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Author Topic:   The True Story of Lawrence of Arabia
Posts: 1313
Joined: 12-22-2015

Message 1 of 2 (775062)
12-26-2015 3:21 PM

A great article is available for us to read in it's entirety. Imagine how much richer the Middle East would have been is Syria hadn't been split up into Lebanon, Palestine (then split further with Zionism), Syria, and Jordan. Imagine if the entire Middle East was left intact. Lawrence of Arabia did try to prevent what Arabs call Am al Nakbah (the year of the Catastrophe). He rushed to the Paris conference in 1921 to prevent the split up. I read a book called Gaza in Crisis that showed how Woodrow Wilson also opposed the British empire and he sent officials on a fact finding mission in the teens (1910s) to get the view of Palestinians and found out that they wanted to be free (of empire) and unified with Syria. Baruch Kimmerling and Joey Migdol have a history of Palestine and it talks about the Am al Nakbah of 1921. I'm so delighted Smithsonian has made this article available for free. There is an academic project that is studying this issue covered in the article. Called the Great Arab Revolt Project I think.



Special Report

World War I: 100 Years Later

The True Story of Lawrence of Arabia

His daring raids in World War I made him a legend. But in the Middle East today, the desert warrior’s legacy is written in sand

By Scott Anderson

Smithsonian Magazine | Subscribe
July 2014

ipping tea and chain-smoking L&M cigarettes in his reception tent in Mudowarra, Sheik Khaled Suleiman al-Atoun waves a hand to the outside, in a generally northern direction. “Lawrence came here, you know?” he says. “Several times. The biggest time was in January of 1918. He and other British soldiers came in armored cars and attacked the Turkish garrison here, but the Turks were too strong and they had to retreat.” He pulls on his cigarette, before adding with a tinge of civic pride: “Yes, the British had a very hard time here.”

Related Content
Unearthing America’s Lawrence of Arabia, Wendell Phillips

While the sheik was quite correct about the resiliency of the Turkish garrison in Mudowarra—the isolated outpost held out until the final days of World War I—the legendary T.E. Lawrence’s “biggest time” there was open to debate. In Lawrence’s own telling, that incident occurred in September 1917, when he and his Arab followers attacked a troop train just south of town, destroying a locomotive and killing some 70 Turkish soldiers.

The southernmost town in Jordan, Mudowarra was once connected to the outside world by means of that railroad. One of the great civil-engineering projects of the early 20th century, the Hejaz Railway was an attempt by the Ottoman sultan to propel his empire into modernity and knit together his far-flung realm.

By 1914, the only remaining gap in the line was located in the mountains of southern Turkey. When that tunneling work was finished, it would have been theoretically possible to travel from the Ottoman capital of Constantinople all the way to the Arabian city of Medina, 1,800 miles distant, without ever touching the ground. Instead, the Hejaz Railway fell victim to World War I. For nearly two years, British demolition teams, working with their Arab rebel allies, methodically attacked its bridges and isolated depots, quite rightly perceiving the railroad as the Achilles’ heel of the Ottoman enemy, the supply line linking its isolated garrisons to the Turkish heartland.

Read more: http://www.smithsonianmag.com/...951857/#zx42wLgMqozboIpA.99
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Message 2 of 2 (775065)
12-26-2015 5:04 PM

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