Based on an idea by Brother Claude Frydman, here are some points of reference that will help you to better understand the role and influence of Freemasonry in the Middle East.
1721 - Ottoman Empire - Constantinople: first known lodge created by
of the Palatine Masons,
1748 -Egypt - first lodge in Alexandria dependent on the Mother Lodge
1798 - Egypt - Bonaparte's expedition. Creation of the Isis Lodge in
Alexandria by General Kleber.
1830 - Egypt - Alexandria: Italian Freemasons set up the
1838 - Egypt - Cairo: "Memphis" Lodge (GODF),
1845 - Egypt - Alexandria: Lodge "The Pyramid Lodge" (GODF) - The
famous Abd-el-Kader was initiated there in 1864,
1853 - Beginning of the Crimean War (the Russian Empire is facing a coalition of nations)
comprising the Ottoman Empire, France, the United Kingdom and the
Kingdom of Sardinia).
1856 - Treaty of Paris which ends the Crimean War after the defeat of
the Russian Empire.
1867 - Egypt: Creation of a Grand Orient of Egypt of the Rite of
Memphis led by the Marquis de Beauregard; he was succeeded by the Marquis of
Prince Halim Pasha,
1873 - Ottoman Palestine - Jerusalem : Creation of the "Royal Solomon" Lodge
Mother Lodge" No. 292 was established in 1873 under the jurisdiction of the
Grand Lodge of Canada, Province of Ontario, under the leadership of
1876 - Egypt : Creation of the Grand Orient of Egypt under the impulse of the
Grand Orient of Italy,
1873 - Egypt - Alexandria: 21 March - Creation of the Grand Lodge
National of Egypt (seat transferred to Cairo on 5 March 1878);
Tawfiq Pasha was elected Grand Master in 1881,
1890 - Palestine - Jaffa: foundation of the Lodge "The Port of the Temple of
Salomon", by French engineers.
1895 - Palestine - Jerusalem : Creation of the Solomon Lodge (or Suleiman)
with a patent from the Grand National Lodge of Egypt,
1906 - Palestine - Jaffa : Creation of the lodge "Barkai" (in Hebrew), or
l'Aurore, from the Grand Orient de France (Léon Zeldis translated Barkaï
by "l'Aurore" in reference to the publication of "J'Accuse". Claude
F. thinks it's more about dawn, the moment when the light appears)
1908 - Palestine - Jerusalem : Creation of the Lodge "Nur el Hachmat".
(Light of Wisdom) No. 125,
1910 - Palestine - Jaffa: Creation of the Lodge "Palestine No. 157" (change of
name in 1928 to be called "Prince" Lodge,
1915 - Ottoman Empire - beginning of the Armenian genocide
1920 - August 10: Treaty of Sèvres concluded to dismantle the Ottoman Empire.
defeated in the wake of the First World War between the Allies
victorious and the Ottoman Empire,
1923 - 24 July: Treaty of Lausanne; it specifies the borders of Turkey.
from the Ottoman Empire,
- 29 October: Creation of Mustafa Kemal's Modern Turkey
1924 - Palestine (under British Mandate):
- Jerusalem: Creation of the Lodge "Jerusalem No. 262",
- Tel Aviv-Jaffa: Creation of the Grand Lodge "Hermon" Lodge of
France (after a few years of activity, a dormancy and
a reopening in 2006),
1926 - Palestine - Jaffa: Creation of the "El-Dugha" Lodge ("The Dawn" or
"The Morning Star") No. 263,
1927 - Palestine :
- Jerusalem : Creation of the "Har-Zion" Lodge (Mount Zion) N° 270,
- Tel Aviv: Creation of the "Moriah" Lodge No. 283,
- Haifa: Creation of the Lodge "Reuben No. 288",
1928 - Palestine :
- Jerusalem : Creation of the Lodge "El Halil" (The Patriarch Abraham)
- Jerusalem: creation of the Lodge "Pax" N° 291,
1929 - Palestine :
- Jerusalem : Creation of the Lodge "Mount Sinai" N° 293, (in 1933
it was one of the founding lodges of the National Grand Lodge of
- Tel Aviv: Creation of the "Hiram" Lodge, (one of his first initiates
was Judge Joseph Michael Lamm, who was elected in 1964-65 as the Grand
Master of the Grand Lodge of the State of Israel, and later Sovereign
Grand Commander of the Ancient and Accepted Scottish Rite in 1971,
1932 - Palestine : Jerusalem - Jaffa : creation of the Lodge "King Solomon".
- Egypt: crisis within the National Grand Lodge of Egypt and
1933 - Palestine : Foundation of the Grand Lodge of Palestine,
1948 - May 14: creation of the State of Israel,
1949 - April 26th : The Great National of Palestine decides to change the
name to become Grand Lodge of Israel,
1950 - Israel - Nazareth : creation of the Galilee Lodge, (it integrates the Great Galilee Lodge).
Lodge of the State of Israel in 1953),
1953 - October 20 - Jerusalem : creation of the Grand Lodge of the State of Israel
under the aegis of the Grand Lodge of Scotland, (today recognized by
the UGLE) - in 2020, the Grand Lodge of the State of Israel has more than
50 lodges including four Arab lodges and one Druze lodge. The GM was a
Arab brother on several occasions),
1955 - Lebanon - Beirut: Consecration of the "District Grand Lodge of Syria-
Lebanon" under the aegis of the Grand Lodge of New York, (this grand
lodge includes 11 Lebanese lodges)
1956 - Egypt: President Gamal Abdel Nasser orders closure
of all the Masonic lodges.
1977 - Israel: Lighting of the "Star of Jerusalem" Lodge in the Grand Orient.
of France, followed in 1982 by "les Frères de Sion"; these two lodges
will be closed in 1997.
1997 - Israel - Jerusalem; Creation of the Grand Lodge "Bereshit" Lodge
2004 - Israel : Creation of the lodge " Jerusalem Stones " which was
later renamed "Jerusalem of Azure and Fraternity" of the
Women's Grand Lodge of France,
2005 - Israel : Creation of the lodge " Star of Israel " Grand Orient of
2008 - Israel - Tel Aviv: creation of the "Infinite" Lodge N° 1878, of the Law
2013 - Israel :
- Tel Aviv : Creation of the Grand Lodge "Rose of Sands" Lodge
Female from France,
- Haifa: creation of the " North Star " lodge, of the Grand Orient of
France (transferred to Tel Aviv in 2015)
2015 - Israel : Creation of the "Shorachim" Lodge (Roots in Hebrew)
of International Human Rights Law,
Other sources of information on the subject :
- Freemasonry in the Ottoman Empire. A History of the Fraternity
and its Influence in Syria and in the Levant, by
Dorothe Sommer, London: IB Tauris, 2015, 317 p.
- History of Freemasonry in the Middle East: Lebanon, Syria,
Palestine, Turkey, Egypt, Iran... (English) Paperback - 2019
by Jean-Marc Aractingi (Author)
- Colonial Freemasonry in the Maghreb and the Middle East
(1876-1924): a colonial partner and an educational factor
the genesis of the nationalist and political movements and the
revolutionaries: volume II by Éric Anduze
- Le Grand-Orient au Moyen Orient au Moyen Orient" by Claude Frydman, 330 pages, 2015, Edetis, Editions de l'Etoile d'Israël. Book recommended by the IDERM (Institute of Masonic Studies and Research of the GODF).
Web sites or pages :
Historic Freemasonry in the Middle East par Isaac Bar-Moshe
Masonry in the Middle East par Jonathan M. Jacobs