Last updated on: 5/20/2008 4:03:00 PM PST

What Was the 1916 Arab Revolt against the Ottoman Empire?

General Reference (not clearly pro or con)
Bernard Lewis, PhD, Professor Emeritus of Near Eastern Studies at Princeton University, in his 1995 book titled The Middle East, wrote the following:

"The Arab revolt was launched in the Hijaz in Arabia, in a quasi-autonomous province, governed by a hereditary Arab ruler, the sharif Husayn, in a territory that was purely Arab and Muslim, and included Mecca and Medina, the two holiest places of Islam...

The military significance of a few thousand Bedouin irregulars, in battles involving vast regular armies, may have been minor, but the moral significance of an Arab army fighting the Turks and, still more, of the ruler of the holy places denouncing the Ottoman Sultan and his so-called jihad, was immense, and was of particular value to the British and incidentally also to the French empires in maintaining their authority over their Muslim subjects."

1995 - Bernard Lewis, PhD 

Albert Hourani, the late Oxford historian, wrote in his 1991 book titled A History of the Arab Peoples:

"In 1916 Husayn, the sharif of Mecca of the Hashimite family (1908-1924), came out in revolt against the Ottoman sultan, and an Arab force, recruited partly from beduin of western Arabia and partly from prisoners or deserters from the Ottoman army, fought alongside the allied forces in the occupation of Palestine and Syria. This movement had followed correspondence between the British and Husayn, acting in contact with Arab nationalist groups, in which the British had encouraged Arab hopes of independence (the McMahon-Husayn correspondence, 1915-1916)."

1991 - Albert Hourani 

Nejla L. Izzeddin, PhD, in her 1953 book titled The Arab World: Past, Present, and Future, wrote the following:

"The Arab Revolt broke out in Hijaz in the spring of 1916. It was neither an unheralded event nor a local outbreak. It was the expression of Arab national consciousness and awareness of an existence and a destiny apart from the Turks and outside the Turkish Empire. Trends and forces, slowly forming during the preceding hundred years, had gradually awakened Arab feelings of identity, and given shape to Arab nationalism, however vague and confused...

The Arab Revolt made considerable contributions to the Allied victory on the eastern front. The Sultan of Turkey had declared the jihad or holy war as incumbent upon all Moslems. The Arab Revolt, led by the Sharif of Mecca, a descendant of the Prophet and Keeper of the Holy Cities of Islam, drew the sting of the jihad."

1953 - Nejla L. Izzeddin, PhD