June 10 - 1916 - The Proclamation of the Arab Revolt

When Hussein bin Ali, Sharif of Mecca, declared that there would be an Arab revolt against the Ottoman Empire, he was really putting together long running historical forces to his advantage. Although Hussein bin Ali had many troubles with various Ottoman rulers from the late 19th century, by 1916 he had a few elements in his advantage to declare open revolt. First, the Ottoman Empire was ruled by the Three Pashas, the military triumvirate that grew out of the secularist, reforming Young Turks movement. Second, the Ottoman Empire was engaged in serious fighting during World War I. Third, the British and French were more than willing to assist an Arab revolt. The fighting actually began on June 5, 1916, with an attack on Medina by Hussein's sons Abdullah and Faisal. Although that was unsuccessful, the attack on the Ottoman garrison at Mecca on June 10 that followed Hussein's proclamation of the Arab Revolt led to the capture of the city and widespread dislike of the Ottoman artillery barrage on Islam's holiest city. The Arab Revolt, with British help by men like T.E. Lawrence, was ultimately successful, Hussein bin Ali never became the King of the Arabs he had dreamed of being, thanks to the way the Ottoman Empire was partitioned.

William Floyd