The Real Lawrence of Arabia

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The True Story of Lawrence of Arabia

by Scott Anderson Smithsonian Magazine July 2014 

Sipping tea and chain-smoking L&M cigarettes in his reception tent in Mudowarra, Sheik Khaled Suleiman al-Atoun waves a hand to the outside, in a generally northern direction. “Lawrence came here, you know?” he says. “Several times. The biggest time was in January of 1918. He and other British soldiers came in armored cars and attacked the Turkish garrison here, but the Turks were too strong and they had to retreat.” He pulls on his cigarette, before adding with a tinge of civic pride: “Yes, the British had a very hard time here.”

The southernmost town in Jordan, Mudowarra was once connected to the outside world by means of that railroad.

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