chapter  24
24 Pages


The Arab officers in the Ottoman army were not the last to enter into the politics of Arab-Turkish relations and the question of the future of the Arabs in the Ottoman Empire. At the beginning of the CUP's Turkification process three local officers in Baghdad, 'Ali Jawdat al-Ayyubi (1886-1969), Ja'far al-'Askari (1884-1936), and Nuri al-Sa'id (1888-1958), had already raised the idea of establishing a society that would strive for the rights of the Arabs. When Al-Ayyubi approached another Baghdadi officer, Yasin al-Hashimi (1882-1937), about the idea, alHashimi counselled caution. Al-Ayyubi responded to alHashimi's doubts about funds for financing the society with the suggestion that each of the members should give a monthly donation.1 In the end the idea was shelved, but not for long. The planned society was established a few years later, with its centre in another city (Istanbul), but with a branch in Baghdad as well.