On this day in 1920, French soldiers were marching into Damascus to occupy it and it would be over two decades before Syria was rid of them. Outnumbered, ill-equipped and almost certain to be killed, Yousef al Azma (just 36 years old) rode out at the head of a plucky group of Syrian soldiers and volunteers to give the French a fight. I only learned recently that my cousin A's grandfather had volunteered to fight at Maysaloon, and he noted in his diary that all the men, including himself, had been prepared to become martyred, that they were going to perform jihad against the invading French. It is commonly perceived that this event is a Syrian affair, that the men died for the "glory of Syria". This is nonsense, these men fought as Arabs and as Muslims. Their entire upbringing, morality and beliefs would have made it impossible for them not to have fought. One wishes that more Syrians and Muslims behaved this way today.