Ahd, al-

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A secret Arab nationalist society composed of Iraqi and Syrian officers in the Ottoman army in 1913.

Al-Ahd (literally, The Covenant) was headed by Aziz Ali al-Masri, an Egyptian officer. There is very little information on the society and how it was formed; it is significant, however, that it was formed after the Ottoman Empire lost Tripolitania to Italy (19111912) and was defeated in the first Balkan Wars (19121913). Apparently, member Arab officers were fearful that the Arab Ottoman Asiatic provinces were about to face a destiny similar to that of Tripolitania or the Balkans. The Arab officers may have had some grievances also against the ruling government of the Committee for Union and Progress (CUP). While al-Ahd called for Arab autonomy within a federated Ottoman state, it also spoke of ArabTurkish cooperation to defend the East from the West and insisted on keeping the Islamic caliphate (religious leadership) under Ottoman control.

The most prominent members of al-Ahd were: Taha al-Hashimi, Yasin al-Hashimi, Nuri al-Saʿid, Mawlud Mukhlis, Ali Jawdat al-Ayyubi, Jamil Madfaʿi, Abdallah al-Dulimi, Tahsin Ali, Muhammad Hilmi, Ali Rida al-Ghazali, Muwafaq Kamil, Abd al-Ghafur al-Badri (Iraqis); Salim al-Jazairi, Awni Qadamani, Muhammad Bek Ismail, Mustafa Wasfi, Yahya Kazim Abu al-Khair, Muhi al-Din alJabban, Ali al-Nashashibi, and Amin Lufti al-Hafiz (Syrians).

According to some sources, the society had some local branches. The Mosul branch in northern Iraq was said to have been led by Yasin alHashimi and included Mawlud Mukhlis, Ali Jawdat, Abd al-Rahman Sharaf, Abdullah al-Dulymi, Sharif al-Faruqi, Majid Hassun (Iraqis), and Tawfiq alMahmud, Hassan Fahmi, Sadiq al-Jundi, and Mukhtar al-Tarabulsi (Syrians).

see also ayyubi, ali jawdat al-; committee for union and progress; hashimi, taha al-; hashimi, yasin al-.


Khadduri, Majid. "Aziz Ali Misri and the Arab Nationalist Movement." In St. Antony's Papers 17, edited by Albert Hourani. London: Chatto and Windus, 1965.

Mahmoud Haddad