Ottoman Arab Fraternity
al-Ikha' al 'Arabi al-'Uthmani
From The Arab Awakening, George Antonius, G P Putnam's Sons, 1946.
The first Arab society, it was founded during a Turko-Arab honeymoon phase. At a large meeting of the Arab colony in Constantinople, held on the 2nd of September 1908 and attended by members of the Committee of Union and Progress (C.U.P), the society was formally and enthusiastically inaugurated. Its main objectives were to protect the Ottoman constitution, unite all races in loyalty to the Sultan, promote the welfare of the Arab provinces on a footing of real equality with the other races of the Ottoman empire, spread education in the Arabic language, and foster the observance of Arab customs. Its membership was open to Arabs of all creeds, and branches of it were to be founded throughout the Arab provinces, and a newspaper was started to promote the diffusion of its ideas.
The Society was banned eight months later by the C.U.P. By their suppression of al-Ikha' al 'Arabi al-'Uthmani , the C.U.P drove the Arab leaders to underground methods, and a series of societies came into being, among which were some whose existence never became known to he Turks.
The propagation of Arab national ideas was henceforth conducted on two planes; that of the open platform, functioning through the agency of recognized clubs and associations; and that of the subterranean channel, fed by secret, conspiratorial organizations.