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Introducing: Khalil Beidas and (Al-Nahda)

Jayhawker Soule

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Premium Member
I'm a bit ashamed that this is the first I've heard of Khalil Beidas (or, for that matter, Al-Nahda). He is xxx in the Wikipedia entry on Palestinians:

In modern times, the first person to self-describe Palestine's Arabs as "Palestinians" was Khalil Beidas in 1898, followed by Salim Quba'in and Najib Nassar in 1902. After the 1908 Young Turk Revolution, which eased press censorship laws in the Ottoman Empire, dozens of newspapers and periodicals were founded in Palestine, and the term "Palestinian" expanded in usage. Among those were the Al-Quds, Al-Munadi, Falastin, Al-Karmil and Al-Nafir newspapers, which used the term "Filastini" more than 170 times in 110 articles from 1908 to 1914. They also made references to a "Palestinian society", "Palestinian nation", and a "Palestinian diaspora". Article writers included Christian and Muslim Arab Palestinians, Palestinian emigrants, and non-Palestinian Arabs. The Palestinian Arab Christian Falastin newspaper had addressed its readers as Palestinians since its inception in 1911 during the Ottoman period. [source]

We tend to know our own story imperfectly, and the story of other peoples only through that imperfect lens (if at all). Upon being introduced to Khalil Beidas, the first person that came to mind was Theodor Herzl. I'm sure the comparison is flawed, but it's a beginning.

In truth, I have little to say about Beidas at this point, but it seems to me that his name deserves to be known. And perhaps some of you can recommend some reading. :)