Faisal I of Iraq

Faisal I of Iraq

Overview
Faisal bin Hussein bin Ali al-Hashemi, ( Fayṣal ibn Ḥusayn; 20 May 1885 – September 8, 1933) was for a short time King
King of Syria
The title King of Syria, was established briefly following the partitioning of the Ottoman Empire in the aftermath of World War I. Faysal ibn Husayn of the House of Hashim was proclaimed King of Greater Syria on 7 March 1920 in Damascus, following the Arab revolt against the Ottomans of 1916–1918...

 of the Arab Kingdom of Syria
Arab Kingdom of Syria
The Arab Kingdom of Syria is the first modern Arab state to come into existence, and although it officially lasted less than a year , its existence has had a lasting impact in the Arab world to this day. Throughout its existence it was led by Sharif Hussein bin Ali’s son Faisal bin Hussein...

 or Greater Syria
Greater Syria
Greater Syria , also known simply as Syria, is a term that denotes a region in the Near East bordering the Eastern Mediterranean Sea or the Levant....

 in 1920, and was King of the Kingdom of Iraq
Kingdom of Iraq
The Kingdom of Iraq was the sovereign state of Iraq during and after the British Mandate of Mesopotamia. The League of Nations mandate started in 1920. The kingdom began in August 1921 with the coronation of Faisal bin al-Hussein bin Ali al-Hashemi as King Faisal I...

 (today Iraq
Iraq
Iraq ; officially the Republic of Iraq is a country in Western Asia spanning most of the northwestern end of the Zagros mountain range, the eastern part of the Syrian Desert and the northern part of the Arabian Desert....

) from 23 August 1921 to 1933. He was a member of the Hashemite
Hashemite
Hashemite is the Latinate version of the , transliteration: Hāšimī, and traditionally refers to those belonging to the Banu Hashim, or "clan of Hashim", a clan within the larger Quraish tribe...

 dynasty, a descendant of the family of Muhammad
Muhammad
Muhammad |ligature]] at U+FDF4 ;Arabic pronunciation varies regionally; the first vowel ranges from ~~; the second and the last vowel: ~~~. There are dialects which have no stress. In Egypt, it is pronounced not in religious contexts...

.

Faisal encouraged overcoming cleavage between Sunni and Shiite to foster common loyalty and promote pan-Arabism
Pan-Arabism
Pan-Arabism is an ideology espousing the unification--or, sometimes, close cooperation and solidarity against perceived enemies of the Arabs--of the countries of the Arab world, from the Atlantic Ocean to the Arabian Sea. It is closely connected to Arab nationalism, which asserts that the Arabs...

 in the goal of creating an Arab state that would include Iraq
Iraq
Iraq ; officially the Republic of Iraq is a country in Western Asia spanning most of the northwestern end of the Zagros mountain range, the eastern part of the Syrian Desert and the northern part of the Arabian Desert....

, Syria
Syria
Syria , officially the Syrian Arab Republic , is a country in Western Asia, bordering Lebanon and the Mediterranean Sea to the West, Turkey to the north, Iraq to the east, Jordan to the south, and Israel to the southwest....

 and the rest of the Fertile Crescent
Fertile Crescent
The Fertile Crescent, nicknamed "The Cradle of Civilization" for the fact the first civilizations started there, is a crescent-shaped region containing the comparatively moist and fertile land of otherwise arid and semi-arid Western Asia. The term was first used by University of Chicago...

.
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Encyclopedia
Faisal bin Hussein bin Ali al-Hashemi, ( Fayṣal ibn Ḥusayn; 20 May 1885 – September 8, 1933) was for a short time King
King of Syria
The title King of Syria, was established briefly following the partitioning of the Ottoman Empire in the aftermath of World War I. Faysal ibn Husayn of the House of Hashim was proclaimed King of Greater Syria on 7 March 1920 in Damascus, following the Arab revolt against the Ottomans of 1916–1918...

 of the Arab Kingdom of Syria
Arab Kingdom of Syria
The Arab Kingdom of Syria is the first modern Arab state to come into existence, and although it officially lasted less than a year , its existence has had a lasting impact in the Arab world to this day. Throughout its existence it was led by Sharif Hussein bin Ali’s son Faisal bin Hussein...

 or Greater Syria
Greater Syria
Greater Syria , also known simply as Syria, is a term that denotes a region in the Near East bordering the Eastern Mediterranean Sea or the Levant....

 in 1920, and was King of the Kingdom of Iraq
Kingdom of Iraq
The Kingdom of Iraq was the sovereign state of Iraq during and after the British Mandate of Mesopotamia. The League of Nations mandate started in 1920. The kingdom began in August 1921 with the coronation of Faisal bin al-Hussein bin Ali al-Hashemi as King Faisal I...

