20 October 1916

“[Ali] prepared for me his own splendid riding-camel, saddled with his own saddle, and hung with luxurious housings and cushions of Nejd leather-work pieced and inlaid in various colours, with plaited fringes and nets embroidered with metal tissues. As a trustworthy man he chose out Tafas el Raashid, a Hawazim Harb tribesman, with his son, to guide me to Feisal’s camp …

“To Ali himself I took a great fancy … He was bookish, learned in law and religion, and pious almost to fanaticism. He was too conscious of his high heritage to be ambitious; and his nature was too clean to see or suspect interested motives in those about him. Consequently he was much the prey of any constant companion, and too sensitive to advice for a great leader, though his purity of intention and conduct gained him the love of those who came into direct contact with him. If Feisal should turn out to be no prophet, the revolt would make shift well enough with Ali for its head …

“Zeid was a shy, white, beardless lad of perhaps nineteen, calm and
flippant, no zealot for the revolt … Zeid, of course, was even less than
Abdulla the born leader of my quest. Yet I liked him, and could see that he would be a decided man when he had found himself.”

Events of 20 October 1916 as recounted by T. E. Lawrence in Seven Pillars of Wisdom (1926).

Having sailed on to Rabegh, Lawrence’s next meetings were with Ali and Zeid, Sherif Hussein’s eldest and youngest sons. Convinced that he had not yet found the leader with the necessary fire that he was looking for, the next day Lawrence would set off by camel to meet the only son he had not yet encountered … Feisal.