Yousef al-Khalidi

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Yusuf Dia Pasha al-Khalidi (1829–1907; Arabic: يوسف ضياء باشا الخالدي‎‎, Yousef Ḍiya’ Bāshā al-Khalidī) was a prominent Ottoman Empire politician and mayor of Jerusalem between 1870–1876 and 1878–1879.[1] He was born in 1829 in Jerusalem and represented the city in the Ottoman Parliament of 1877.

Born in Jerusalem, al-Khalidi attended an English school in Malta where he studied English and French, and then continued to study Semitic languages in the Oriental Academy of Vienna.[2]

Al-Khalidi played a key role in the opposing political factions established to prohibit the Ottoman Empire's attempts to violate the constitution. He also wrote the first Kurdish-Arabic dictionary. In 1899 he wrote a letter to the Zadok Kahn, the chief rabbi of Franceو he suggested that, since Palestine was already inhabited, the Zionists should find another place for the implementation of their political goals. " ... in the name of God," he wrote, "let Palestine be left alone." Kahn showed the letter to Theodore Herzl, the founder of political Zionism. On 19 March 1899 Herzl replied to al-Khalidi in French assuring him that, if the Zionists were not wanted in Palestine, "We will search and, believe me, we will find elsewhere what we need. He died in 1907.


  1. ^ Johann Büssow,Hamidian Palestine: Politics and Society in the District of Jerusalem 1872–1908, Brill, 2011 p. 554.
  2. ^ Before Their Diaspora: Photographic History of Palestine) . Walid Khalidi.

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