An Arab Soldier in the Ottoman Army
I chose the document that discusses an Arab soldier and his life experiences on his journey as a part of the Ottoman army. Hasan al-Turjman was born in the year 1893 and died in the year 1917. He was recruited as a soldier in the Ottoman army. As a soldier, he had many experiences, dreams, aspirations, opinions about the occurrences in that era, and contentions towards the government in operation at the time. He compiled all his thoughts, dreams, ideas, experiences, aspirations and allegations in his diary, which was edited by Salim Tamari and printed out and distributed in The Year of the Locust. This paper is an illustration of the kind of life that Hasan led as a soldier and the relevance of those life experiences in the Middle East today.
The purpose of this document is to teach readers life lessons. Its main lesson is based on how much life can tend to differ contrary to our expectation, and how one can cope with the situation. The document tries to show that even though there can be unhappy moments in life, it is not always the same and one should seek for the small things that make them happy, however small or unidentifiable by others .The purpose of the document is to depict the kind of life that one lived as a soldier in the Ottoman army in the 1900s. In the events recorded in the document, Hasan is portrayed as dreamer full of hope. One, he hopes that he will not die of the spreading disease named Typhus, which was spreading all over Jerusalem. The document was written by Salim Tamari in September 2011, a Sociology Professor at Birzeit University, Palestine, and the Director of the Institute of Jerusalem Studies. It was published by University of California Press. It was written to depict the life of a soldier in the 1900s. The edited diary is a treasure to the Palestinian history and culture as it records the passing of the Ottoman State and contains in-depth observational facts relating to the triumph of Cemal Pasha as a leader, the severity of the invasion of locusts and the famine that comes after.
Firstly, Hasan talks about his beloved who goes by the name Sharikat Hayati. They spot each other from afar on one Wednesday afternoon, but she ignores him. Hasan expresses his love for and how different she is from other women that he has met (www.barnesandnoble.com/w/i-am-pilgrim-terry). He talks about his fear of losing her to someone else and how much he wants to spend the rest of his life with her, which shows how deeply he is in love with her (Tamārī 23).
In the document, the author shows Hasan’s view of his country and originality. Hasan talks of Ottoman as his name and the world as his country, on 10th September 1915. These words provide us with a clear vision of a soldier’s perception from a fortified city. Turjman’s diary relates with genuineness and contemptuous views on his experience as a representative in the Ottoman government. As Salim Tamari writes in the introduction to the journal, Turjman’s diary contains a lot of discernment on day to day life in Jerusalem in 1915 and 1916. The reactions of the poor modern artisans to hardship, and the calamities that came with the locust’s attacks and the armed force seizure (Hayes). The statement in Turjman’s diary shows us the importance of knowing our place in the society and being concerned with the ongoing politics around us because when fails to involve himself in politics and take a stand, politics will control them. Hasan’s contention towards the Ottoman Government convinces us that we should be patriotic to our country. These actions provided others with the promise of freedom.
Turjman also talks about the invasion of locusts on the Ottoman land which a caused famine. As evidenced in the texts, Turjman’s family lacks bread for almost a whole week, and yet Ottoman is the supplier of wheat to other countries. He records the experience on a Monday, 17th of December 1915. He also pointed out that his family was living on handouts the whole time and in spite of help from friends they would have died of hunger. Hasan records it to show how bad the economy was at the time. It shows how the economy of Ottoman deteriorated due to bad governance. Also, the issue is convincing about the fact that people cannot survive without friends that care about them dearly enough, that they would run to their rescue when a need arises. During those times, the locust attack and the famine played the role of a lesson learned. During that time at least people learned how to support each other through thick and thin. During the famine, Turjman’s family got to pick their real friends.
Turjman is likewise tremendously disappointed with Cemal Pasha, whom he much of the time censures in his journal. It is apparent, as point by point in Eugene Rogan’s history of the First World War from the Ottoman viewpoint, The Fall of the Ottomans. Rogan paints Cemal as a malicious tyrant authoritarian, coercing a “solidified rule of horror that would additionally undermine Ottoman regulation in the Arab provinces (Tamārī).Turjman apparently makes a relative point about Cemal Pasha and his effect on the eventual fate of the Ottomans, mockingly praising him in his record, asserting, “Cemal Pasha as the extraordinary pioneer, the savior of Egypt, in other words, the pioneer toward the void of defeat lost his mind. Another diary section, titled, “The Insolence of Cemal Pasha,” from May 1915 has Turjman describing when he saw the general effort by his commissariat (Appasani). Turjman is dismayed at the nerve of Pasha to drive around with a chest “full of golden awards,” a sight that influences him to declare, “What audacity! He asks himself over and over if Pasha feels any shame for the things that he has done and the defeat he steered the people into (Hazkani).Turjman recorded his contentions towards Pasha on account of the Attack on Egypt which was postponed by him due to military unpreparedness. Also, he says that many of his achievements are not merited and lack credibility (Malden, Douglas, and Hatch). Being a dictator, he causes Ottoman to fall into defeat. Turjman recorded these opinions on 25th of October, 1915 (Culp). The importance of this account is that one was able to understand the implications of an authoritarian leader through the behaviors of Pasha, who in turn led the country to defeat (Engdahl and (Firm)). Ideally, there re better methods of leadership that could drive a nation to greater achievements. The best leaders are hardly those who issue their final decisions based on their interests but rather those who are considerate of the diverse views of the citizens.It convinces people that during a national election in countries that practice democracy, the people should not elect leaders who are authoritative because they are not productive in the long run.
According to my thinking, I would say that the document should be read in a sitting because it involves someone in deep thinking. The document makes a person analyze and evaluate situations that move a person out of their comfort zone take a person to the 1900s. The events in the story are in chronological order, and each sparks the occurrence of the other. It is necessary to create a correlation between the political and the socio-economic affairs in a country. Both the politics and the economy of a state are inseparable, and therefore a political crisis will translate to an economic downfall. This would be a precise lesson in the 21st century to train states on the relevance of political harmony.
In conclusion, Hasan Turjman is a great legend because he recorded events that could not have been accounted better by any other person. He recorded the events one by one, the way they happened in detail. He covered themes such as; love, where the document tells of Turjman’s wife to be, leadership where we see Turjamn showing contempt for dictatorship, famine (locust attacks, destruction of biodiversity and politics.