. So I have had to thank for my Gejou addiction. {LAUGHS}

30:38  JT

Aside from that thesis, what else has been done on this topic? And why is it important to do this work now?

30:46  NAS-G

I haven’t found anyone who has written about Ferida Shamas, which is great for me, because it’s new territory. And that’s always exciting. But Ibrahim Gejou has interested scholars for some time in relation to the many objects that he sold. And he continues to intrigue scholars. So I’m aware at the moment that Rick Bonnie at the Helsinki Institute of Sustainability and Science is interested in Gejou in relation to the artifacts that Gejou sold to the Finnish Assyriologist, Harry Holma. Dr. Bonnie is working on a project, I’m told, that will talk about the histories of migrant objects from the ancient Middle East. Objects that are today in Finnish museums. So this should lead to an exhibition and I’m really looking forward to hearing the stories that he and his colleagues are unearthing.

31:39  NAS-G

And aside from Gejou, there are several scholars who are focusing on specific Iraqi antiquities dealers in the 19th century. So for example, Melissa Eppiheimer, who is a research associate at the University of Pittsburgh, she is looking into the activities of an antiquities dealer called Alexander Messayer, who is a very interesting dealer and connected to Gejou in some way, because he was Ibrahim Gejou’s brother in law. Messayer married Gejou’s sister Sarah, and then he relocated to New York to sell artifacts. And to do this, he seems to have had the same setup as Ibrahim. He was the brother who went to live abroad, and then his brother or brothers or family sent him artifacts from Baghdad to the US.

32:27  NAS-G

So the Louvre museum also is conducting research into the provenance history of its ancient Middle East collection. Last September, they celebrated their 140 years of acquisitions at the Department of Oriental antiquities, that’s how they call the department there. They held a series of talks about this history, and several of these talks are on their YouTube channel. One of the talks is by Nicola Benoit, who is the documentalist scientifique at the Louvre Museum. And he’s looking into a number of 19th century antiquities dealers, including Joseph Svoboda, the diarist I was telling you about, and Henry Svoboda, who was Joseph’s brother. And they both sold artifacts as well to the British Museum.

33:14  NAS-G

So in answer to why is studying antiquities dealers important? I would say, well, I’m biased, of course, I’m going to say it’s very important. {LAUGHS} But it’s part of the history of archaeology in Iraq. And I think it should have its place in this history. And one of the most impactful elements about this study that I’ve encountered so far, reading these letters, is that studying the activities of antiquities dealers quickly leads to uncovering the details of how smuggling operations functioned in this period. And who was part of the network; who was crucial for operations to run smoothly, in this particular country. I think that whatever was put in place then must have had a ripple effect for what was going to happen in later years.

34:02  NAS-G

So for example, Ferida introduces her children to the trade. She also pushed her nephew, Anton Samhiry, and he would become an important dealer as well. So Ferida and her counterparts in Iraq were raising and building the next generation of dealers, from members of their own family. And I think this could have created the blueprint for how smuggling was going to operate decades later. And may even have imprints in some way how smuggling operations function today. So we can use this information, for example, to compare with how smuggling operated in other countries in the same period in the Mediterranean and in Asia, or elsewhere, and then also compare it with how smuggling is operating today.

34:54  NAS-G

I also feel that piecing back these stories is long overdue, because they’re also part of the biography of an object. And I do think that they should be present in museum spaces. I want to see them there. Many people who are drawn to Iraq’s ancient history, or for whom it is their own history will come across the ancient material culture of this country in museum spaces. We want to know not just what the artifacts that we see exhibited in museums are. I mean, how they were made, or who made them, and in which historical period. But we’re also interested in why are these artifacts in western museums today? Who brought them there? They didn’t just magically appear in these institutions. And some of these stories include facing the fact that thousands of the objects in museum collections today could only be collected because Western colonialism enabled the removals.

35:55  JT

How can we follow your work?

35:57  NAS-G

I use my Academia.edu page, usually to share my articles. And I’m also writing a series of articles on Iraqi antiquities dealers for the SOAS University blog, which is the blog of my home university department. So hopefully, if anyone searches SOAS history blog, a search engine should do its magic.

36:20  JT

Well, thank you very much.

36:22  NAS-G

Thanks, Jon.

36:23  JT

I’d also like to thank our patrons: Tyler Russell, Enrique Jimenez, Jana Matuszak, Nancy Highcock, Jay C, Rune Rattenborg, Woodthrush, Elisa Rossberger, Mark Weeden, Jordi Mon Companys, Thomas Bolin, Joan Porter MacIver, John MacGinnis, Andrew George, Yelena Rakic, Michael Katsevman, Mend Mariwany, Kathryn Topper, Zach Rubin, Sabina Franke, Sophus Helle, Shai Gordin, Aaron Macks, Jonathan Stökl, Maarja Seire, Jaafar Jotheri, Morgan Hite, Chikako Watanabe, Mark McElwaine, Heather Baker, Sukanya Ramanujan, Laura Battini, Jonathan Blanchard Smith, Vanessa Richards, Kliment Ohr, TT, Christina Tsouparopoulou, Andrew Senior, Melanie Gross, Adam, Claire Weir, Marc Veldman, Bruno Biermann, Faimon Roberts, Kim Benzel, Maggie Justice, as well as those who prefer to remain anonymous.

37:32  JT

I really appreciate your support. It makes a big difference. Every penny received has contributed towards translations. Thanks of course to the lovely people who have worked on the translations on a voluntary basis or for well below the market rate. For Arabic, thanks in particular to Zainab Mizyidawi, as well as Lina Meerchyad and May Al-Aseel. For Turkish, thank you to Pinar Durgun and Nesrin Akan. TEW is still young, but I want to reach a sustainable level, where translators are given proper compensation for their hard work.

38:09  JT

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