comment 0

Found: George Matook (Massachusetts State Library Archives)

12 December 2017: a friend recently discovered an image of Syrian American U.S. Army translator George Abraham Matook, a figure who plays a major role in chapter 3 of my forthcoming book, Between the Ottomans and the Entente.

Webp.net-resizeimage

George A Matook, 1918. Source: http://archives.lib.state.ma.us/handle/2452/212306

Born in Boston, Massachusetts to Syrian parents, George Matook enlisted in 1918 and was sent to France to serve as an interpreter between a contingent of Arabic-speaking troops and the larger 101st Engineer Corps. I have written about Matook in a couple places: I  introduced one of his letters home from the Western Front, preserved in a digital sourcebook, Cultural Exchange in a Time of Global Conflict (link) and in the collections of the Arab American National Museum in Dearborn, MI. Matook (and that letter) also appears in my 2016 article in the Journal of Global History (full text).

It is nice to put a face with the name and to include this photograph in the book, out next year with Oxford University Press.

Leave a Reply