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Dame Freya Stark, O.B.E.

January 1, 1972

1972 – Treviso, Italy

Dame Freya Stark was working on her degree in literature at London University when World War I erupted and she turned to nursing. Soon after the war she began her studies in Arabic at the School of Oriental Studies in London. This work led to extensive travel in the Middle East, enabling her to become fluent in Persian, Russian and Turkish. During World War II, she was asked by the British government to help hold the Arab world to the Allied cause. Dame Freya conceived a Brotherhood of Freedom organization to educate and prepare the Arab world for its imminent freedom. The Nazi world reacted with massive propaganda to woo the Arabs to its side. Frequently under enemy fire, she traveled through the Arab world during the war and won thousands to the Allied cause. In 1947, Miss Stark married Steward Henry Perowne of the British Foreign Service, also an expert in Middle and Near Eastern affairs. After the war, she authored twenty volumes which are considered monumental in their field. She was ranked with the legendary Charles M. Doughty and T.E. Lawrence as the great western authorities on the Mid-East. In recognition of her accomplishments, Freya Stark was honored by Her Majesty the Queen with the order of Dame of the British Empire. (Deceased 1993)