 (today Iraq
Iraq
Iraq ; officially the Republic of Iraq is a country in Western Asia spanning most of the northwestern end of the Zagros mountain range, the eastern part of the Syrian Desert and the northern part of the Arabian Desert....

) from 23 August 1921 to 1933. He was a member of the Hashemite
Hashemite
Hashemite is the Latinate version of the , transliteration: Hāšimī, and traditionally refers to those belonging to the Banu Hashim, or "clan of Hashim", a clan within the larger Quraish tribe...

 dynasty, a descendant of the family of Muhammad
Muhammad
Muhammad |ligature]] at U+FDF4 ;Arabic pronunciation varies regionally; the first vowel ranges from ~~; the second and the last vowel: ~~~. There are dialects which have no stress. In Egypt, it is pronounced not in religious contexts...

.

Faisal encouraged overcoming cleavage between Sunni and Shiite to foster common loyalty and promote pan-Arabism
Pan-Arabism
Pan-Arabism is an ideology espousing the unification--or, sometimes, close cooperation and solidarity against perceived enemies of the Arabs--of the countries of the Arab world, from the Atlantic Ocean to the Arabian Sea. It is closely connected to Arab nationalism, which asserts that the Arabs...

 in the goal of creating an Arab state that would include Iraq
Iraq
Iraq ; officially the Republic of Iraq is a country in Western Asia spanning most of the northwestern end of the Zagros mountain range, the eastern part of the Syrian Desert and the northern part of the Arabian Desert....

, Syria
Syria
Syria , officially the Syrian Arab Republic , is a country in Western Asia, bordering Lebanon and the Mediterranean Sea to the West, Turkey to the north, Iraq to the east, Jordan to the south, and Israel to the southwest....

 and the rest of the Fertile Crescent
Fertile Crescent
The Fertile Crescent, nicknamed "The Cradle of Civilization" for the fact the first civilizations started there, is a crescent-shaped region containing the comparatively moist and fertile land of otherwise arid and semi-arid Western Asia. The term was first used by University of Chicago...

. While in power, Faisal tried to diversify his administration by including different ethnic and religious groups in offices. He faced great challenges in achieving this because the region was under European, specifically French and British, control and other Arab leaders of the time were hostile to his ideas as they pursued their own political aspirations for power. In addition, Faisal’s attempt at pan-Arab nationalism inevitably isolated certain religious groups.

Early life


Faisal was born in Ta'if (in present-day Saudi Arabia
Saudi Arabia
The Kingdom of Saudi Arabia , commonly known in British English as Saudi Arabia and in Arabic as as-Sa‘ūdiyyah , is the largest state in Western Asia by land area, constituting the bulk of the Arabian Peninsula, and the second-largest in the Arab World...

) in 1883, the third son of Hussein bin Ali, Sharif of Mecca
Hussein bin Ali, Sharif of Mecca
Sayyid Hussein bin Ali, GCB was the Sharif of Mecca, and Emir of Mecca from 1908 until 1917, when he proclaimed himself King of Hejaz, which received international recognition. He initiated the Arab Revolt in 1916 against the increasingly nationalistic Ottoman Empire during the course of the...

, the Grand Sharif of Mecca. He grew up in Constantinople
Constantinople
Constantinople was the capital of the Roman, Eastern Roman, Byzantine, Latin, and Ottoman Empires. Throughout most of the Middle Ages, Constantinople was Europe's largest and wealthiest city.-Names:...

 and learned about leadership from his father. In 1913, he was elected as representative for the city of Jeddah
Jeddah
Jeddah, Jiddah, Jidda, or Jedda is a city located on the coast of the Red Sea and is the major urban center of western Saudi Arabia. It is the largest city in Makkah Province, the largest sea port on the Red Sea, and the second largest city in Saudi Arabia after the capital city, Riyadh. The...

 for the Ottoman parliament
Ottoman Empire
The Ottoman EmpireIt was usually referred to as the "Ottoman Empire", the "Turkish Empire", the "Ottoman Caliphate" or more commonly "Turkey" by its contemporaries...

.

In 1916, on a mission to Constantinople, he visited Damascus
Damascus
Damascus , commonly known in Syria as Al Sham , and as the City of Jasmine , is the capital and the second largest city of Syria after Aleppo, both are part of the country's 14 governorates. In addition to being one of the oldest continuously inhabited cities in the world, Damascus is a major...

 twice. On one of these visits he received the Damascus Protocol
Damascus Protocol
The Damascus Protocol was a document given to Faisal bin Hussein by the Arab secret societies al-Fatat and Al-'Ahd on his second visit to Damascus during a mission to consult Turkish officials in Constantinople...

