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Edith How-Martyn to Margaret Sanger February 21, 1934

Dublin Core


Edith How-Martyn to Margaret Sanger February 21, 1934


How-Martyn, Edith
Birth Control International Information Centre
Rieder, Emily
Laski, Frida
Dormaue, Dr.
Ashkar, Dr.
Howie, H.
Abouchdid, Edma
International House
Moore, Dr.


How-Martyn writes about her experiences in Beirut


How-Martyn, Edith


Margaret Sanger Papers, Library of Congress (Microfilm)




Hajo, Cathy Moran (metadata)


A good faith effort was made to identify the rights holder. Please contact the BCI if you have any information on the rights holder.








MSP LC Reel 20:400-7


Beirut, Syria

Text Item Type Metadata


21. February 1934

My dearest Margaret,

A warm welcome awaits you at Beirut, Syria whenever you care to go to receive it. At the American University there President & Mrs. Dodge are great admirers of your work and when I called on them I found 2 convinced birth controllers who think Syria is in great need of B.C. teaching. with introductions given me by Mme. Rieder + Mrs. Laski I saw many people _ discussed B.C. The Syrian doctors should be most useful and among them is Dr. Edma Abouchdid. She is a young attractive, a member of an attractive Syrian family, the first Syrian woman to take a medical degree in the American University at Beirut. She is very intelligent, keen on B.C. + intends to get something done in spite of the French mandate. I think you will like her & I told her I should tell you that we have an excellent correspondent in Beirut & that I would suggest to you the possibility of your calling in at Beirut on your way to India. She had a little tea party for me & I got Dr. Dormaue (American) the head of the Gynecological dept of the University Hospital to meet me & also Dr. Ashkar (Syrian) + we had a very through talk + if it were not for the difficulty of bootlegging supplies B.C. would go ahead. On medical grounds I think it will make good progress especially is you run along and encourage them. The organizer of the Child Welfare work is a nurse Miss Howie who spent a year in U.S.A. stayed at International House when you went there to speak, was much impressed & afterwards you invited her to go to the clinic. With her American experience she is planning to do some discreet propaganda with Dr. A’’s help & both being Syrians I am hopeful of results. I shall keep them supplied with literature & a word of encouragement from you with some literature would I think thrill them.

Dr. Edma Abouchdid
Miss H. Howie
American University
Beirut, Syria.

Dr. Moore the child specialist a very capable creature with a Swedish wife and 3 charming youngsters. He does not know you but I am sure you would “click”. and there are others - But Dr. Abouchdid & Miss Howie are really prepared to shoulder responsibility.

Then we fled from the cold & rain here to Sea of Galilee which is beautiful & warm tho’ still rather rainy! How in this district I can become quite curious as to just what Jesus Christ was like for here in these simple surroundings to have preached a doctrine which with accretions is still actively affecting the lives of millions! Well instead of preaching Christianity I have been preaching B.C. to the Head Nurse of the Child Welfare work here -- have made a very good contact. She has been trying to find out about B.C. & eagerly asked me to give her details. She has been trying to fit the Dumas pessary but has not had much success. I discovered they leave the pessary in & tell the woman to come & have it removed for menstruation. With what I told her, with the books and pessaries I shall send her she should get better results with that. She also deplored the fact that Hadassah did not give them a woman doctor for prenatal work + for deliveries as she finds reluctance among the woman to a man doctor. There is one woman doctor in Tiberius but as she speaks no English & I had no literature left I did not call on her but begged Miss Wittenberg to tell her & to show her what I sent to translate it for her. To morrow to Joppa + Tel Aviv Sunday to Mongolia P+O liner March 8th London where among the things I want to hear about most are-- the Results of your Conference-- Your Plans for coming to Europe - and B.C. at the women’s medical Conf. at Stockholm in June.

I shall write from the boat summing up my impressions. Much love & greetings to all your family from Edith & Herbert.

Original Format

Autographed letter, signed