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April 22, 1949

Untitled report on Ḥusnī Za’īm’s visit to Egypt

This document was made possible with support from Youmna and Tony Asseily


Beirut, 22/4/1949 - No. 36


Chief Husni al-Za'eem's (Ḥusnī al-Za’īm) trip to Egypt has provoked considerable interest in local clubs: the reason given for the trip was al-Za’eems wish to meet King Farouk and cooperate with him, contrary to what Azzam Pacha tells the King. They believe here that Azzan Pacha left Damascus discontented with the outcome of his contacts with Husni Beik, and that Husni Beik went to Cairo to assure King Farouk of his good intentions.


They also say that Husni Beik refused ten million Iraqi dinars Nouri Pacha al-Said has offered him in return for endorsing the Fertile Crescent Project and the annexation of Syria to Iraq


They believe that this is a prelude to Husni Beik's intention to assume control in Syria and take over power. They see Husni Beik's trip to Cairo as clear evidence that he has changed his mind about the Greater Syria and Fertile Crescent Projects. In any case, Husni al-Za’eem’s trip to Cairo has caused quite a stir in various Lebanese clubs and among Syrians in Beirut.


A rumour is going around at communist gatherings that the British have in the last few days started arming the Druze of Djebel al-Druze.


I was visited this morning by Mr Nicolai who wanted to know, in particular, the source of these rumours; he told me: 'current information at our disposal proves that a large amount of weapons are being channelled these days from Trans-Jordan to Djebel al-Druze. This surprises us especially since Sultan Pacha al-Atrach declared his support for the new political order.'


He urged me to assist him in finding the truth about the matter.

Account of Ḥusnī Za’īm's trip to Egypt, rumors of an influx of arms to Djebel al-Druze


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Emir Farid Chehab Collection, GB165-0384, Box 1, File 26/1, Middle East Centre Archive, St Antony’s College, Oxford.


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Youmna and Tony Asseily