Saudi Arabian woman defends thesis on Armenian Genocide with distinction

Posted on March. 24. 2023

YEREVAN, ARMENPRESS. In Saudi Arabia, master Tauasif bint Hamid bin Muqbil al-Unzi defended a thesis on the topic of the Armenian Genocide with distinction, reaffirming the historical fact that the Armenian Genocide really happened. She also spoke about the reasons behind the denial of this fact by some states.
She defended her master’s thesis on “Great Britain’s policy regarding the Armenian massacres of 1915” at the Department of History and Civilization, Faculty of Sociology, Imam Mohammad Ibn Saud Islamic University.
In a conversation with ARMENPRESS, Tauasif bint Hamid bin Muqbil al-Unzi spoke about the motives for choosing the topic, the process and results of the study.
“I am ambitious and eager to delve into controversial historical issues such as massacres and atrocities, which are often avoided by historians due to their sensitivity. My interest in studying these topics stems from the following reasons:
Firstly, there is a scarcity of critical analytical studies specialized in Britain’s policy towards the Armenian Genocide of 1915.
Secondly, there is a lot of debate and mystery surrounding the motives behind Britain’s stance on the Armenian Genocide of 1915, which necessitates clarification and interpretation based on sources.
Thirdly, I am interested in exploring this complementary topic to previous studies that focused on European history, which has had a lasting impact to this day. It is important to interpret it objectively for future generations.
Fourthly, Britain’s contemporary relevance and leadership in important historical events during that time cannot be ignored, as it played a prominent role more than any other neighboring country.
Finally, there are numerous important documentary materials related to Britain’s policy towards the Armenian Genocide of 1915, and their connection to most aspects of this policy, especially military attaché and officer correspondence”, she told ARMENPRESS.
The purpose of her study is to uncover Britain’s policy towards the Armenian Genocide of 1915. The study has several objectives, the most important of which are:

