Faisal I of Iraq

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King Faisal I of Iraq (1930s)
King Faisal I of Iraq (1919)

King Faisal I of Iraq (May 20, 1885 – September 8, 1933), also known as Faisal bin Hussein, was the King of Iraq from 1921-1933 and the son of Hussein bin Ali, Sharif of Mecca.


  • We Arabs, especially the educated among us, look with the deepest sympathy on the Zionist movement.... We will wish the Jews a most hearty welcome home.
    • From correspondence with American Supreme Court Justice Felix Frankfurter.
    • Tessler, Mark. A History of the Israeli-Palestinian Conflict. Indiana UP, Bloomington and Indianapolis. P. 152.

Memorandum about Independence of Iraq

  • Iraq is a kingdom ruled by a Sunni Arab government founded on the wreckage of Ottoman rule. This government rules over a Kurdish segment, the majority of which is ignorant, that includes persons with personal ambitions who lead it to abandon it [the government] under the pretext that it does not belong to their ethnicity. [The government also rules over] an ignorant Shiite majority that belongs to the same ethnicity of the government, but the persecutions that had befallen them as a result of Turkish rule, which did not enable them to take part in governance and exercise it, drove a deep wedge between the Arab people divided into these two sects. Unfortunately, all of this made this majority, or the persons who harbor special aspirations, the religious among them, the seekers of posts without qualification, and those who did not benefit materially from the new rule, to pretend that they are still being persecuted because they are Shiites.
    • The Making of State and Nation Since 1920, p. 71

Quote about

  • In 2002, as the American and British governments prepared their plans for the swift invasion and what they confidently assumed would be a short occupation of Iraq, they would have been wise to look at that earlier occupation. The British had assumed then that it would be easy, that the locals would welcome them or at least remain quiescent, and that they would find an obliging Arab ruler to act as their proxy. Moreover, Iraq would pay for itself by exporting wheat and, possibly, the oil that was yet to be exploited. Those illusions barely lasted a year. In the summer of 1920, British forces were stretched to the limit as they tried to contain widespread revolts across the country. Although the British thought they had found their ruler in Feisal, whom they made king the following year, he never proved to be the compliant ruler they wanted. Iraq remained an uneasy and troublesome part of the British sphere of influence right up to the 1950s.
Wikipedia has an article about:
  • Osman, Khalil Sectarianism in Iraq: The Making of State and Nation Since 1920, London: Routledge, 2014