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Unknown heroes of the past. Karim Hakimov



ISSN 1998-4812 Bulletin of the Bashkir university. 2010. T. 1S. No. 4

1343

UDC 94(5)

UNKNOWN HEROES of the PAST. KARIM HAKIMOV © R.F. Hayretdinov

Bashkir state university Russia, Republic of Bashkortostan, 450074 Ufa, Zacky Validi St., 32.

Ph. / fax: & #43; 7 (347) 273 46 30.

E-mail: ruslan-fh@rambler.ru

Article is devoted to the first Soviet diplomat on the Arab East Karim Hakimov who established friendly relations with Saudi Arabia at the beginning of the XX century. Economic and socio-political situation of Arabian Peninsula is described. The main political groups which fought for domination in Arabia are shown. K. Hakimov's role in establishment and development of the Soviet-Arab relations is emphasized.

The Russian State and the Arab East connect centuries-old political, economic, cultural interests. Still the tsarist government pursued active policy on Arabian Peninsula. As confirmation to that serve works of such Arab authors as Ibn Hordadbeg, Masudi, Ibn Rushte, Ibn Fadlan, in their works the fact of the first contacts of representatives of the Arab East and Russia was recorded. However we can observe establishment of partnership between our state and Gulf States only since the end of the H_H-beginning of the XX centuries. Forward development of the Russian industry needing new sales markets was the main incitement.

The trade and economic picture of the countries of Arabian Peninsula looked as follows: import prevailed over export. From the country, camels, skins, wool, dates, fruit were taken out. The well-known Arab racers for whom experts from around the world gathered including from Russia were special pride of Arabia. Almost everything was necessary to import into the country: agricultural and manufactory products (sugar, flour, wheat, rice, soap, matches, paraffin, gasoline and kerosene), perfumery, glass and porcelain products.

Jeddah is the largest seaport of the Central Arabia in which the largest trading floors of the region and residence of foreign missions were concentrated in those days. Exactly here in the hot July afternoon there arrived the first Soviet representative in Arabia Karim Hakimov.

In comparison with consuls of other European countries the Soviet diplomat had an undoubted advantage - he was a Muslim in this connection it was given an opportunity of visit of the capital of Hijaz. Under the protocol, the diplomatic representatives who are not Muslims to Mecca for delivery of credentials were not allowed. The procedure of their representation to the king took place in Jeddah. On August 9, 1924 Karim Hakimov-Agent and the Consul general of the USSR in Hijaz arrived in Mecca for delivery of the accrediting diploma. Hakimov's environment consisted of several members of the Soviet consulate, the translator from Arab - the Muslim and several responsibles [1]. In the presence of the Minister of Foreign Affairs Fuad Hatiba, consuls of the foreign states the king of Hijaz Husey-

the number delivered a speech, in honor of official representation of Karim Hakimov: "We are glad to welcome Karim Hakimov, the representative friendly to us the states...! We hope that between our countries the kind relations will be improved, it would also be desirable to count on support of the young Soviet state in strengthening of statehood in Hijaz. Muslims of the Soviet Union can count on free visit of the holy sites of Islam" [1, L. 5]. This event marked itself creation of the first official representative office of the Soviet state in the Arab countries.

Acquaintance to the king and his environment took place successfully. During the meeting the Soviet consul managed to discuss a set of important issues, including a problem of pilgrims from our state. In the speech the consul general focused attention of the king to existence of a large number of brothers in faith on the homeland. The situation around pilgrims concerned both the Soviet consul, and the king of Hijaz. As the main objective Hakimov saw a possibility of free visit of the holy sites citizens of the USSR. The consent the king Hussein solved for himself two important problems: replenishment of treasury at the expense of pilgrims, and also receiving support from the Soviet state in unifying fight in Arabia.

In the early twenties process of association of the Arabian lands is included into a final phase. Opposition of the king of Hijaz Hussein and the emir of Riyadh Abdel of Aziz Ibn Saod reaches the apogee. In July, 1924 during a religious holiday Ibn Saod appealed for jihad against Hijaz that with enthusiasm was apprehended by the representatives of military and agricultural settlements - "ikhvana" (brothers adherents of belief) who arrived in the capital of Nejd. In return, Ibn Saod's support was dictated not only problems of religious character, fight for the pure religion profaned, according to them, in Hijaz by the western innovations, but also political and economic motives, namely aspiration of the amplified pastoral and agricultural tribes of Nejd which are cut off from foreign markets to their acquisition. Overpopulation of the Central Arabia as the famous Soviet orientalist M.A. Axelrod fairly noted,

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section HISTORY

led to creation in it powerful military-political association of the tribes seeking for territorial expansion [2].

