NOTHING NEW UNDER THE SUN (ALMOST)
22nd June, 1916 : In the name of all Arabs, Hussein, Grand Sherif of Mecca and descendant of the Prophet Mohammed, has proclaimed a revolt against the Ottoman Empire. Supported by the tribes of Arabia this powerful leader declared war on Turkey with the aim of realising Arab independence. Already the Sherif’s forces in Arabia scored notable victories. Mecca is firmly in his hands and so is Jeddah, the Red Sea port and gateway for Moslem pilgrims. There the Arab forces took 1,400 Turkish soldiers and 45 officers prisoner.
These victories have been achieved with British help, both military and financial, and when Hussein declared Arab independence he made clear that this was what he had been promised. A military mission which is led by a brilliant 28-years old Arabist, Captain T E Lawrence, is in Arabia advising Feistal, who is the third son of the Sherif.
[ One hundred years later T E Lawrence, or British diplomacy does not have much to be proud of. ]