F., Op.: Harold Jeapes. Prod.: Topical Film Company 35mm. L.: 96 m. D.: 5′ a 18 f/s. Bn.
In 1916-1917 the British Government efficiently organized the mess of the century: it promised al-H∙usayn ibn ‘Alī Himmat, Sharif of Mecca, an independent Arab Kingdom that would stretch from Aleppo to Aden in exchange for an Arab revolt against the Turks. Simultaneously, it made an agreement with France defining the spheres of power in the Near East after dismembering the Ottoman Empire, and it pledged support for a ‘national home’ for the Jewish people in Palestine.
The Arab uprising, launched in 1916 and led by Hussein’s sons Faysal and ‘Abd Allāh, greatly helped the British forces to advance from Egypt to Palestine. Jerusalem was captured in December 1917; in October 1918, Faysal entered Damascus first, then Aleppo. When the Arab Kingdom of Syria, with Faysal as its king, was proclaimed in March 1920, Great Britain and France declared themselves mandatory administrators of the Near East, split the shares of Mosul oil, put a violent end to an independent Hashemite kingdom and created dependent ones (Jordania and Iraq). The Hejaz realm with the sacred cities Mecca and Medina was seized from the noble Hussein bin Ali by the fanatic Ikhwani (‘brethren’) militia sent by ‘Abd al-‘Azīz, whose yearly subsidies were raised to 100,000 £ by British Colonial Secretary Winston Churchill in 1922. After a spree of mass killings, ‘Abd al-‘Azīz incorporated the Hejaz into Saudi Arabia, such a lovely place.