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The Syrian University And The French Mandate (1920–1946)

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Chapter Summary

The nucleus of the Syrian University was the Ottoman school of medicine established in Damascus by Sultan Abdülhamid II. Sultan Abdülhamid?s decision to establish a school of medicine in Damascus in 1901 coincided with the beginning of the building of the Hijaz railway, which connected Damascus to Medina. The Ottoman school of medicine in Damascus began teaching in 1903?04. It included medicine and pharmacy. An Ottoman school of law was added to it in 1913, but this was based in Beirut. The two schools formed the core of the Syrian University under the Arab government and the French Mandate. By supporting the Syrian University with its Arabic curriculum, administration, and faculty, the French proved to be realistic. Although the university was essential to the embodiment of Syria?s national pride, it also enabled France to pose as the promoter of Arabic culture and liberal thought.

Keywords: Arabic culture; French Mandate; liberal thought; Ottoman school of medicine; Sultan Abdülhamid II; Syrian University



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