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Chalil Raad photograph album of the Augusta Victoria Complex dedication ceremony


Held at: University of Pennsylvania: Kislak Center for Special Collections, Rare Books and Manuscripts [Contact Us]3420 Walnut Street, Philadelphia, PA 19104-6206

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Chalil Raad, also known as, Khalil Ra'd or Raad, was born in Bhamboun, Lebanon during the latter half of the 19th century. His family moved to Jerusalem after the death of his father, where they settled with relatives. Raad may have attended the Bishop Gobat School, where his uncle taught. Raad studied photography under Garabed Krikorian and opened his own studio opposite of Krikorian's on Jaffa Road in 1895. Raad's photography documented daily life in Palestine, current events, and archeological sites. A rivalry between the two photography studios existed until 1913 when a partnership was formed with Krikorian's son, Johannes. In 1914, Raad went to Basel, Switzerland to learn the latest techniques under a photographer named Keller. It was here that Raad fell in love and eventually married Keller's assistant, Annie Muller in 1919. They settled in Talibiyya, a village near Jerusalem, where Raad was later elected mayor. Raad continued working as a photographer, and was recognized as an official Ottoman photographer, who produced portraits of military officers. The Raads were forced to leave their home in 1948, first fleeing to Hebron and then his ancestral village of Bhamdoun in Lebanon, until they were invited by Bishop Ilya Karam to live within the Greek Orthodox Patriarchate. He lived there until his death in 1957. His wife, Annie and their two children, George and Ruth, survived him.


al-Hajj, Badr. "Khalil Raad, photographer in Jerusalem." Revue d'études palestiniennes, vol. 37, 1990, pp. 99-118. ProQuest, Accessed 2 Oct. 2023.

Sela, Rona. "Resilient Resistance: Colonial Biblical, Archaeological and Ethnographical Imaginaries in the Work of Chalil Raad (Khalīl Raʿd), 1891–1948." Imaging and Imagining Palestine: Photography, Modernity and the Biblical Lens, 1918–1948, edited by Karène Sanchez Summerer and Sary Zananiri, Brill, 2021, pp. 185–226. JSTOR, Accessed 2 Oct. 2023.

This photograph album of the dedication of the Augusta Victoria Complex in 1910 includes 34 black and white photographs bound in an olive wood album cover with leather spine and edges. The front endpaper is inscribed "C. Raad. Königl. Preuss. H of Photograph." Photographer Chalil Raad, known as Palestine's first Arab photographer, photographed the interior and exterior of the Augusta Victoria Church and Hospice, and dignitaries, including Prince Eitel Friedrich and Duchess Sofia Charlotte of Prussia, who attended the dedication ceremony. Dedicated in 1910, the community hospital and church was built by the Empress Augusta Victoria Foundation as a center for the German Protestant community in Palestine. Also located in the back of the album is a loose photograph of Chambres carrees Baalbek by Felix Bonfils and newspaper clippings from The Sydney Mail on July 14, 1915 and October 20, 1915, relating to Anzac military campaigns in World War I.

Sold by Kline Books, 2022

University of Pennsylvania: Kislak Center for Special Collections, Rare Books and Manuscripts
Finding Aid Author
Kristine McGee
Finding Aid Date
29 September 2023
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Augusta Victoria complex dedication ceremony photograph album, 1910.
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