Emir Faisal’s party at Versailles

Global Post
Feb 20 2010

1919 | Emir Faisal’s party at Versailles

Blog: Mavi Boncuk

Let’s briefly point to some connections. The French help during the
Arab Revolt (using Algerian Arabs) and the occupation of Clicia (Adana
and its environs) as a follow thru on the plans of no other than
Georges Picot, the French High Commissioner in Syria and Armenia. Mavi

Emir Faisal’s party at Versailles, during the Paris Peace Conference
of 1919. At the center, from left to right: Rustum Haidar, Nuri
as-Said, Prince Feisal, Captain Rosario Pisani[1] (behind Feisal), T.
E. Lawrence, Feisal’s servant (name unknown), Captain Tahsin Qadri.

The Faisal-Weizmann Agreement was signed on January 3, 1919, by Emir
Faisal (son of the King of Hejaz) and Chaim Weizmann (later President
of the World Zionist Organization) as part of the Paris Peace
Conference, 1919 settling disputes stemming from World War I. It was a
short-lived agreement for Arab-Jewish cooperation on the development
of a Jewish homeland in Palestine and an Arab nation in a large part
of the Middle East. The parties committed to carrying into effect the
Balfour Declaration of 1917, in exchange for The Zionist movement
assistance of the Arab residents of Palestine and the future Arab
state to develop their natural resources and establish a growing

The peace conference results did not provide the vast Arab state that
Faisal desired mainly because the British and French had struck their
own secret Sykes-Picot Agreement of 1916 dividing the Middle East
between their own spheres of influence after the expected downfall of
the Ottoman Empire during World War I. The agreement was concluded on
16 May 1916 by the French diplomat François Georges-Picot and Briton
Mark Sykes.

[1]"… Days passed, talking politics, organization and strategy with
Feisal, while preparations for a new operation went forward. Our luck
had quickened the camp; and the mining of trains promised to become
popular, if we were able to train in the technique of the work enough
men for several parties. Captain Pisani was first volunteer. He was
the experienced commander of the French at Akaba, an active soldier
who burned for distinction – and distinctions. Feisal found me three
young Damascenes of family, who were ambitious to lead tribal
raids…The Lewis guns rattled out suddenly, three or four short
bursts: there was a yell from the Arabs, and, headed by Pisani
sounding the women’s vibrant battle-cry, they rushed in a wild torrent
for the train…Pisani superintended the carrying off or destruction
of the booty. As before, the Arabs were now merely camel-drivers,
walking behind laden pack-animals…" (T. E. Lawrence, Seven Pillars

"In order to succeed in this new undertaking, he decided to join
forces with the French Captain Rosario Pisani, a peerless fighter
whose career was closely allied to that of Colonel Brémond [*].
Lawrence and Pisani left Akaba on 26 September. They were accompanied
by nine men, two of whom were gunners of the French detachment. On the
way, Lawrence recruited 80 Bedouin and instructed Pisani in the
handling of explosives. By 3 October, the raiders had reached the
railway. Lawrence and Pisani laid a mine at kilometre 500, near Akabat
el Hejazia, but they had to wait until 5 October for a train to cross
the bridge where the charge had been laid. The mine did not explode.
Lawrence and Pisani then decided to ‘lay an electric mine made of 25
kilos of gelignite and to torpedo the train which [was to] arrive from
the south.’ Pisani continued in his report: ‘I asked Major Lawrence
for the honour of positioning myself beneath the bridge so that I
could blow up the train and take my revenge for the torpedoing of the
Caledonian." (Pisani, report no.204, 21 October 1917, SHAT, box 7 N
2138.) Source

[*] The Allied headquarters divided the Levant into four occupational
territories. Cilicia comprised the Northern Occupation Territory with
the city of Adana as its administrative center. Colonel Edouard
Bremond, whom the French government named administrator-in-chief of
Cilicia, arrived in Adana on February 1, 1919, and assumed his duties
as the head of the civil administration of the province. The cities of
Marash, Aintab, Urfa, and Kilis were not incorporated within the
jurisdiction of the French administration. Instead, they were assigned
to a newly established fifth occupational zone and put under the
command of the British Desert Mounted Corps whose administrative
center was in Aleppo.
At the time when the French civil and military administrations had
started to organize and regulate living conditions in Cilicia, Georges
Picot, the French High Commissioner in Syria and Armenia and one of
the signatories of the Sykes-Picot agreement. Source

"The head of the French Military Mission at Jidda, Colonel Bremond
(Wilson’s counterpart, but with more authority; for he was a
practising light in native warfare, a success in French Africa, and an
ex-chief of staff of a Corps on the Somme) strongly urged the landing
of Allied forces in Hejaz. To tempt us he had brought to Suez some
artillery, some machine-guns, and some cavalry and infantry, all
Algerian Moslem rank and file, with French officers. These added to
the British troops would give the force an international flavour. "
(T. E. Lawrence, Seven Pillars of Wisdom BOOK ONE CHAPTER 16)



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