, joined with the Al-Fatat
Al-fatat
Al-Fatat or the Young Arab Society was founded in 1911 by Arab nationalist, Izzat Darwaza .It was a secret Arab nationalist organization under the Ottoman Empire. Its aims were to gain independence and unity for various Arab nations then under the Ottoman rule. It found adherents in areas such as...

 group of Arab nationalists, and his father became king of Hejaz
Kingdom of Hejaz
The Kingdom of Hejaz was a state in the Hejaz region, ruled by the Hashemite family. The kingdom was annexed by Nejd and merged into the Kingdom of Nejd and Hejaz in the mid 1920s, which would eventually be known as Saudi Arabia in 1932.-Kings of Hejaz:...

.

First World War & The Arab Revolt


On 23 October 1916 at Hamra
Hamra
Hamra may refer to:* Hamra, Bik'at HaYarden, an Israeli settlement in the West Bank* 9373 Hamra, a main-belt asteroid* Battle of Hamra al-Asad, a battle in 625 AD in which the prophet Muhammad took part...

 in the Wadi Safra, the first encounter took place between Faisal and Captain T. E. Lawrence
T. E. Lawrence
Lieutenant Colonel Thomas Edward Lawrence, CB, DSO , known professionally as T. E. Lawrence, was a British Army officer renowned especially for his liaison role during the Arab Revolt against Ottoman Turkish rule of 1916–18...

, a relatively junior British intelligence officer from Cairo. Lawrence already had a vision of an independent post-war Arabian state, and knew it was essential to find precisely the right man to lead the Arab forces to achieve this.

With the help of Lawrence, Faisal sided with the British army
British Army
The British Army is the land warfare branch of Her Majesty's Armed Forces in the United Kingdom. It came into being with the unification of the Kingdom of England and Scotland into the Kingdom of Great Britain in 1707. The new British Army incorporated Regiments that had already existed in England...

 and organised the Arab revolt
Arab Revolt
The Arab Revolt was initiated by the Sherif Hussein bin Ali with the aim of securing independence from the ruling Ottoman Turks and creating a single unified Arab state spanning from Aleppo in Syria to Aden in Yemen.- Background :...

 against the Ottoman Empire
Ottoman Empire
The Ottoman EmpireIt was usually referred to as the "Ottoman Empire", the "Turkish Empire", the "Ottoman Caliphate" or more commonly "Turkey" by its contemporaries...

, helping to end the Caliphate
Caliphate
The term caliphate, "dominion of a caliph " , refers to the first system of government established in Islam and represented the political unity of the Muslim Ummah...

. After a long siege he conquered Medina
Medina
Medina , or ; also transliterated as Madinah, or madinat al-nabi "the city of the prophet") is a city in the Hejaz region of western Saudi Arabia, and serves as the capital of the Al Madinah Province. It is the second holiest city in Islam, and the burial place of the Islamic Prophet Muhammad, and...

, defeating the defense organized by Fakhri Pasha
Fakhri Pasha
Fakhri Pasha or Fahreddin Pasha or Umar Fakhr ud-Din Pasha was the commander of Ottoman army and governor of Medina from 1916 to 1919.-Early life:...

.

Some of Faisal's critics considered fighting alongside Christian
Christian
A Christian is a person who adheres to Christianity, an Abrahamic, monotheistic religion based on the life and teachings of Jesus of Nazareth as recorded in the Canonical gospels and the letters of the New Testament...

s as a betrayal of Islam
Islam
Islam . The most common are and .   : Arabic pronunciation varies regionally. The first vowel ranges from ~~. The second vowel ranges from ~~~...

; this motivated Iqbal
Muhammad Iqbal
Sir Muhammad Iqbal , commonly referred to as Allama Iqbal , was a poet and philosopher born in Sialkot, then in the Punjab Province of British India, now in Pakistan...

 to write against him. Though Faisal was a descendant of the Islamic prophet Muhammad
Muhammad
Muhammad |ligature]] at U+FDF4 ;Arabic pronunciation varies regionally; the first vowel ranges from ~~; the second and the last vowel: ~~~. There are dialects which have no stress. In Egypt, it is pronounced not in religious contexts...

, Arab
Arab
Arab people, also known as Arabs , are a panethnicity primarily living in the Arab world, which is located in Western Asia and North Africa. They are identified as such on one or more of genealogical, linguistic, or cultural grounds, with tribal affiliations, and intra-tribal relationships playing...

 nationalism and independence, not religion, was his main motivation.

