The King of Hedjaz and Arab Independence, with a Facsimile of the Proclamation of June 27, 1916


The King of Hedjaz and Arab Independence is a booklet with 14 pages of main text, published during World War I, which concerns contemporary political developments in Arabia and Iraq. After a short introduction giving the context of events, the first text is a facsimile of the original Arabic and an English translation of the proclamation of June 1916 by Sharif Husayn ibn ‘Ali, in which he rejects Turkish rule and asserts his own rule over the Hejaz (present-day western Saudi Arabia; also seen as Hijaz). The proclamation was one of many dramatic political events in the Middle East that occurred during the war. The British supported Arab aspirations for independence from Ottoman Turkey as a way of weakening Germany, which was allied with Turkey. British backing and the predations of Turkey’s rule in its eastern Arab territories led Husayn to declare the Arab Revolt. This uprising contributed to the defeat of the Turks, the dissolution of the Ottoman Empire, and the creation of the states of the Middle East as they exist to the present day. The second document, dated March 19, 1917, is the proclamation by Lieutenant General Sir Stanley Maude to the people of Baghdad that the British army was in control of the city following the surrender of Turkish and German forces. General Maude assured the notables of Baghdad that the British came not as conquerors but as liberators. He recalled that the Hejaz and other Arabian provinces also had gained their independence from the Ottomans and expressed hope that the liberated territories would bind together in “unity and concord” to restore Arab greatness.

Last updated: October 29, 2015