chapter  28
3 Pages

The Size of the Societies

The Arab Revival: 37 activists. The Ottoman Arab Brotherhood: According to the evaluation of the newspaper al-Muqattam there were 900 members in the Aleppo branch of the society.1 A follow-up of names in the entire society reveals 23 activists. The Syrian Central Society: 2 activists. The Lebanese Revival: In 1914 al-Manar evaluated the number of members in all the Lebanese societies as in the thousands. In 1908 the British consul-general in Beirut believed that the society in the Lebanon numbered 4,000-5,000 members, headed by a committee of 25 members. In mid-1912 the French minister in Cairo estimated the number of members in the society in Cairo at eight or ten, and at the end of the year another French representative in Cairo transmitted a list of 14 names.2 A follow-up of names of all the branches of the Society of the Lebanese Revival reveals 69 activists. The Syrian Union Society (in New York): 4 activists. Al-Fatat: In general, it is easier to determine, at least approximately, the number of members of the secret societies. The reason for this is that nearly everyone who was admitted to these societies was really an activist, and therefore his name appears sooner or later in the sources. For example, Muhibb al-Din alKhatib was accepted by al-Fatat at the beginning of 1913 and was given the ordinal number 28.3 From among the 27 members

who joined before him, the names of 20 are specifiable on the basis of the sources. A follow-up of names in the society until the end of 1914 reveals 37 activists.4 Al-Qahtaniyya: 21 activists. The Literary Club: The newspaper al-Ahram wrote that there were more than 280 members in the club and about 500 additional people visited it.5 A follow-up of names in the club reveals 51 activists. The Society of the Arab Association: 4 activists. The Green Flag: 12 activists. The Decentralization Party: On the membership card of Mustafa Simisma for the party is listed the ordinal number 202. Simisma joined the party on 15 April 1914.6 Since the party continued to grow for another half year, until the war broke out in the Middle East, it may be assumed that the number of registered members reached over 250. A follow-up of names in the party reveals 72 activists.7 The Reform Society of Beirut: The society officially consisted of 86 members, representatives of all the religions. A follow-up of names reveals 34 activists. The Reform Society of Basra: 21 activists. The National Scientific Club: 20 activists. Al-'Ahd: 54 activists.8 Al-'Alam: 3 activists. The Arab Revolutionary Society: 4 activists.