Page:EB1911 - Volume 02.djvu/285

This page has been proofread, but needs to be validated.

(Ya-‛aruba) dynasty from their capital at Rustak. The Persian occupation, which followed that of the Portuguese, came to an end in the middle of the 18th century, when Ahmad Ibn Sāid expelled the invaders and in 1759 established the Ghafari dynasty which still reigns in Oman. He was succeeded by his son, who in 1798 made a treaty with the East India Company with the object of excluding the French from Oman, and the connexion British intervention in Oman. with Great Britain was further strengthened during the long reign of his grandson Sultan Sāid, 1804-1856. During the earlier years of his reign he was constantly at war with the Wahhābi empire, to which Oman became for a time tributary. The piracies committed by the Jawāsimi Arabs in the gulf compelled the intervention of England, and in 1810 their strongholds were destroyed by a British-Indian expedition. The overthrow of the Wahhābis in 1817 restored Sultan Sāid to independence; he equipped and armed on Western models a fleet built in Indian ports, and took possession of Sokotra and Zanzibar, as well as the Persian coast north of the straits of Hormuz as far east as Gwadur, while by his liberal policy at home Sohar, Barka and Muscat became prosperous commercial ports.

On his death in 1856 the kingdom was divided, Majīd, a younger son, taking Zanzibar, while the two elder sons contested the succession to Oman. The eldest, Thuwēni, with British support, finally obtained the throne, and in 1862 an engagement was entered into by the French and English governments respecting the independence of the sultans of Oman. He was assassinated in 1866, and his successor, Seyyid Turki, reigned till 1888. On his death several claimants disputed the succession; ultimately his son Fēsal was recognized by the British government, and was granted a subsidy from British-Indian revenues, in consideration of which he engaged not to cede any of his territory without the consent of the British government; similar engagements have been entered into by the tribes who occupy the south coast from the borders of Oman westward to the straits of Bab-el-Mandeb.

The opening of the overland route to India again brought the west coast of Arabia into importance. Aden was occupied by the British in 1839. The Hejaz coast and some of the Yemen ports were still held by Mehemet Ali, British sphere of influence. as viceroy of Egypt, but on his final withdrawal from Arabia in 1845, Hejaz came under direct Turkish rule, and the conquest of Yemen in 1872 placed the whole Red Sea littoral (with the exception of the Midian coast, ceded by Egypt on the accession of Abbas Hilmi Pasha) under Ottoman administration. The island of Perim at the southern entrance of the Red Sea has been a British possession since 1857, while the promontory of Shekh Said on the Arabian side of the strait is in Turkish occupation. In order to define the limits between Turkish territory and that of the independent Arab tribes in political relations with Great Britain, a joint commission of British and Turkish officers in 1902-1905 laid down a boundary line from Shekh Said to a point on the river Bana, 12 m. north-east of the small town of Kataba, from which it is continued in a north-easterly direction up to the great desert. This delimitation places the whole of southern Arabia, east of this line, within the British sphere of influence, which thus includes the district surrounding Aden (q.v.), the Hadramut and Oman with its dependencies.

The provinces of Hejaz and Yemen are each administered by a Turkish governor-general, with headquarters at Taif and Sana respectively; the country is nominally divided up into divisions and districts under minor officials, but Turkish rule. Turkish rule has never been acquiesced in by the inhabitants, and beyond the larger towns, all of which are held by strong garrisons, Turkish authority hardly exists. The powerful Bedouin tribes of Hejaz have always asserted their independence, and are only kept quiet by the large money payments made them by the sultan on the occasion of the annual pilgrimage to the holy cities. A large part of Asir and northern Yemen has never been visited by Turkish troops, and such revenues as are collected, mainly from vexatious customs and transit duties, are quite insufficient to meet the salaries of the officials, while the troops, ill-fed and their pay indefinitely in arrears, live on the country as best they can.

