Syrian National Congress

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Syrian National Congress, Damascus 1919-1920On the steps of the Arab Club building Syrian National Congress, Damascus 1919-1920.jpg
Syrian National Congress, Damascus 1919-1920On the steps of the Arab Club building

The Syrian National Congress, also called the Pan-Syrian Congress, was convened in May 1919 in Damascus, Syria, after the expulsion of the Ottoman Empire from the area. The mission of the Congress was to consider the future of "Syria", by which was meant Greater Syria: present-day Syria, Lebanon, Israel, Palestine, and Jordan. The Congress also intended to present Arab views to the American King-Crane Commission of inquiry. The Congress was considered the first national parliament in the modern history of Syria.

Damascus City in Syria

Damascus is the capital of the Syrian Arab Republic; it is also the country's largest city, following the decline in population of Aleppo due to the battle for the city. It is colloquially known in Syria as ash-Sham and titled the City of Jasmine. In addition to being one of the oldest continuously inhabited cities in the world, Damascus is a major cultural center of the Levant and the Arab world. The city has an estimated population of 1,711,000 as of 2009.

Syria Country in Western Asia

Syria, officially the Syrian Arab Republic, is a country in Western Asia, bordering Lebanon to the southwest, the Mediterranean Sea to the west, Turkey to the north, Iraq to the east, Jordan to the south, and Israel to the southwest. A country of fertile plains, high mountains, and deserts, Syria is home to diverse ethnic and religious groups, including Syrian Arabs, Greeks, Armenians, Assyrians, Kurds, Circassians, Mandeans and Turks. Religious groups include Sunnis, Christians, Alawites, Druze, Isma'ilis, Mandeans, Shiites, Salafis, Yazidis, and Jews. Sunni make up the largest religious group in Syria.

Ottoman Empire Former empire in Asia, Europe and Africa

The Ottoman Empire, also historically known in Western Europe as the Turkish Empire or simply Turkey, was a state that controlled much of Southeast Europe, Western Asia and North Africa between the 14th and early 20th centuries. It was founded at the end of the 13th century in northwestern Anatolia in the town of Söğüt by the Oghuz Turkish tribal leader Osman I. After 1354, the Ottomans crossed into Europe, and with the conquest of the Balkans, the Ottoman beylik was transformed into a transcontinental empire. The Ottomans ended the Byzantine Empire with the 1453 conquest of Constantinople by Mehmed the Conqueror.

The Congress was attended by representatives from all parts of Greater Syria, including Lebanon and Palestine, and was headed by Hashim al-Atassi. Some participants showed support for King Faisal's demands, while others were beginning to question his willingness to make concessions to pro-Zionist groups. [1] In its final report it pleaded that "there be no separation of the southern part of Syria, known as Palestine, nor of the littoral western zone, which includes Lebanon, from the Syrian country." In response, the King-Crane Commission recommended that "the unity of Syria be preserved." [2]

Hashim al-Atassi President of Syria

Hashim Khalid al-Atassi was a Syrian nationalist and statesman and its President from 1936 to 1939, 1949 to 1951 and 1954 to 1955.

Faisal I of Iraq 20th-century King of Syria and Iraq

Faisal I bin Hussein bin Ali al-Hashemi was King of the Arab Kingdom of Syria or Greater Syria in 1920, and was King of Iraq from 23 August 1921 to 1933. He was the third son of Hussein bin Ali, the Grand Sharif of Mecca, who had proclaimed himself King of the Arab lands in October 1916.

Palestine (region) geographical region in the Middle East

Palestine is a geographic region in Western Asia usually considered to include Israel, the West Bank, the Gaza Strip, and in some definitions, some parts of western Jordan.

Book of the Independence of Syria (dhkr~ stqll swry). Shows the declared borders of the Kingdom of Syria and states the date of the Declaration of Independence 8 March 1920. Book of the Independence of Syria (dhkr~ stqll swry).jpg
Book of the Independence of Syria (ذكرى استقلال سوريا). Shows the declared borders of the Kingdom of Syria and states the date of the Declaration of Independence 8 March 1920.

The Congress declared an independent Arab Kingdom of Syria on 8 March 1920. [3] The new state intended to included Syria, Palestine, Lebanon and portions of northern Mesopotamia. King Faisal was declared the head of state. At the same time Prince Zeid, Faisal's brother, was declared regent of Mesopotamia. Hashim al-Atassi was named Prime Minister and Yusuf al-'Azma became Minister of War and Chief of Staff.

Arab Kingdom of Syria former country

The Arab Kingdom of Syria was a self-proclaimed, unrecognized state that existed only a little over four months, from 8 March to 25 July 1920. It is regarded by Arab nationalists as the second modern Arab state after the Kingdom of Hejaz. During its brief existence, the kingdom was led by Sharif Hussein bin Ali's son Faisal bin Hussein. Despite its claims to the territory of Greater Syria, Faisal's government controlled a limited area and was dependent on Britain which, along with France, generally opposed the idea of a Greater Syria and refused to recognize the kingdom. The kingdom surrendered to French forces on 25 July 1920.

Yusuf al-Azma Syrian politician

Yusuf al-'Azma was the Syrian minister of war in the governments of prime ministers Rida al-Rikabi and Hashim al-Atassi, and the Arab Army's chief of general staff under King Faisal. He served as minister of war from January 1920 until his death while commanding Syrian forces against a French invasion during the Battle of Maysalun.

The Congress continued during the short-lived life of the Kingdom until 17 July 1920, when the French gave Faisal an ultimatum to surrender or fight, and Faisal surrendered, bringing to an end the Kingdom and dissolving its institutions.

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Southern Syria

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Greater Syria irredentism

Greater Syria, also "Natural Syria" or "Northern Country" Arabic: بِلَاد الشَّام‎, translit. Bilād ash-Shām, is a Levantine region which extends roughly over the medieval Arab Caliphate province of Bilad al-Sham. The Hellenistic name of the region, "Syria", was used by the Ottomans in the Syria Vilayet until the collapse of the Ottoman Empire in 1918. The wave of Arab nationalism in the region evolved towards the creation of a new "Great Syria" over French-governed Occupied Enemy Territory Administration, declared as Hashemite Kingdom on March 1920, claiming extent over the entire Levant. Following the Franco-Syrian War, in July 1920, French armies defeated the newly proclaimed Arab Kingdom of Syria and captured Damascus, aborting the Arab state. The area was consequently partitioned under French and British Mandates into Greater Lebanon, various Syrian states, Mandatory Palestine and Transjordan. Syrian states were gradually unified as the State of Syria and became the independent Republic of Syria in 1946.

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  1. Khalidi, Rashid (2010). Palestinian Identity: The Construction of Modern National Consciousness. Columbia University Press. p. 167. ISBN   9780231150750.
  2. Pipes, Daniel (1992). Greater Syria: The History of an Ambition. Oxford University Press US. p. 26. ISBN   9780195060225.
  3. King's Complete History of the World War, William C. King, The History Associates, 1922, page 665