In December, 1924 Ibn Saod occupied Mecca, and at the beginning of 1925 the siege of Jeddah began. Abdel of Aziz gradually squeezed a ring around the city. Assuming that the king Ali will desperately defend the last stronghold, troops started building of strengthenings and creation of minefields, cutting off the city from the main part of the country. Bombing of Jeddah tools, land mines and a shrapnel led to considerable losses and caused terrible panic. In the city the hunger began. Once noisy, port Jeddah became empty every day. The population moved to Eritrea, to Asir and Aden, and others just crossed the front line and lodged in Mecca, at that time already occupied by Wahhabites.

The Soviet diplomatic mission continued to work despite martial law in the city. The additional complexity was represented also by work of the English colleagues showing frankly negative, almost hostility. In the summer of 1925 of the British consul Bullard William Jordan fully continuing the anti-Soviet line of the predecessor replaced. It should be noted that the adviser the emir had an English protege John Filbi (who formally left public service).

Karim Hakimov despite a difficult situation in Jeddah continued to look for a common ground with Ibn Saod's representatives. In the recommendations to Hakimov the head NKIDA Georgy Chicherin emphasized importance of the Arabian region in foreign policy of the country and also importance of preservation of friendship with each of leaders of Arabia, developing in parallel contacts both with Hijaz, and with Nejd. The people's commissar Chicherin considered necessary continuation of the relations with the halifatsky committee playing an important role in fight of the Muslim people though Moscow did not support this idea. In the message it was noted to the consul general Hakimov that there is no Muslim prince who could begin "to collect" the Arabian lands. The Kremlin was not sure that in the nearest future on the world map the new state can appear. The weakness of Islamic leaders and constant conflicts between them supported by England was the cause of such conclusions. Proceeding from it, Hakimov addressed with the offer the people's commissar Chicherin with the idea of participation as "arbitrator" in the course of reconciliation of the conflicting parties [1, L. 4].

Moscow convinced Karim Hakimov to be careful in statements about England in conversations with Abdel Aziz as it was supposed that he is the English protege. As the proof to that served the salary received by it from the English government. In conversations with the emir it was decided not to touch upon the English subject. Signed by G.V. Chicherin, Hakimov was on -

a splinter the full instruction of behavior during the visit: "It is not necessary to point a talk about liberation movement specially against England that diplomatic scandal did not turn out at us. It is necessary to illustrate a thesis of our friendship with the people of the East, telling about our friendship with Turkey, Persia, Afghanistan, but at the same time it is necessary extremely carefully treats England. Any aspiration of east people to independence can count on our help. Having entered the relations with Hijaz, we wanted to come into contact with the people of the Arab peninsula, and this contact we would like will keep and from now on. Military victories Abdel of Aziz do not mean that he already achieved independence. Difficult fight against the states which would like to see not the strong, independent state in Arabia, uniting Arabs in fight against foreign harassments, and the European colony or a great number of the small princelings conflicting among themselves" [3] is necessary to him.

Spring of 1925 Karim Hakimov addressed to Abdel to Aziz with the written application dated 13 Ramadan of 1343 on Hijra (on April 7, 1925) in which it was said: "Its Majesty Great Sultan Abdel Aziz ibn Abdurrahman Ibn Saod! I have honor to inform your Majesty on our intention to go to Mecca next Friday for performance of an umra this sacred month. Our departure from Jeddah will take place in the morning on Friday on own car. We ask your Majesty to give the order to your relevant authorities about simplification of our trip to Mecca. We ask to answer today through our messenger that we could be sure about day of our trip" [4]. Along with permission the letter contained the invitation of the emir to visit the residence. On April 10, 1925 the consul general went to Mecca for commission of a ceremony of an umra (small hajj). This event was the platform for constructive dialogue of the Arabian leaders with the representative of the Soviet state acting through Hakimov.

Karim Hakimov was the first of the European consuls who visited officially the residence of the emir of Nejd. The fact of its meeting with Ibn Saod pleased Moscow and caused concern of London. It is thought, it is impossible to overestimate progress of the Soviet diplomacy in the mid-twenties of the XX century, but the trend of development of relationship was obvious, and it offered very quite good prospects. A key role in forward development of relationship of the Kremlin with Ibn Saod was played by Karim Hakimov.

LITERATURE

1. AVP Russian Federation-F. 190. Op. 3. Item 2. 2. L. 3.
2. M.A. Axelrod. Fight for Arabia.//International life. 1926. No. 3. Page 62.
3. V.V. Naumkin. The Soviet diplomacy in Hijaz: the first break to Arabia (1923-1926).//Arab countries of the Western Asia and North Africa. M.: WILLOWS, 1997. Page 34-43.
4. T. 190. Op. 4. Item 3. 2. L. 4.

Came to edition of 03.12.2010

Steven Myers
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