Najib 'Azuri



From The Arab Awakening, George Antonius, G P Putnam's Sons, 1946.


A Christian Arab who began a political campaign of incitement against the Ottoman Sultan Abdul Hamid, 'Azuri founded a society in Paris in 1904, known as  Ligue de la Partie Arabe of which the declared objective was to free Syria and Iraq from Turkish domination, and which issued several fiery appeals calling upon the Arabs to rise in revolt. In the following year, he published a book under the title le Réveil de la Nation Arabe.  Two years later, having secured the collaboration of certain French writers of note, he began the publication, in French, of a monthly review entitled l'Indépendence Arabe, of which the first number appeared in April 1907. The object of the review was to spread knowledge about the Arab countries and arouse an interest in the problem of their emancipation. Its publication was discontinued when the Ottoman constitution was proclaimed in July 1908. 

'Azuri's campaign attracted some attention in Europe at the time, but so far as the Arab revival movement itself was concerned, its effect was negligible. Independently of its merits, the fact that his campaign was conducted from a foreign capital and in a foreign language was in itself a crippling restriction.  It does provide an example of the extent to which, as a result of foreign education, some advocates of the Arab Revolt had strayed from the source of its inspiration.