A serious revolt broke out in Yemen in 1892. A Turkish detachment collecting taxes in the Bani Merwan lands north of Hodeda was destroyed by a body of Arabs. This reverse set all Yemen aflame; under the leadership Yemen revolt. of the imām, who had, since the Turkish occupation, lived in retirement at Sada, 120 m. north of the capital, the powerful tribes between Asir and Sana advanced southwards, occupied the principal towns and besieged the few Turkish fortified posts that still held out. In many cases the garrisons, Arab troops from Syria, went over to the insurgents. Meanwhile, reinforcements under General Ahmad Feizi Pasha reached Hodeda, Manakha was retaken, Sana relieved, and by the end of January 1893 the country with the exception of the northern mountainous districts was reconquered.

A state of intermittent rebellion, however, continued, and in 1904 a general revolt took place with which the normal garrison of Yemen, the 7th army corps, was quite unable to cope. The military posts were everywhere besieged, and Sana, the capital, was cut off from all communication with the coast. During February 1905 reinforcements were sent up which raised the garrison of Sana to a strength of eight battalions, and in March a further reinforcement of about the same strength arrived, and fought its way into the capital with the loss of almost all its guns and train. The position was then desperate, wholesale desertion and starvation had decimated the garrison, and three weeks later Ali Riza Pasha, the Turkish commander, was compelled to surrender. The fall of Sana made a deep impression at Constantinople, every effort was made to hasten out reinforcements, the veteran Ahmad Feizi Pasha was nominated to the supreme command, and Anatolian troops in place of the unreliable Syrian element were detailed. The scale of the operations may be judged from the fact that the total number of troops mobilized up to the beginning of July 1905 amounted to 126 battalions, 8 squadrons and 15 batteries; the rebel leader Mahommed Yahiya had at this time a following of 50,000.

By the end of June, Ahmad Feizi Pasha was in a position to advance on Manakha, where he organized an efficient transport, rallied the scattered remnants of Ali Riza’s army, and with the newly arrived troops had by the middle of July a force of some 40 battalions available for the advance on Sana. He left Manakha on the 17th of July, and after almost daily fighting reached Sana on the 30th of August; on the 31st he entered the city without serious opposition, the insurgents having retreated northward.

Authorities.—D. G. Hogarth, Penetration of Arabia (London, 1904); C. Niebuhr, Travels and Description of Arabia (Amsterdam, 1774); A. Zehme, Arabien und die Araber seit Hundert Jahren (Halle, 1875); J. L. Burckhardt, Travels in Arabia (London, 1829); R. F. Burton, Pilgrimage to El Medinah and Meccah (London, 1855), Midian revisited (1879); W. G. Palgrave, Central and Eastern Arabia (London, 1865); C. Doughty, Arabia Deserta (Cambridge, 1888), and an abridgment, containing mainly the personal narrative, under the title of Wanderings in Arabia (London, 1908); L. van den Berg, Le Hadramut et les colonies arabes, &c. (Batavia, 1885); C. Huber, Journal d’un voyage en Arabie (Paris, 1891); J. Euting, Reise in inner Arabien (Leiden, 1896); E. Nolde, Reise nach inner Arabien (Brunswick, 1895); L. Hirsch, Reise in Sud Arabien (Leiden, 1897); J. T. Bent, Southern Arabia (1895); R. Manzoni, Il Yemen (Rome, 1884); A. Deflers, Voyage en Yémen (Paris, 1889); J. Halévy, Journal Asiatique (1872); Lady Anne Blunt, Pilgrimage to Nejd (London, 1881); E. Glaser, Petermann’s Mitt. (1886, 1888 and 1889); W. B. Harris, Journey through Yemen (Edinburgh, 1893); J. R. Wellsted, Travels in Arabia (London, 1838); Capt. F. M. Hunter, Aden (London, 1877). Consult also Proc. R.G.S. and Geogr. Journal. For geology see H. J. Carter, “Memoir on the Geology of the South-East Coast of Arabia,” Journ. Bombay Branch Roy. Asiat. Soc. vol. iv. pp. 21-96 (1852); Doughty’s Arabia Deserta; W. F. Hume, The Rift Valleys and Geology of Eastern Sinai (London, 1901). For ancient geography of Arabia:—A. Sprenger, Alte Geographie Arabiens (Berne, 1875); E. H. Bunbury, History of Ancient Geography (London, 1883); D. H. Müller, Hamdani’s Geographie (Leiden, 1884); E. Glaser, Geschichte und Geographie Arabiens (Berlin, 1890).

 (R. A. W.)