Sometimes referred to as the Campaign in the Hejaz and Syria during W.W.I, the “Arab Revolt”
was the first manifestation of their desire for freedom and independence. Occupied by the Ottoman Turks, the Arabs under Prince Feisal sided with the British and conducted a hit and run guerilla campaign against the
important Hejaz rail line that had been built with the assistance of German engineers sent by the Kaiser.
The Kaiser’s dream was to set a pair of steel rails all the way from Berlin to Medina and Mecca,
and thus cut the British Empire off from its colonies in Persia, India and the Far East. T.E. Lawrence, and a number of other officers, helped to harness the untamed violence of the Bedouin tribes and wield them as
an instrument of “desert power” against the Turks. Dubbed “Lawrence of Arabia” for his exploits in guiding the Arab attack on Akaba, Lawrence became one of history’s most enigmatic and
Meridian drops the reader into a moment in the midst of the Hejaz Campaign,
where Lawrence has decided to blow up a train to raise the flagging morale of his Bedouin raiders. The Arab flag, still seen flying today in the contemporary aspirations of the Palestinians, was the first banner
they raised in the long quest for freedom. Sadly, the Sykes-Pico Agreement after the war saw England carving up the Middle East and creating the modern states that have been a source of constant conflict and
terrorism in our day. Now the US has replaced Britain as the new Imperial Power in the region. Will we make the same mistakes the British made and eventually give rise to terror on a scale that may make the 9-11
incident seem pale by comparison?