Lawrence of Arabia
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Emerging Middle East
Mecca - Arab Revolt

Map: Highlighting Mecca

Over-extended on a number of fronts, the British needed to recruit new allies.

The Middle East was seen by many soldiers and politicians in London as an unnecessary side-show to the real theatre of war - but there was a belief that if the Turks could be knocked out quickly Britain would be able to concentrate her efforts on the Western Front.

There was some hope of drumming up nationalist support from the Arabs living under the yoke of the Turkish empire. A potential leader of any uprising was identified in Grand Sharif Hussein of the Hejaz, the keeper of the Holy Places of Mecca and Medina.

Fiercely resistant to Turkish interference, Hussein was also acceptable to Muslims everywhere.


Europe | Ottoman Empire | Egypt | Mecca | Arab Revolt | Palestine | Syria | Modern Middle East

  King Hussein was a direct descendant of the Prophet Mohammed and boasted a 724 year-old lineage as the Sharif of Mecca and Medina.


Lawrence of Arabia