10 February 2016: my newest article, Former Ottomans in the ranks: pro-Entente military recruitment among Syrians in the Americas, 1916–18,” has appeared in the March 2016 issue of the Journal of Global History. (For full text, click here).
Abstract: “For half a million ‘Syrian’ Ottoman subjects living outside the empire, the First World War initiated a massive political rift with Istanbul. Beginning in 1916, Syrian and Lebanese emigrants from both North and South America sought to enlist, recruit, and conscript immigrant men into the militaries of the Entente. Employing press items, correspondence, and memoirs written by émigré recruiters during the war, this article reconstructs the transnational networks that facilitated the voluntary enlistment of an estimated 10,000 Syrian emigrants into the armies of the Entente, particularly the United States Army after 1917. As Ottoman nationals, many Syrian recruits used this as a practical means of obtaining American citizenship and shedding their legal ties to Istanbul. Émigré recruiters folded their military service into broader goals for ‘Syrian’ and ‘Lebanese’ national liberation under the auspices of American political support.”