Al Jazeera America is set to air “World War I Through Arab Eyes,” a three-part documentary series commemorating 100 years since the outbreak of the Great War.
This series from Al Jazeera English presents the untold story of the use and abuse of colonial troops by warring powers during WWI and how mistakes continue to resonate through the Middle East today.
Producer and journalist Malek Al Tureiki provides a political and cultural reading of World War I from an Arab and Islamic perspective, citing the commencement date of the war as November 14, 1914, when Arabs were involved in the “jihad” against the Allied troops upon the call of the Mufti of the Ottoman Empire in Istanbul. This is in juxtaposition to the date Britain commemorates the war on August 4, 1914 – the day it entered the war.
The series features new, archive material about how the war affected the Middle East and how this is still being felt today.
The series sheds light on how colonised nations, which had no say in their own fate, ended up being forced into wars which resulted in enormous sacrifices.
It was also in the Battle of Gallipoli that Mustafa Kemal Ataturk, the founder of modern day Turkey, began to rise as a military commander and political leader. The little known fact, even in Turkey and the Arab World, is that two thirds of the troops involved in the Ottoman victory over Allied troops were from Iraq and the Levant.
“World War I Through Arab Eyes” will be shown on Al Jazeera America on three consecutive Fridays - November 28, December 5 and December 12 at 10pm ET/7pm PT.