Contents page 1 — A Kingdom for Faisal page 2 — The common search of new allies page 3 — A desperate Regent without a gloss On a page
day and night, battle for battle-Faisal, Prince of the Hejaz, for this Moment, fought On 3. October, 1918, he will move at last in Damascus. In the capital of Syria, the political center of the Arab world. But the solemn entrance is not able to manage, such as Faisal hoped. Impatient General Edmund Allenby waiting for him, the commander of the British in the Middle East. Hardly Faisal is in town, Allenby him to the Victoria Hotel to ask. It is to discuss something.
Two years earlier, Faisal’s father, Sherif Hussein of Mecca, leader of the clan, the Hashemites, has called on the Arabs to revolt against their Ottoman lords, and king of Arabia, proclaimed. The British promised support; they needed help in the overthrow of the Ottoman Empire. Son, Faisal moved in with fighters of the Bedouin tribes and the British officer, Thomas Edward Lawrence in the desert to a guerrilla war. After the conquest of the fortress of Aqaba, Lawrence penetrated and Faisal in front of the town for the town to continue in the deserts of southern Syria. On the Hejaz railway in the direction of Mecca, they laid ambush and shot down Ottoman soldiers, among them many Arabs. For a time they broke the train completely. Faisal free did General Allenby the back, as the British captured in December 1917, Jerusalem. Always accompanied Lawrence and Faisal to the battle cry: “To Damascus!”
2. October 1918, waited for Faisal in the desert city of Dera’a on signals; Lawrence was in the British. A messenger from the hundreds of kilometers away in Damascus brought the customer that it was for the conquest may be too late: Two days earlier, the Australian associations were indented under British command in the city. Now the Damascus danced in the streets; men were firing in the air, women were flowers rain, and distributed pastries. Everywhere the colors of the Arab national movement, waved the messenger claimed. It was high time that Faisal, after the people requested to move in their streets. Like a king. Arab competitors had already installed as the new rulers; but the cunning Lawrence, have you disposed of, with British politeness.
Faisal rises on the Morning of the 3. October in the Hijaz-train on this section. At a breakpoint near Damascus, he goes on the horse. Comrades-in-arms awaited him. “He reached Damascus from the South,” writes Ali Allawi, former Minister of defence of Iraq, in his great Faisal biography, “accompanied on horseback by the tribal leaders of the Ruwala, the Howeitat and the Druze. Behind them, the fighters on camel and on foot, thousands of them. It was a great spectacle. The whole of Damascus seemed to come out to welcome the great hero.” Cheers rises everywhere. But then Faisal cancel the triumph, because General Allenby is impatient.
When he arrives at the Victoria-Hotel, looks to Faisal, that Lawrence is at Allenby and a tight-lipped look on your face. Faisal knows that it is unpleasant. Allenby announces that the British would support Arab independence, but Syria French protectorate. Faisal is to be placed under French supervision. The government in Paris. Lebanon and Palestine are not territory part of his reign, and for the Transition, he gets a French officer to the side.
This Text comes from the magazine of history, No. 1/2019. The current issue you can buy on newsstands or here.
Allenby in the previous days a series of confusing instructions from London, an Echo of the similarly contradictory policy during the war. The British made since 1915, three different promises to each other blocking: Because the law’s vague pledge to support Arab independence, the Henry McMahon, British high Commissioner in Egypt, and Sherif Hussein as early as 1915 for the First. The British wanted to provoke an Arab revolt. The second obligation is the Sykes-Picot agreement of may 1916, in the United Kingdom and France, binding the whole of the Middle East among themselves divided, the Russians were involved. And finally, there is the Balfour Declaration of November 1917, the Jews in Palestine, in turn, more floral, a “national home” in views. Foreign Minister Arthur Balfour was to gain Jewish allies in the war and the time after that.
General Allenby in conversation with Faisal in the first line of Sykes-Picot. Faisal and Lawrence know the British commitments they had hoped to force through their conquest of Damascus, the British to break the Sykes-Picot agreement. A Arabic liberated Damascus will not give in London to the French, so the calculus. London sees it differently.