The Hijazi Railroad: History of the Dar'a-Haifa Line
The Hijazi railroad was built by the Ottoman state during the late reign of Sultan Abdul Hamid II. It main objectives were to ensure the transport of Muslim Pilgrims to Hijaz in a safe and efficient manner, but it also served to transport troops to subdue potential and actual rebellions against the state in the Arab provinces. German and Ottoman engineers laid the foundation of the Damascus-Medina connection. Later the Dar'a-Haifa line was added, serving to connect the Syrian hinterland with its coasts, and the Arab East with Europe and the rest of the world. It took eight years to complete construction on this line and its branches (1900-1908) and it played a critical role in the military operations of the Great War, as well as in the economic development of the region as a whole. This study, based on original archival material, is the first systematic study of the Hijazi Railroad in Arabic.