I am a Bedouin, a son of one of the Heads of the tribe of El-Sulût, who dwell in El-Lejât, in the Haurân territory. Like other sons of tribal Chiefs, I entered the Tribal School at Constantinople, and subsequently the Royal College. On the completion of my education, I was attached to the staff of the Vali of Syria (or Damascus), on which I remained for a long while. I was then Kaimakâm of Mamouret-el-Azîz (Kharpout), holding this post for three and a half years, after which I practised as a lawyer at Damascus, my partners being Shukri Bey El-Asli and Abdul-Wahhâb Bey El-Inglîzi. I next became a member of the General Assembly at that place, representing Haurân, and later a member of the Committee of that Assembly. On the outbreak of the war, I was ordered to resume my previous career, that is, the duties of Kaimakâm, but I did not comply, as I found the practice of the law more advantageous in many ways and more tranquil.
I was denounced by an informer as being a delegate of a Society constituted in the Lebanon with the object of achieving the independence of the Arab people, under the protection of England and France, and of inciting the tribes against the Turkish Government. On receipt of this denunciation, I was arrested by the Government, thrown into prison, and subsequently sent in chains, with a company of police and gendarmes, to Aalîya, where persons accused of political offences were tried. I was acquitted, but as the Government disregarded the decisions given in such cases, and was resolved on the removal and destruction of all enlightened Arabs—whatever the circumstances might be—it was thought necessary that I should be despatched to Erzeroum, and Jemâl Pasha sent me thither with an officer and five of the regular troops. When I reached Diarbekir, Hasan Kaleh, at Erzeroum, was being pressed by the Russians, and the Vali of Diarbekir was ordered to detain me at that place.
After twenty-two days' confinement in prison for no reason, I was released; I hired a house and remained at Diarbekir for six and a half months, seeing and hearing from the most reliable sources all that took place in regard to the Armenians, the majority of my informants being superior officers and officials, or Notables of Diarbekir and its dependencies, as well as others from Van, Bitlis, Mamouret-el-Azîz, Aleppo and Erzeroum. The people of Van had been in Diarbekir since the occupation of their territory by the Russians, whilst the people and officials of Bitlis had recently emigrated thither. Many of the Erzeroum officers came to Diarbekir on military or private business, whilst Mamouret-el-Azîz was near by, and many people came to us from thence. As I had formerly been a Kaimakâm in that Vilayet, I had a large acquaintance there and heard all the news. More especially, the time which I passed in prison with the heads of the tribes in Diarbekir enabled me to study the movement in its smallest details. The war must needs come to an end after a while, and it will then be plain to readers of this book that all I have written is the truth, and that it contains only a small part of the atrocities committed by the Turks against the hapless Armenian people....