Faisal also worked with the Allies
Allies of World War I
The Entente Powers were the countries at war with the Central Powers during World War I. The members of the Triple Entente were the United Kingdom, France, and the Russian Empire; Italy entered the war on their side in 1915...

 during World War I
World War I
World War I , which was predominantly called the World War or the Great War from its occurrence until 1939, and the First World War or World War I thereafter, was a major war centred in Europe that began on 28 July 1914 and lasted until 11 November 1918...

 in their conquest of Greater Syria
Greater Syria
Greater Syria , also known simply as Syria, is a term that denotes a region in the Near East bordering the Eastern Mediterranean Sea or the Levant....

 and the capture of Damascus
Damascus
Damascus , commonly known in Syria as Al Sham , and as the City of Jasmine , is the capital and the second largest city of Syria after Aleppo, both are part of the country's 14 governorates. In addition to being one of the oldest continuously inhabited cities in the world, Damascus is a major...

, where he became part of a new Arab government in 1918.

Participation in peace conference


In 1919 Faisal led the Arab delegation to the Paris Peace Conference and, with the support of the knowledgeable and influential Gertrude Bell
Gertrude Bell
Gertrude Margaret Lowthian Bell, CBE was an English writer, traveller, political officer, administrator, and archaeologist who explored, mapped, and became highly influential to British imperial policy-making due to her extensive travels in Greater Syria, Mesopotamia, Asia Minor, and Arabia. Along...

, argued for the establishment of independent Arab
Arab
Arab people, also known as Arabs , are a panethnicity primarily living in the Arab world, which is located in Western Asia and North Africa. They are identified as such on one or more of genealogical, linguistic, or cultural grounds, with tribal affiliations, and intra-tribal relationships playing...

 emirate
Emirate
An emirate is a political territory that is ruled by a dynastic Muslim monarch styled emir.-Etymology:Etymologically emirate or amirate is the quality, dignity, office or territorial competence of any emir ....

s for the area previously covered by the Ottoman Empire
Ottoman Empire
The Ottoman EmpireIt was usually referred to as the "Ottoman Empire", the "Turkish Empire", the "Ottoman Caliphate" or more commonly "Turkey" by its contemporaries...

. His role in the Arab Revolt
Arab Revolt
The Arab Revolt was initiated by the Sherif Hussein bin Ali with the aim of securing independence from the ruling Ottoman Turks and creating a single unified Arab state spanning from Aleppo in Syria to Aden in Yemen.- Background :...

 was described by Lawrence in Seven Pillars of Wisdom
Seven Pillars of Wisdom
Seven Pillars of Wisdom is the autobiographical account of the experiences of British soldier T. E. Lawrence , while serving as a liaison officer with rebel forces during the Arab Revolt against the Ottoman Turks of 1916 to 1918....

, although the accuracy of that book has been criticized by historians.

Greater Syria



British and Arab forces took Damascus
Damascus
Damascus , commonly known in Syria as Al Sham , and as the City of Jasmine , is the capital and the second largest city of Syria after Aleppo, both are part of the country's 14 governorates. In addition to being one of the oldest continuously inhabited cities in the world, Damascus is a major...

 in October 1918, which was followed by the Armistice of Mudros
Armistice of Mudros
The Armistice of Moudros , concluded on 30 October 1918, ended the hostilities in the Middle Eastern theatre between the Ottoman Empire and the Allies of World War I...

. With the end of Turkish rule that October, Faisal helped set up an Arab government, under British protection, in Arab controlled Greater Syria. In May 1919, elections were held for the Syrian National Congress
Syrian National Congress
The Syrian National Congress was convened in July 1919 in Damascus, Syria to prepare for the King-Crane Commission of inquiry on the future of Greater Syria after the fall of the Ottoman Empire. The congress was attended by representative from all parts of Syria. The participants showed...

, which met the following year.

Faisal–Weizmann Agreement



On 3 January 1919, Faisal and Dr. Chaim Weizmann
Chaim Weizmann
Chaim Azriel Weizmann, , was a Zionist leader, President of the Zionist Organization, and the first President of the State of Israel. He was elected on 1 February 1949, and served until his death in 1952....

