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October 23, 1921 - Image 1

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C14 Mtr tJan, 4athtj
SUNDAY MAGAZINE
ANN ARBOR, MICHIGAN, SUNDAY, OCTOBER 23, 1921
The Syrian Problem
(By Prof. F. W. Kelsey) men but asserts his leadership only,' Near East from further bloodshed and testant College in Beirut, an insti-
The elevation of Emir Feisal to roy- as the French claim, for the ends of discord. tution with administrative headquart-
al authority in Mesopotamia with the personal power, seeking to build up -You cannot too strongly empha- ers in New York, has been doing edu-
help 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
years after his expulsion from Da- the usual kind? people in their desire that the United had in viev the development of char-
mascus by the French, should not be My answer to myself was irresis- States should assume a mandate for acter along with intellectual attain-
understood as indicating that the Syr- tibly negative. I saw before me a Syria." ments, and has the confidence of dif-
ian problem was settled by the man of strong character and person- It would be a mistake to suppose ferent elements of the Syrian popu-
French occupation of Syria. ality, who seemed, not worn with that the reason why Emir Feisal and lation, Moslem as well as Christian.
There are parties in Syria, as in fatigue of travel, but burdened with many other Syrians earnestly wished There are a few other educational
other lands; yet there is a Syrian an overwhelming sense of personal to have the United States assume a institutions that have exercised an in-
point of view which may be taken as responsibility. His features though mandate was that our country might fluence of the same kind; yet it is
fairly 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-
more intelligent and progressive ele- gives the impression of being an French. The Syrians are in no dang- tent the Syrian Protestant College has
ments of the population. This point idealist, a dreamer, rather than an er of forgetting the declaration, made contributed to the intellectual devel-
of view was sharply indicated to us executive of the militant type; yet in Paris, and given official sanction opment of Syria, has stimulated int.
when we spent some days at Damas- possessed of personal magnetism (by transmissal to President Wilson erest in American institutions, and
cus, near the beginning of 1920; and powerful enough to win and hold the on November 6, 1919, that "France and has prepared the soil for an under-
during the same visit we had oppor- allegiance of others. Glat Britain are in agreement to en- standing of the implications of good
tunities to see the Emir himself under On the day after his arrival in Da- cournef. and assist the establishment government.
favorable conditions. mascus, in the presence of a crowd of rative Governments in Syria and In the decades immediately preced-
In January, 1920, Feisal returned estimated at twenty thousand, Feisal tMes.ipotamia, now liberated by the Al- ing the War, moreover, better steam
to Damascus from the long sojourn made an address which was to have lies, as also in those territories for ship connections with the Eastern
in England and France in which he an important bearing on his future. whcse liberation they are striving, Mediterranean facilitated emigration
had tried to reach an understanding I was informed that the great majori- and to recognize those governments to the United States, and there Syri-
with these two powers regarding the ty of the crowd were armed, and that in.iediately they are effectively es- ans prospered. Tales, which grew
future of Syria. His home-coming was they assembled with the determina- tablished." not less in telling, came back to
reckoned an event of much signifi- tion to denounce him to his face and The Syrian point of view was more Syria regarding opportunities and
cance. Delegations from all parts repudiate him, in case he intimated explicitly stated by a high militatry prosperity in the Golden West, and
assembled to welcome him or confer that he had come to terms with the official in Damascus from whom it became an inspiration to thousands
with him. There were stalwart Drus- authorities in Paris for the continued was necessary to obtain a military who could not see with their own eyes
es from the Lebanon, and sinewy occupation of Western Syria by the permit. Instead of referring the mat- the sky-scrapers of New York, pictur-
Sheikhs 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
esque escorts; representative Arabs at Beirut. He spoke in a low voice, and myself into his private office; we in our younger days pictured to
of every shade of opinion thronged but with great earnestness and dis- Iand v, ie the permit was being pre- ourselves the marvelous creations of
tfte streets. Though the city is large, tinctness-and the people were satis'- pared, in the intervals between var- the Arabian Nights.
having now three hundred thousand fled. The main points of the speech oiis tems of business brought in by The effect of President Wilson's ad-
inhabitants, it became overcrowded were summarized in an Arabic paper, orderlies, we carried on a running vocacy of the principle of self-deter-
with the influx of visitors. El Akab, on January 18, 1921, as fol- conversation. He had a good com- rmination in satisfying the aspirations
As we were at this time in Damas- lows: tiand of French. of subject nations, great in all parts
cus, some one suggested that it would "I went to the Conference" the "Syria needs capital to develop her of the world, was perhaps nowhere
be a courtesy if Mr. Swain should I Peace Conference in Paris-"to show resources," he said in substance, greater than in Syria. Neverthless,
photograph the Emir on arrival. The the aspirations of the people who "whict. France is not in a position his utterances would have had a less
authorities welcomed' the suggestion elected me, and the discussion there to furnish. Furthermore, we have potent influence if they had not been
and 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
was 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-
giving the appearance of a balcony. my sole object. I will never cease lized. lations.
Two chairs were placed on the plat- to ask for it, whatever it costs me. "We are inexperienced in Govern- During the War American Relief
form, 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
the public, which in seemingly count- independence is sure. else desire the help of the United minister to suffering wherever the as-
less 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
ing 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
of the street, holding the crowds back, me, I will work alone as long as I is done she will withdraw and not the British forces, having built the
were lines of troops. Cavalry, camel live." try to take advantage of us. If the railway across the desert from Egypt,
corps and infantry, with military Three months later an American, United States will not help, then drove the Turkish troops northward
chauffeurs in Ford cars, were waiting the Rev. C. F. H. Crathern, happened Great Britain, but France,-never!" through Palestine and Syria, the Am-
for 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-
son of Emir Feisal was brought in was shortly before the preliminary in the Syrian Protestant College at operating with the British and bring-
by 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.
at 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
Emir entered from the train, escort- pendence and proclaim Feisal as con- the United States for a business course relief, under the administration of the
ed by an imposing array of notables stitutional ruler of Syria. of two years. American Near East committee, is still
in 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
The Emir greeted his son affection- "that you would take a message for ered Eastern Syria and occupied Da- orphans.
ately but without affectation, and took me to American people. mascus. If you ask a Syrian what For one who has not come into con-
his stand upon the platform. His half "Tell them that we beg them to 1 the French theory of a mandate is, tact with the natives it is difficult to
brother, 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
authority, stood at his left. While people of the Near East. Syria would pression and exploitation. America to the Syrians, not merely in
an officer grouped the retinue about welcome the United States as manda- Under the surface there are sev- Syria but also in Palestine. Arabs
the platform for the photographers, tory with open arms and glad hearts. eral reasons why the Syrians turned have a good memory, and gratitude
and the negatives were being made, I "There is no dissenting voice on to the United States to beseech our finds spontaneous expression in the
studied the Emir's face. this matter in the counsels of the aid in their national affairs. The most unexpected places.
Are those the features,-I said to nation. Pdeople of all classes are first is, that for more than a genera- "What Syria needs," a well inform-
myself-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
a crafty race, who is a born leader of erica only, I believe, can save the but noostentatiously, the Syrian Pro- (Continued on Page Four)

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