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October 23, 1921 - Image 11

Resource type:
The Michigan Daily, 1921-10-23

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The Syrian Problem
(By Prof. F. W. Kelsey) men but asserts his leadership only, Near East from further bloodshed and testant College in Beliut, an insti-
The elevation of Emir Feisal to roy- as the French claim, for the ends of discord. tution with administrative headquart-
authority in Mesopotamia with the personal power, seeking to build up "You cannot too strongly empha- ers in New York, has been doing edu-
p of the British, in less than two another great Oriental monarchy of size the unanimity of the Syrian cational work of a high order. It has
ars after his expulsion from Da- the usual kind? people in their desire that the United had in view the development of char-
scus by the French, should not be My answer to myself was irresis- States should assume a mandate for acter along with intellectual attain-
derstood as inicating that the Syr- tibly negative. I saw before me a Syria." ments, and has the confidence of dif-
1 problem was settled by the man of strong character and person- It would be a mistake to suppose ferent elements of the Syrian popu-
ench occupation of, Syria. ality, who seemed, not worn with that the reason why Emir Feisal and lation, Moslem as well as Christian.
[here are parties in Syria, as in fatigue of travel, but burdened with many other Syrians earnestly wished There are a few other educational
er lands; yet there is a Syrian an, overwhelming sense of personal to have the United States assume a institutions that have exercised an in-
int of view which may be taken as responsibility. His features though mandate was that our country might fiuence of the same kind; yet it is
rly representing the attitude of the prominent are not coarse, and he be used as a lever to pry out the surprising to learn to what an ex-
re intelligent and progressive ele- gives the impression of being an French. The Syrians are in no dang- tent the Syrian Protestant College has
nts of the population. This. point idealist, a dreamer, rather than an er of forgetting the declaration, made contributed to the intellectual devel-
view was sharply indicated to us executive of the militant type; yet in Paris, and given official sanction opment of Syria, has stimulated int.
en we spent some days at Damas- possessed of personal magnetism by transmissal to President Wilson erest in American institutions, and
a, near the beginning of 1920; and powerful enough to win and hold the on November 6, 1919, that "Prance and has prepared the soil for an under-
ring the same visit we had oppor- allegiance of others. Gxat Britain are in agreement to en- standing of the implications of good
ities to see the Emir himself under On the day after his arrival in Da- courg&' and assist the ,establishment government.
rorable conditions. mascus, in the presence of a crowd of native Governments in Syria and In the decades immediately preced-
n January, 1920, Feisal returned estimated at twenty thousand, Feisal Mespotamia, now liberated by the Al- ing the War, moreover, better steam
Damascus from the long sojourn made an address which was to have lies, as also in those t'erritories for ship connections with the Eastern
England and France in which he an important bearing on his future. who e liberation they are striving, Mediterranean facilitated emigration
d tried to reach an understanding I was informed that the great majori- and to recognize those governments to the United States, and there Syri-
h these two powers regarding the ty of the crowd were armed, and that immediately they are eectively es- ans prospered. Tales, 'which grew
ure of Syria. His home-coming was they assembled with the determina- tablished." not less in telling, came back to
koned an event of much signifi- tion to denounce him to his face and The Syrian point of view was more Syria regarding opportunities and
ace. Delegations from all parts repudiate him, in case, he intimated explicitly stated by a high militatry prosperity in the Golden West, and
embled to welcome him or confer that he had come to terms with the official in Damascus from whom it became an inspiration to thousands
th him. There were stalwart Prus- authorities 'in Paris for the continued was necessary to obtain a military who could not see with their own eyes
from the Lebanon, and sinewy occupation df Western Syria by the permit. Instead of referring the mat- the sky-scrapers of New York, pictur-
eikhs from the desert with pictur- French, who had established a base ter to a clerk, he invited Mr. Swain ed in Oriental imaginations much as
lue escorts; representative Arabs at Beirut. He spoke in a low voice, and myself into 'his private office; we in our younger days pictured to
every shade of opinion thronged but with great earnestness and dis- and 'bile the permit was being pre- ourselves the marvelous creations of
streets. Though the city is large, tinctess-and the people were satis- pared, in the intervals. between van- the Arabian Nights.
ving now three hundred thousand fied. The main points of the speech ous items of business brought in by The effect of President Wilson's ad-
habitants, it became overcrowded were summarized is. an Arabic paper, orderlies, we carried on a running vocacy of the principle of self-deter-
