Shawkat al-Aidi (left) is pictured here with a fellow rebel (right) and his brother Ahmad Munif al-Aidi (center), a veteran educator and one of the founders of Damascus University. Shawkat al-Aidi began his military career as commander of a garrison in Medina (present day Saudi Arabia) in the Ottoman Army during World War I. He joined the rebel army of Sharif Hussein, struggling to overthrow the Ottoman Empire in 1916 and was one of its most influential officers. When the Ottomans left Syria he joined the newly formed Syrian National Army and was appointed commander of the Damascus Garrison by Syria’s new ruler, King Faisal I. When the French occupied Damascus in July 1920, Aidi fled to Egypt. He stayed in Cairo until the Great Syrian Revolt broke out in 1925. He joined its ranks and fought in the al-Ghutta orchards surrounding Damascus, where he was killed in combat.