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Updated June 2012

Letter from Sherif Feisal to Sherif Ali

Arab Bulletin No. 8, 8 November 1916; SD 11-12

Hegga 28, 1334

My lord and master, Ali Bey,

After kissing your noble feet, I acknowledge receipt of your noble order, sent with Abd el-Aziz Yadi. Its intimations were understood, and especially what you have mentioned about your marching, because I want to know seriously. I beg you to be very careful, because it is quite evident that if the movement should not be in combination, then the result will not be good. Therefore, I beg that you should make all possible arrangements concerning your movements; otherwise you had better not start from Rabegh unless my Lord, Abdullah, starts from Mecca, and he should start four or five days before you start. When he arrives at E1-Hijrieh, you can march; and you must divide your forces into two; the smaller part of the two, say about 300 or 400 dromedary men, under the command of one of the family, should go to El-Milaf, where Ahmed Ibn Mansur is, and there he will have all Sobh, Zebeid, Beni Yum, and Beni Mohammed with him, and will defend the place (El-Milaf), and Beni Salem will follow those in El-Sidada, as I told them. The second division, which is the general force, must march as soon as possible towards the Fari road and camp at Mijaz, and cut the communication of the line of the enemy at El-Ghayir to threaten Medina; and I myself am going north to cut the railway line and besiege Medina, by the will of God. I am waiting your reply to Bir Said, and you must inform me:

1. About the number of your forces.
2. About the number of Abdullah's forces.
3. About the time of Abdullah's start, and with how many men.
4. About the day of your start.

I shall advance before you in order to attract the attention of the Turks, so that it will be easy for you to advance.

There is another idea which is that you may attract their (Turks') attention towards yourself, and may wait for two or three days, and then I will advance quickly to destroy the line. I am awaiting your reply and information. At any rate, one of the members of the family, either Zeid or Sharaf, must be sent to El-Milaf. Were it not for the movement of Juheina, I would have gone there myself. God willing, my stay will be at Buat or El-Jafr. Jam awaiting your immediate orders, My lord.

Your slave,


Note: This is Lawrence's English version of a letter he drafted with Feisal. See 'Extracts from a diary of a journey' for the historical context.

Source: MIP
Checked: jw/
Last revised: 6 January 2006

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