  • Clarifying whether the Armenian Genocide of 1915 is attributed to the Ottoman Empire during the reign of Sultan Abdul Hamid or the members of the Union and Progress Party.
  • Tracing the historical policy of the Ottoman Empire towards the Armenians.
  • Identifying the motives that led Britain to take a stance towards the Armenian Genocide of 1915.
  • Revealing and documenting Britain’s policy towards the Armenian Genocide of 1915 in both its political and military aspects.
    According to Tauasif bint Hamid bin Muqbil al-Unzi, the study is based on a critical analytical historical approach that aims to observe, analyze, and criticize historical events to understand their course. It relies on documents to analyze them and interpret the reasons behind the events and positions taken, and then criticize them.
    The author attaches importance to the thesis since it sheds light on a significant historical event and its impact on international relations. It also provides insight into the policies of major powers towards human rights violations and their role in shaping the world order.
    “One of the most significant findings is that it is difficult to attribute the Armenian Genocide solely to the Ottoman Empire or the Union and Progress Party. This is due to two fundamental reasons:
    Firstly, there were a series of minor massacres committed by some Ottoman Empire sultans before the occurrence of the major genocide during World War I.
    Secondly, there was a Turkish nationalist tendency towards non-Turkish ethnic groups since the days of the Ottoman Empire, which was characterized by superiority. This tendency continued until the Union and Progress Party came to power.
    Secondly, the international intervention to protect Christian ethnic groups from the oppression of the Ottoman Empire was based on political pretexts. The ethnic groups that had a cause or demand for self-determination and independence paid the price for this intervention peacefully in their geographical and historical regions.
    Thirdly, British motives towards the Armenian Genocide can be summarized in two important factors:
    Firstly, the strategic motives, as the Armenian issue’s continuity for Britain may have caused other European countries competing with it to refrain from intervening in Egypt and its attempts to impose protection on it. The strategic location of Armenia enables Britain to control the trade routes that connect it to Asia, reaching India, which may create many competitors for it, such as France and Russia. This motive led Britain to take a position towards the Armenian Genocide in 1915/1333 AH.
    Secondly, the natural resources that Armenia is characterized by, which made Britain take a motive and position towards the Armenian Genocide, as well as the Armenian crisis since its inception. Britain also aimed to counter Russian competition in the region, which would affect British areas of influence and, therefore, its domination in general”, she says.
    Speaking about political motivations behind the Armenian Genocide, the author of the thesis notes,
    “The British motivations towards the Armenian Genocide were not impulsive, but rather had strategic and political roots that shaped their varied reactions towards the crisis. The governing principle of all these motivations was the application of the end justifies the means principle, according to the requirements of the international political circumstances.
    The deeper political motivation, which is considered the cornerstone of Britain’s stance towards the Armenian Genocide of 1915, was not to be challenged by any of the great powers in the region and to dominate the scene by adopting complex and thorny issues such as the Armenian issue. This policy left the issue to become more complicated through the policy of ebb and flow towards this crisis, and never sought to achieve independence for the Armenians or to find a radical solution for them.
    It became clear that international colonial competition had a negative impact on the Armenian people. Hence, the Armenian issue clearly demonstrated the conflicting interests of the major European powers in a way that made their agreement against the Ottoman Empire unattainable. Therefore, we found that positions varied from time to time towards the Armenian crisis.
    From Britain’s political stance, it became clear that they used the Armenian issue as a pretext to intervene in the affairs of the Ottoman Empire with irregularity and according to their political and military interests. They pushed the Armenians to bear the tragedies of war and benefited from those tragedies, leaving them to their miserable fate. It is evident that the British press and public opinion played an active role in the crisis, forming a pressure factor on British politicians. They had varied reactions due to the influential public opinion within Britain, which reached the point of adopting some Armenian newspapers’ publications.
    It became clear from the British military position towards the Armenian Genocide that the British viewed Armenia as a strategic location that should not be dominated by rising great powers such as Russia. Therefore, Armenia was geographically a gateway for Britain to achieve its interests and cut off the road for the Russians who were aspiring for economic and political domination towards the Middle East and India.
    The clarity of Britain’s deep strategy towards the Ottomans was to make them drown in the largest number of crimes and then use them later for political blackmail and other purposes. One of the results of Britain’s policy towards the Armenian issue was the occurrence of the Armenian Genocide during World War I in 1915, which resulted in the dispersion of Armenians around the world.
    The important and influential role of embassies during World War I, especially military attachés, led to deep intelligence efforts that created many strategic opportunities and contributed to achieving the interests of the Allied forces, led by Britain.
    There was a well-organized arrangement years before the trials by the Allied powers regarding the trial of many war criminals, including the Turks. Although the war itself was a crime, during World War I, it seems to me that the classification of massacres and atrocities as war crimes emerged due to their heinousness.
    One of the most important results of Britain’s policy towards the Armenian Genocide was the entry of the United States into World War I”.
    Noting that the massacre did indeed occur historically, the author adds that the denial arises due to the involvement of multiple superpowers in this heinous incident. Therefore, they cannot admit to it because of this entanglement.
    Speaking about Armenia, Tauasif bint Hamid bin Muqbil al-Unzi noted that Armenia is one of the oldest regions in the Middle East, stretching from the western shores of the Black Sea to the eastern shores of the Caspian Sea and the Mediterranean. The Armenian ethnicity can be traced back to the Indo-European race, and they are considered one of the oldest peoples in western Asia. Some claim that they are descendants of Japheth, the son of the prophet Noah, and that Hayk is the father of the Armenians. He was the first to establish a state in Armenia, called the Haykian state, and was blessed with a son named Armen or Armenak. The Armenians were named after him.
    “To obtain scientific material, several scientific expeditions were conducted between 2019 and 2021 to a number of countries where Armenian communities exist. These communities are descendants of those who fell victim during the First World War genocide. These countries include Lebanon, the Arab Republic of Egypt, and the United States of America. I faced many difficulties during my trips, especially in Lebanon, where I visited the Haigazian University in Beirut and met with Armenian professors and specialists in politics and history. The most prominent of them was Dr. Antranik Dakessian, who provided me with support. I also went on a scientific trip to Egypt, where I visited the Armenian Studies Center in Cairo, Armenian national committee office and met with Dr. Armen Mazloumian, the head of the Armenian National committee of Egypt, who provided me with all the support I needed. During my scientific visits, I had the opportunity to meet Christian clerics from different sects and visit historical Armenian cemeteries. Despite the difficulties I faced during my travels, I was determined to gather as much scientific material as possible to shed light on the rich history of Armenia and its people.
    Overall, the Armenian people have a rich history and culture that deserves recognition and respect. It is important to acknowledge the atrocities they have faced and work towards justice and reconciliation”, the author of the thesis concluded.

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