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|The Hashemite Kingdom of Hejaz|
|المملكة الحجازية الهاشمية|
Al-Mamlakah al-Ḥijāzyah Al-Hāshimīyah
Kingdom of Hejaz (green) and present Hejaz region (red)
on the Arabian Peninsula.
|•||1916–1924||Hussein bin Ali|
|•||1924–1925||Ali bin Hussein|
|Historical era||World War 1|
|•||Kingdom established||10 June 1916|
|•||Recognized||10 August 1920|
|•||Conquered by Nejd||19 December 1925|
|•||Ibn Saud crowned King of Hejaz||8 January 1926|
|•||1920||250,000 km2 (97,000 sq mi)|
|Density||3/km2 (9/sq mi)|
The Hashemite Kingdom of Hejaz (Arabic: المملكة الحجازية الهاشمية, Al-Mamlakah al-Ḥijāzyah Al-Hāshimīyah) was a state in the Hejaz region in the Middle East ruled by the Hashemite dynasty. It achieved national independence after the destruction of the Ottoman Empire by the British Empire, during World War I, when the Sharif of Mecca fought in alliance with the British Imperial forces to drive the Turkish Army from the Arabian Peninsula during the Arab Revolt.
In their capacity as Caliphs the Sultans of the Ottoman Empire would appoint an official known as the Sharif of Mecca. The role went to a member of the Hashemite family, but the Sultans typically used Hashemite inter-familial rivalry to pick and choose from among contenders and so ensure that the Sharif remained weak.
With the outbreak of the First World War in 1914 the Sultan, again in his capacity as Caliph, declared a jihad against the Entente powers. The British in particular hoped to co-opt the Sharif as a weighty alternative religious figure backing them in the conflict. The British already had a series of treaties with other Arab leaders in the region and were also fearful that the Hejaz could be used as a base to attack their shipping to and from India. The Sharif was cautious but after discovering that the Ottomans planned to remove him and possibly murder him agreed to work with the British if they would support a wider Arab revolt and the establishment of an independent Arab kingdom. The British implied they would (though were not precise) and, after the Ottomans had executed other Arab nationalist leaders in Damascus and Beirut the Hejaz rose against the Ottomans and soundly defeated their armies, though without completely expelling them (Medina remained under Ottoman control throughout.)
In 1916, the Sharif of Mecca Hussein bin Ali declared himself King of Hejaz as his Sharifian Army participated with other Arab forces and the British Empire in expelling the Turks from the Arabian peninsula.
The British though, were compromised by their agreement to give the French control of Syria (comprising modern-day Syria and Lebanon) and did not, in Hussein's eyes, honour their commitments. Nevertheless, they did eventually create Hashemite-ruled kingdoms (in protectorate form) in Jordan and in Iraq, as well as Hejaz. Hussein refused to conclude a treaty of friendship with the British, who then later chose not to intervene when another British client, Ibn Saud invaded and conquered Hejaz.
Kings of Hejaz
- Yamani, Mai (2009), Cradle of Islam: the Hijaz and the quest for an Arabian identity (Pbk. ed.), I.B. Tauris, ISBN 978-1-84511-824-2
- Madawi Al-Rasheed. A History of Saudi Arabia. Cambridge, England, UK: Cambridge University Press, 2002.
- A Brief overview of Hejaz - Hejaz history
- Baker, Randall (1979), King Husain and the Kingdom of Hejaz, Oleander Press, ISBN 978-0-900891-48-9
- Teitelbaum, Joshua (2001), The rise and fall of the Hashimite Kingdom of Arabia, New York University Press, ISBN 978-0-8147-8271-2