chapter  15
8 Pages

The Literary Club

Among the young activists of the Society of the Arab-Ottoman Brotherhood was a Shi'ite student from Jabal 'Amil in the Lebanon, 'Abd al-Karim Qasim al-Khalil. When this society was closed by the authorities he undertook to establish a new society to fill the void, which would be run by people more suited than their predecessors to dealing with the problems of the Arabs. Al-Khalil had arrived in Istanbul in 1905 and studied there in the schools of administration and law. He was one of the first members of the Society of the Arab Revival and afterwards of the secret society al-Qahtaniyya. But he believed that a new open group was also needed, so that the Arab students living in Istanbul could meet and discuss their culture and their heritage, rather than, as he saw it, wandering around idly in the streets of the city and trying to be like the Turks, out of contempt for the Arabs' past and their culture.1