chapter  17
3 Pages

The Green Flag and the Black Hand

At about the same time that Rashid Rida carried out his first missions to the rulers of the Arabian Peninsula, two secret societies were set up in Istanbul, one after the other, inspired by burning hatred of the CUP, as in the case of the Society of the Arab Association. Their initiator was Da'ud al-Dabbuni, a Muslim student from Mosul who was studying medicine in Istanbul. Al-Dabbuni, an ex-member of al-Qahtaniyya, had been influenced by Salim al-Jaza'iri's opinion that many Arab societies should be set up, and was not willing to accept the practical elimination of al-Qahtaniyya. His hatred for the CUP knew no bounds and soon turned into hatred of all the Turks. According to one account, when a fire broke out in Istanbul-which happened quite often-al-Dabbuni would go up on to the roof of the Medical School, light a cigarette and enjoy the scene, saying, "Ah, how happy I am to see the fire as it destroys the magnificent palaces of Istanbul."1