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Arab Club

ARAB CLUB

Early twentieth-century organization that promoted Palestinian nationalism.

The Arab Club (al-Nadi al-Arabi) was originally set up in Damascus as an offshoot of al-Fatat by Palestinian nationalists who moved to the city after it fell to the armies of Field Marshal Viscount Edmund Allenby and Faisal I, king of Iraq, toward the end of World War I. The same organization emerged in Jerusalem in June 1918 and was dominated by younger members of the al-Husayni family, most notably Hajj Amin, who became the president of the Palestine branch of the club. Real power rested in the hands of Damascus-based Palestinians from Nablus. Before the decline of its activities at the end of 1920, the club had over five hundred members, with branches in major Palestinian towns. Although al-Nadi was openly engaged in cultural and social activities, its overriding concerns were political. Under the direction of its Damascus central organization, the club opposed Zionism and called for the unification of Palestine with Syria. The club's principal instruments of mobilization were the mosques, the press, and political activists in Palestinian towns and villages. With the collapse of Faisal's Arab government in Syria in the summer of 1920 and the disintegration of its Arab nationalist lieutenants, the Arab Club lost the two most important sources of its support. It was eventually overtaken by the Arab Executive and the MuslimChristian Association.

see also fatat, al-; husayni family, al-; palestine.

Bibliography

Porath, Yehoshua. The Emergence of the Palestinian-Arab National Movement, 19181929. London: Cass, 1974.

Muhammad Muslih

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