, President of the World Zionist Organization
World Zionist Organization
The World Zionist Organization , or WZO, was founded as the Zionist Organization , or ZO, in 1897 at the First Zionist Congress, held from August 29 to August 31 in Basel, Switzerland...

 signed the Faisal–Weizmann Agreement for Arab-Jewish cooperation, in which Faisal conditionally accepted the Balfour Declaration based on the fulfillment of British wartime promises of development of a Jewish homeland in Palestine and on which subject he made the following statement:



"We Arabs... look with the deepest sympathy on the Zionist movement. Our deputation here in Paris is fully acquainted with the proposals submitted yesterday by the Zionist Organisation to the Peace Conference, and we regard them as moderate and proper. We will do our best, in so far as we are concerned, to help them through; we will wish the Jews a most hearty welcome home... I look forward, and my people with me look forward, to a future in which we will help you and you will help us, so that the countries in which we are mutually interested may once again take their places in the community of the civilised peoples of the world."


These promises were not immediately fulfilled, in some cases not until after the establishment of the Jewish state but once Arab states were granted autonomy from the European powers years after the Faisal-Weizmann Agreement, and these new Arab nations were recognized by the Europeans and the U.N., Weizmann argued that since the fulfillment was kept eventually, the agreement of development of a Jewish homeland in Palestine still held. In the end this hoped-for partnership was not carried out by either side.

King of Syria and Iraq


On 7 March 1920, Faisal was proclaimed King
King of Syria
The title King of Syria, was established briefly following the partitioning of the Ottoman Empire in the aftermath of World War I. Faysal ibn Husayn of the House of Hashim was proclaimed King of Greater Syria on 7 March 1920 in Damascus, following the Arab revolt against the Ottomans of 1916–1918...

 of the Arab Kingdom of Syria
Arab Kingdom of Syria
The Arab Kingdom of Syria is the first modern Arab state to come into existence, and although it officially lasted less than a year , its existence has had a lasting impact in the Arab world to this day. Throughout its existence it was led by Sharif Hussein bin Ali’s son Faisal bin Hussein...

 (Greater Syria) by the Syrian National Congress government of Hashim al-Atassi
Hashim al-Atassi
Hashim Bay Khalid al-Atassi was a Syrian nationalist, statesman and its President from 1936 to 1939, 1949 to 1951, and 1954 to 1955.- Background and early career :...

. In April 1920, the San Remo conference
San Remo conference
The San Remo Conference was an international meeting of the post-World War I Allied Supreme Council, held in Sanremo, Italy, from 19 to 26 April 1920. It was attended by the four Principal Allied Powers of World War I who were represented by the prime ministers of Britain , France and Italy and...

 gave France
French Third Republic
The French Third Republic was the republican government of France from 1870, when the Second French Empire collapsed due to the French defeat in the Franco-Prussian War, to 1940, when France was overrun by Nazi Germany during World War II, resulting in the German and Italian occupations of France...

 the mandate for Syria, which led to the Franco-Syrian War
Franco-Syrian War
The Franco-Syrian War was a war from 1919 to 1921 between Syria and France. France conquered Syria; King Faisal, who was declared king of Greater Syria, was exiled to the United Kingdom...

. In the Battle of Maysalun
Battle of Maysalun
The Battle of Maysalun , also called The Battle of Maysalun Pass, took place between Syrian and French forces about 12 miles west of Damascus near the town of Maysalun on July 23, 1920.-Background:...

 on 24 July 1920, the French were victorious and Faisal was expelled from Syria
Syria
Syria , officially the Syrian Arab Republic , is a country in Western Asia, bordering Lebanon and the Mediterranean Sea to the West, Turkey to the north, Iraq to the east, Jordan to the south, and Israel to the southwest....

. He went to live in the United Kingdom
United Kingdom
The United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern IrelandIn the United Kingdom and Dependencies, other languages have been officially recognised as legitimate autochthonous languages under the European Charter for Regional or Minority Languages...

 in August of that year.

In March 1921, at the Cairo Conference, the British decided that Faisal was a good candidate for ruling the British Mandate of Iraq. But, in 1921, few people living in Iraq even knew who Faisal was or had ever heard his name. Though he was not popular there was a lack of organized opposition so he could remain ruler and establish power.

The British government, mandate holders in Iraq
Iraq
Iraq ; officially the Republic of Iraq is a country in Western Asia spanning most of the northwestern end of the Zagros mountain range, the eastern part of the Syrian Desert and the northern part of the Arabian Desert....