h the influx of visitors. El Akab, on January 18, 1921, as fol- conversation. He had a good com- mination in satisfying the aspirations
As we were at this time in Damas- lows: mand of French. of subject nations, great in all parts
, some one suggested that It would "I went to the Conference" the "Syria needs capital to develop her of the world, was perhaps nowhere
a courtesy if Mr. Swain should Peace Conference in Paris-"to show resources," he said in substance, greater than in Syria. Neverthless,
otograph the Emir on arrival. The the aspirations of the people who "which France is not in a position his utterances would have had a less
thorities welcomed the suggestion elected me, and the discussion there to furnish. Furthermore, we have potent influence if they had not been
d made suitable arrangements. changed nothing in my mind and my seen what the French have done in reinforced by a concrete illustration
In the railway station a platform resolution. Complete independence Morocco, in Algeria. We do not need of American altruism which has
s erected, with tasteful hangings for all the liberated Arab countries is that sort of treatment. We are civi- touched the hearts of the native popu-
ing the appearance of a balcony. my sole object. I will never cease lized. a lations.
ro chairs were place4 on the plat- to ask for it, whatever it costs me. "We are inexperienced in Govern- During the War American Relief
in, and the station was closed to "Syria will never be divided, and ment, and need help. We above all work in Syria sought opportunity to
public, which in seemingly count- independence is sure. else desire the help of the United minister to suffering wherever the as-
s thousands lined the street lead- "If the nation is with me, I will States. If the United States will as- perities of an unspeakably cruel
to the entrance. Along the sides be stronger, and if she is not with sist us, we know that when her task Turko-German policy permitted. When
the street, holding the crowds back, me, I will work alon as long as I is done she will withdraw and not the British forces, 'having built the
re lines of troops. Cavalry, camel live." try to take advantage of us. If the railway across the desert from Egypt,
'ps and infantry, with military Three months later an American, United States will not help, then drove the Turkish troops northward
auffeurs in Ford cars, were waiting the Rev, C. F. H. Crathern, happened Great Britain, but France,-never!" through Palestine and Syria, the Am-
the Emir and his escort. to be in Damascus and was invited In the course of the conversation erican relief organizations pressed
As we waited in the station, a young to dine with Emir Feisal. The date I learned that this official has a son forward behind the British lines, co-
n of Emir Feisal was brought in was shortly before the preliminary in the Syrian Protestant College at operating with the British and bring-
a swarthy attendant and stationed gathering was held which was to act Beirut, and is thinking of sending ing help in the hour of greatest need.
a corner of the platform. Soon the on the declaration of Arabian inde- the younger man after graduation to Within narrower limits the work of
air entered from the train, escort- pendene and proclaim Feisal as con- the United States for a business course relief, under the administration of the
by an imposing array of notables stitutional ruler of Syria. of two years. American Near East committee, is still
varied costumes, rich in color. "I wish," said the Emir to him, A few months later the French ent- continued, particularly in the care of
[he Emir greeted his son affection- "that you would take a message for ered Eastern Syria and occupied Da- orphans,
ly but without affectation, and took me to American people. mascus. If you ask a Syrian what For one who has not come into con-
stand upon the platform. His half "Tell them that we beg them to the French theory of a mandate is, tact with the natives it is difficult to
>ther, Emir Zeid, who was next in come to the aid of the struggling he will sum it up in two words-re- realize how this work has endeared
thority, stood at his left. While people'of the Near East. Syria would pression and exploitation. America to the Syrians, not merely in
officer grouped the retinue about welcome the, United States as manda- Under the surface there are sev- Syria but also in Palestine. Arabs
a platform for the photographers, tory with open arms and glad hearts. eral reasons why the Syrians turned have a good memory, and gratitude
d the negatives were being made, I "There is no dissenting voice on to the United States to beseewh our finds spontaneous expression in the
died the Emir's face. this matter in the counsels of the aid in their national affairs. The most unexpected places.
tre those the features,-I said to nation. -People 'of al classes are first is, that for more than a genera- "What Syria needs," a well inform-
'self-of one who is the craftiest of united in the desire for America. Am- tion, in a broad and fundamental way, ed European, who thoroughly knows
rafty race, who is a born leader of erica only, I believe, can save the but unostentatiously, the Syrian Pro- (Continued on Psag Four)

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