It’s true that World War I was mainly a western European war but it did not gain the title “World War” out of nothing but due to its horrific consequences which continue to this day, yes to this day, in many parts of the world including the Arabs’ and Muslims’ world.
November this year, particularly 11th November, marks an entire century since the truce went into effect and since the war ended on the military front.
There is an audiotape that consists of several recordings put together from the French-German front and which documents the last minutes of the war. It documents the sounds of the mortars at the American Front at River Moselle, a left tributary of the Rhine, one minute before and one minute after the war ended.
It’s a very touching tape especially as you hear the sound of the mortars gradually falling silent and then you hear the birds twitter as if they’re celebrating the end of war. The tape is displayed at the Imperial War Museum for the 100th anniversary of the war’s end.
However, let’s observe the consequences of World War I on us. I will not talk about the disasters it inflicted on Arabs such as famine, Ottoman compulsory recruitment, Seferberlik, the British empire’s manipulation of the Arabs’ dreams and sentiment and the European powers’ conflict on Arabs’ territories of which the Battle of El Alamein between Egypt and Libya is an example. I will talk about one repercussion. It’s well-known that the leaders of the Committee of Union and Progress toppled their dangerous Ottoman sultan in 1909 after he ruled for almost three decades (1876 – 1909). During this time, Sutlan Abdul Hamid employed propaganda to solidify the sanctity of the caliph post and to intensify marketing the idea of the caliphate.
Is World War I worth remembering and examining to us, Arabs and Muslims, after a century has now passed?Mashari Althaydi