, were concerned at the unrest in the colony. They decided to step back from direct administration and create a monarchy
Monarchy
A monarchy is a form of government in which the office of head of state is usually held until death or abdication and is often hereditary and includes a royal house. In some cases, the monarch is elected...

 to head Iraq
Iraq
Iraq ; officially the Republic of Iraq is a country in Western Asia spanning most of the northwestern end of the Zagros mountain range, the eastern part of the Syrian Desert and the northern part of the Arabian Desert....

 while they maintained the mandate. Following a plebiscite showing 96% in favour, which was not really accurate, but created by a British council of ministers who wanted to put Faisal in power, Faisal agreed to become king. In August 1921 he was made king of Iraq.
He encouraged an influx of Syrian exiles and office-seekers to cultivate better Iraqi-Syrian relations. In order to improve education in the country Faisal employed doctors and teachers and in the civil service and appointed Sati' al-Husri
Sati' al-Husri
Sāti` al-Husrī was an Ottoman and Syrian writer, educationalist and an influential Arab nationalist thinker in the 20th century.-Early life:...

, the ex-Minister of Education in Damascus, as his director of the Ministry of Education. This influx resulted in much native resentment towards Syrians and Lebanese in Iraq.

Faisal also developed desert motor routes from Baghdad
Baghdad
Baghdad is the capital of Iraq, as well as the coterminous Baghdad Governorate. The population of Baghdad in 2011 is approximately 7,216,040...

 to Damascus
Damascus
Damascus , commonly known in Syria as Al Sham , and as the City of Jasmine , is the capital and the second largest city of Syria after Aleppo, both are part of the country's 14 governorates. In addition to being one of the oldest continuously inhabited cities in the world, Damascus is a major...

, and Baghdad to Amman
Amman
Amman is the capital of Jordan. It is the country's political, cultural and commercial centre and one of the oldest continuously inhabited cities in the world. The Greater Amman area has a population of 2,842,629 as of 2010. The population of Amman is expected to jump from 2.8 million to almost...

. This led to a great interest in the Mosul
Mosul
Mosul , is a city in northern Iraq and the capital of the Ninawa Governorate, some northwest of Baghdad. The original city stands on the west bank of the Tigris River, opposite the ancient Assyrian city of Nineveh on the east bank, but the metropolitan area has now grown to encompass substantial...

 oilfield and eventually to his plan to build an oil pipeline to a Mediterranean
Mediterranean Sea
The Mediterranean Sea is a sea connected to the Atlantic Ocean surrounded by the Mediterranean region and almost completely enclosed by land: on the north by Anatolia and Europe, on the south by North Africa, and on the east by the Levant...

 port, which would help Iraq economically
Economy of Iraq
Iraq's economy is dominated by the petroleum sector, which has traditionally provided about 95% of foreign exchange earnings. In the 1980s, financial problems caused by massive expenditures in the eight-year war with Iran and damage to oil export facilities by Iran led the government to implement...

. This also led to an increase in Iraq’s desire for more influence in the Arab East. During his reign, Faisal made great effort to build Iraq’s army into a powerful force. He attempted to impose universal military service
Conscription
Conscription is the compulsory enlistment of people in some sort of national service, most often military service. Conscription dates back to antiquity and continues in some countries to the present day under various names...

 in order to achieve this, but this failed. Some see this as part of his plan to advance his pan-Arab agenda.

In 1925, after the Syrian Druze uprising, the French government began consulting Faisal on Syrian matters. He advised the French to restore Hashemite
Hashemite
Hashemite is the Latinate version of the , transliteration: Hāšimī, and traditionally refers to those belonging to the Banu Hashim, or "clan of Hashim", a clan within the larger Quraish tribe...

 power in Damascus. The French consulted Faisal because they were inspired by his success as an imposed leader in Iraq.

Faisal saw the Anglo-Iraqi Treaty
Anglo-Iraqi Treaty (1930)
The Anglo-Iraqi Treaty of 1930 was a treaty of alliance between the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland and the British-Mandate-controlled administration of the Hashemite Kingdom of Iraq. The treaty was between the governments of George V of the United Kingdom and Faisal I of Iraq...

 of 1930 as an obstacle to his pan-Arab agenda, although it provided Iraq with a degree of political independence. He wanted to make sure that the treaty had a built-in end date because the treaty further divided Syria and Iraq, the former which was under French control, and the latter under British rule. This prevented unity between two major Arab regions, which were important in Faisal’s pan-Arab agenda. Ironically, Arab nationalists
Arab nationalism
Arab nationalism is a nationalist ideology celebrating the glories of Arab civilization, the language and literature of the Arabs, calling for rejuvenation and political union in the Arab world...

 in Iraq had a positive reception to the treaty because they saw this as progress, which seemed better than the Arab situation in Syria and Palestine
Palestine
Palestine is a conventional name, among others, used to describe the geographic region between the Mediterranean Sea and the Jordan River, and various adjoining lands....

