chapter  25
6 Pages

The Arab Revolutionary Society

Haqqi al-'Azm, secretary of the Decentralization Party, decided during the early months of 1914 that it was necessary to act more aggressively towards the Ottoman authorities and not be satisfied with demands for reforms or decentralization. The relations between him and the rest of the Decentralization Party leadership cooled somewhat as a result of the affair of alZahrawi's appointment to the senate; the majority of the party's leaders had been prepared to authorize this appointment after the fact, while al-'Azm, strongly opposed, considered al-Zahrawi a traitor. When 'Aziz 'Ali al-Misri arrived in Cairo at the end of April 1914, full of rage about the attitude towards him in Istanbul in spite of his past services to the Empire, al-'Azm found him a suitable partner for the founding of the new Arab Revolutionary Society {aLJam'iyya al-Thawriyya al-'Arabiyya). Its purpose was to struggle against the Turks and to incite the Arabs to revolt against them. At a meeting held at al-'Azm's home, it was decided that the establishment of the society should remain secret until the process of its founding and organization was completed. Among the few members of the society were Fu'ad al-Khatib, an Arabic teacher at the Gordon College in Khartoum who was vacationing in Cairo at the time, and Dr 'Izzat al-Jundi, both of whom were also members of the Decentralization Party. The al-Mihmisani brothers of Beirut also knew of the society's existence. Haqqi al-'Azm did not bother to reveal it to his cousin Rafiq al-'Azm, since the latter had already expressed his opposition to revolutionary societies of this nature.1