Joe Wilson - Cairo Conference 1921

Winston at the Cairo Conference 1921

Joe Wilson - Guest Lecturer

(above photo: “Winston and the Forty Thieves”)

         As Britain's Colonial Secretary, Winston Churchill created The Cairo Conference — a meeting of Britain’s Middle East experts — which began formally on the morning of Saturday, March 12, 1921. The conference approved a plan for giving control over two large pieces of the former Turkish territories that Britain controlled to princes in the Hashemite family. It was agreed that Prince Feisal, with whom T.E. Lawrence had worked during and after the First World War, would become king of a new country created from the Turkish Province of Mesopotamia; it would be called Iraq. His brother, Prince Abdullah, would rule a country made up of Palestine west of the Jordan River: Transjordan (now Jordan).

·                            Quite a bit of the history and turmoil of the modern Middle East can be traced back to the Cairo Conference, where Iraq was patched together out of Shiite, Sunni and Kurdish territories. The amount of double dealing and broken promises is startling!  Winston called the conference to try to clean up the mess, sort out the priorities, and bring peace to the region.

         There are many twists and turns historically speaking which lead up to the conference.  We will attempt to convey the political backgrounds in Britain, Europe, the Ottoman Empire, and the Arab Tribes, preceding the 1921 which was to affect the world political scene, for at least the next 100 years.

© The Chartwell Group 2012