.
In 1932, the British mandate ended and Faisal was instrumental in making his country nominally independent. On 3 October, the Kingdom of Iraq
Kingdom of Iraq
The Kingdom of Iraq was the sovereign state of Iraq during and after the British Mandate of Mesopotamia. The League of Nations mandate started in 1920. The kingdom began in August 1921 with the coronation of Faisal bin al-Hussein bin Ali al-Hashemi as King Faisal I...

 joined the League of Nations.

Also in 1932, Shah Faisal dreamt that he was being addressed by Hudhayfah ibn al-Yaman
Hudhayfah ibn al-Yaman
Huthayfa ibn al-Yaman was a close companion of the Islamic prophet Muhammad and one of the earliest converts to Islam. He is particularly revered by the Sufis and he related a considerable number of hadith, particularly those relating to eschatology...

, who said "O King! Remove Jabir ibn Abdullah Ansari
Jabir ibn Abd-Allah
Jabir ibn 'Abdullah ibn 'Amr ibn Haram al-Ansari was a prominent companion of Muhammad and his descendants, the Shi'a Imams.-Early life:Jabir ibn Abdullah al-Ansari was born in Yathrib 15 years before the Hijra. He belonged to a poor family of Yathrib. He was from the tribe of Khazraj. His mother...

 and me from the bank of river Tigris and bury us at some safe place because my grave is already filled with water while Jabir's grave is collecting water slowly." That year, a large number of Muslims and non-Muslims, along with the King, Grand Mufti, Prime Minister, and Prince Farooq of Egypt were there for the opening of graves of both trusted companions of Muhammad. Both of the bodies were said to be fresh and intact while their open eyes were said to issue forth such divine light that the spectators' eyes were dazzled. Furthermore, their coffins, clothes, and kaffan were also intact and at first glance, it appeared as if they were alive. The two bodies were then taken away and buried afresh near the grave of Salman al-Farsi, in Salman Park, which is 30 miles from Baghdad.

In August 1933, incidents like the Simele massacre
Simele massacre
The Simele Massacre was a massacre committed by the armed forces of the Kingdom of Iraq during the systematic targeting of Assyrians in northern Iraq in August 1933...

 caused tension between the United Kingdom and Iraq. Prime Minister
Prime minister
A prime minister is the most senior minister of cabinet in the executive branch of government in a parliamentary system. In many systems, the prime minister selects and may dismiss other members of the cabinet, and allocates posts to members within the government. In most systems, the prime...

 Ramsay McDonald ordered High Commissioner
High Commissioner
High Commissioner is the title of various high-ranking, special executive positions held by a commission of appointment.The English term is also used to render various equivalent titles in other languages.-Bilateral diplomacy:...

 Francis Humphrys
Francis Humphrys
Lieutenant-Colonel Sir Francis Henry Humphrys, GCMG, GCVO, KBE, CIE was a colonial administrator, diplomat and cricketer....

 to Iraq immediately upon hearing of the killing of Assyrian
Assyrian people
The Assyrian people are a distinct ethnic group whose origins lie in ancient Mesopotamia...

 Christians. The British government demanded that Faisal stay in Baghdad to punish the guilty — whether Christian or Muslim. In response, Faisal cabled to the Iraqi Legation in London: "Although everything is normal now in Iraq, and in spite of my broken health, I shall await the arrival of Sir Francis Humphrys in Bagdad, but there is no reason for further anxiety. Inform the British Government of the contents of my telegram."

In July 1933, right before his death, Faisal went to London where he expressed his alarm at the current situation of Arabs that resulted from the Arab-Jewish conflict
Arab–Israeli conflict
The Arab–Israeli conflict refers to political tensions and open hostilities between the Arab peoples and the Jewish community of the Middle East. The modern Arab-Israeli conflict began with the rise of Zionism and Arab Nationalism towards the end of the nineteenth century, and intensified with the...

 and the increased Jewish immigration to Palestine, as the Arab political, social, and economic situation was declining. He asked the British to limit Jewish migration and land sales, for fear that “otherwise in the near future the Arabs would either be squeezed out of Palestine or reduced to economic and social servitude.”

He died on September 8, 1933, when he had a heart attack
Myocardial infarction
Myocardial infarction or acute myocardial infarction , commonly known as a heart attack, results from the interruption of blood supply to a part of the heart, causing heart cells to die...

 while he was staying in Bern, Switzerland
Switzerland
Switzerland name of one of the Swiss cantons. ; ; ; or ), in its full name the Swiss Confederation , is a federal republic consisting of 26 cantons, with Bern as the seat of the federal authorities. The country is situated in Western Europe,Or Central Europe depending on the definition....

