July 14, 1868Â – English traveler, writer, archaeologist and political officer Gertrude Bell is born in Washington, United Kingdom. Although she identified as an atheist from childhood, as an adult she becameÂ a confidante–through her extensive travels in the Middle East–of several Muslim Arab and Persian tribal leaders. After World War I, she became involved in the British initiative to restructure the collapsed Ottoman Empire,Â and particularly in the creation of the kingdoms in Jordan and Iraq. She died in Baghdad in 1926.
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