. He was succeeded on the throne by his oldest son Ghazi
Ghazi of Iraq
Ghazi bin Faisal was the King of the Hashemite Kingdom of Iraq from 1933 to 1939 having been briefly Crown Prince of the Kingdom of Syria in 1920...

.

A square is named in his honour at the end of Haifa Street
Haifa Street
Haifa Street is a two mile long street in Baghdad, Iraq. Along with Yafa Street , it runs southeast to the Assassin's Gate, an archway that served as the main entrance to the American-run Green Zone during the 2003 invasion of Iraq, paralleling the Tigris river...

, Baghdad
Baghdad
Baghdad is the capital of Iraq, as well as the coterminous Baghdad Governorate. The population of Baghdad in 2011 is approximately 7,216,040...

, where an equestrian statue of him stands. The statue was knocked down following the overthrow of the monarchy in 1958, but later restored.

Marriage and children


Faisal was married to Hazima bint Nasser and had one son and three daughters:
  • Princess Azza bint Faisal
  • Princess Rajiha bint Faisal
  • Princess Raifia bint Faisal
  • Ghazi, King of Iraq
    Ghazi of Iraq
    Ghazi bin Faisal was the King of the Hashemite Kingdom of Iraq from 1933 to 1939 having been briefly Crown Prince of the Kingdom of Syria in 1920...

     born 1912 died 4 April 1939, married Princess Aliya bint Ali daughter of HM King Ali of Hejaz
    Ali of Hejaz
    Ali bin Hussein, GBE was King of Hejaz and Grand Sharif of Mecca from October 1924 until December 1925. He was the eldest son of Sharif Hussein bin Ali, the first modern King of Hejaz, and a scion of the Hashemite family...

    .

Film


He has been portrayed on film three times: in the 1951 film Sirocco
Sirocco (film)
Sirocco is an American film noir directed by Curtis Bernhardt and written by A.I. Bezzerides and Hans Jacoby. It is based on the novel Coup de Grace written by Joseph Kessel. The drama features Humphrey Bogart, Märta Torén, Lee J. Cobb, among others.-Plot:In 1925 Damascus, the natives are engaged...

(dealing with the Syrian insurrection against France), by Jeff Corey
Jeff Corey
Jeff Corey was an American stage and screen actor and director who became a well-respected acting teacher after being blacklisted in the 1950s.-Biography:...

; David Lean
David Lean
Sir David Lean CBE was an English film director, producer, screenwriter, and editor best remembered for big-screen epics such as The Bridge on the River Kwai , Lawrence of Arabia ,...

's epic Lawrence of Arabia
Lawrence of Arabia (film)
Lawrence of Arabia is a 1962 British film based on the life of T. E. Lawrence. It was directed by David Lean and produced by Sam Spiegel through his British company, Horizon Pictures, with the screenplay by Robert Bolt and Michael Wilson. The film stars Peter O'Toole in the title role. It is widely...

(1962), played by Alec Guiness, and in the unofficial sequel to Lawrence, A Dangerous Man: Lawrence After Arabia
A Dangerous Man: Lawrence After Arabia
A Dangerous Man: Lawrence After Arabia is a made-for-TV movie depicting the experiences of T. E. Lawrence and Emir Feisal of the Hejaz at the Paris Peace Conference after the end of World War I. One of the conference's many concerns was determining the fates of territories formerly under the rule...

(1990) by Alexander Siddig
Alexander Siddig
Siddig El Tahir El Fadil El Siddig Abderrahman Mohammed Ahmed Abdel Karim El Mahdi is a Sudanese-born English actor, also known as Siddig El Fadil and his stage name Alexander Siddig. He is known for playing Dr...

. On video, he was portrayed in The Adventures of Young Indiana Jones
The Young Indiana Jones Chronicles
The Young Indiana Jones Chronicles is an American television series that aired on ABC from March 4, 1992, to July 24, 1993. The series explores the childhood and youth of the fictional character Indiana Jones and primarily stars Sean Patrick Flanery and Corey Carrier as the title character, with...

: Chapter 19 The Winds of Change
(1995) by Anthony Zaki.

External references


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Masalha, N. "Faisal's Pan-Arabism, 1921-33." Middle Eastern Studies 27 (1991): 679-93. JSTOR. University of Michigan, Ann Arbor. 1 Mar. 2009 .
Simon, Reeva S. "The Hashemite 'Conspiracy': Hashemite Unity Attempts, 1921-1958." International Journal of Middle East Studies 5 (1974): 314-27. JSTOR. University of Michigan, Ann Arbor. 1 Mar. 2009 .
Tripp, Charles. A History of Iraq. New York: Cambridge UP, 2007.