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'File 11/44 Leading Personalities in Iraq, Iran & Saudi Arabia' [‎29r] (57/96)

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The record is made up of 1 file (46 folios). It was created in 27 Jun 1947-19 Jul 1948. It was written in English. The original is part of the British Library: India Office The department of the British Government to which the Government of India reported between 1858 and 1947. The successor to the Court of Directors. Records and Private Papers Documents collected in a private capacity. .


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He has endeavoured to maintain good relations with
the Iraqi Government, though the Nationalist
element in Bagdad regard him with some suspicion
on account of his father’s close friendship with the
British. His tribal area is from the Euphrates
southwards to the Nejd border.
He obtained a good contract for the supply of
labour on the Haifa-Bagdad road in 1940. During
Rashid Ali’s rebellion in May 1941 he lost control of
his tribe, parties of which attacked and looted some
of the road camps.
His estate al Razza, near Kerbala, has been
expropriated for the Abu Dibbis reservoir and
Mahrut has experienced great difficulty in obtaining
compensation from the Government.
He is now (1947) trying to get the pre-1941
division of labour and guards on the pipe-line
restored. This division divided these lucrative
services between the Anaza and the Dulaim tribes
on a geographical basis.
70. Mahmud, Shaikh
Of the family of Barzinja Sayyidis. He has
inherited from his father and grandfather great tribal
and religious influence throughout Southern Kurdi
stan. He was made Hukumdar of Suleimani in 1918,
shortly after the British occupation. In June 1919
lui. revolted against British authority, was wounded
1 deported to Henjam Island in the Persian Gulf The historical term used to describe the body of water between the Arabian Peninsula and Iran. .
He was reinstalled as Hukumdar of Suleimani in
1922, after the Turks had forced the British political
officers there to withdraw. In 1928 armed action
had to be taken against him to check his endeavours
to establish his influence in the Kirkuk and Arbil
Provinces. Suleimani was reoccupied in 1924, but
Shaikh Mahmud was not brought to terms until 1927.
These were that he was to abstain from politics and
live outside Iraq in one of his Persian villages close
to the border. He chose Piran and stayed there
quietly until 1980, when an outbreak of Kurdish
Nationalist feeling in Suleimani again tempted him
into the political arena. Ai* 1 and ground forces had
again to be sent against him, and on the 31st May
he surrendered at Panjwin. He was granted an
allowance and sent to live at Hilla. From there he
was later removed to Ramadi, and in the summer of
1933 he was permitted to take a house in Bagdad.
He receives an allowance of 900 rupees Indian silver coin also widely used in the Persian Gulf. a month
from the Iraq Government. He has three sons,
*Vuf, Baba Ali and Latif. Rauf is quiet and
industrious and is a student in the Law College.
Elected Deputy for Sulaimani in December 1938 and
again in June 1939. Baba Ali, after completing his
secondary schooling at Victoria College in Alexandria,
was sent to Columbia University, New York, to study
political economy. On his return in 1938 he was
given employment in the railways. Latif is the pet
of his father, and will follow closely in his footsteps,
if he has the chance to do so.
His properties in Sulaimani were confiscated in
1931, but restored by special Act of Parliament in
December 1938.
Towards the end of May 1941, during Rashid Ali’s
rebellion, Shaikh Mahmud escaped from Bagdad,
and in company with Abbas-i-Salim, brother of
Babekr Agha (q.v) he raised a tribal force to attack
Sulaimani with the object of ejecting Rashid Ali s
officials. Before their plans could materialise, how
ever, Rashid Ali’s rebellion collapsed and most of the
chieftains returned home. Shaikh Mahmud himself
endeavoured to exploit the occasion to obtain conces
sions to the Kurds, but he was persuaded in the end
to disperse his followers and to settle down in
Darikella, one of his villages in Barzian. His
youngest and favourite son, Latif, is restless and
unreliable, and a source of anxiety to the Mutesarrif
of Sulaimania.
71. Majid Mustafa
A Kurd of Sulaimani, born about 1894. During
the war of 1914—18 he was an officer in the Turkish
army, and for some time after the Armistice of
Mudros held pro-Turkish views. He was an active
supporter of Shaikh Mahmoud 1924—26. When
Shaikh Mahmoud submitted to the Government
Majid was made a Mudir in the Kut liwa. His
administrative ability was soon apparent. In 1928
he became Qaimaqam of Nasiriyah, and in 1935 he
was promoted to be Mutesarrif. Two years later he
was posted to Amara where he remained until 1941.
His attitude in the Rashid Ali disturbances of 1941
was equivocal, but he seems on the whole to have
favoured Rashid Ali’s cause rather than that of the
Regent. Rashid Ali did not, however, trust him and
brought him in to the capital so that he could be
watched. After the Regent’s return to Bagdad at
the beginning of June 1941 Majid took leave in
He returned in September and was then suspended
for four years on account of his compliance with the
orders of the Rashid Ali regime.
Nevertheless, in December 1943 he joined Xuri
Pasha’s Cabinet as Minister without Portfolio, with
the special task of finding some means to stop the
fighting with Mulla Mustafa in the Barzan area and
of redressing Kurdish grievances. The Regent
disliked his appointment and only reluctantly agreed
to it.
Majid succeeded in bringing about a peaceful
settlement with Mulla Mustafa in January 1944 and
remained in the Cabinet, without Portfolio, but
charged specially with advising the Government on
Kurdish affairs.
Resigned with the whole of Nuri Said’s Cabinet in
June 1944.
Has gone into business but has not abandoned
politics. Made a vigorous and impressive speech
on Kurdish needs in the Chamber in January 1945.
By the Kurds he is not trusted as they consider he
is only interested in the fruits of power. Has been
careful to advertise on the surface his dissociation
from events in Barzan.
Not a member of the 1947 Chamber, he is concen
trating on business, he has business connexions with
the war millionaire Shibly Bishara of Transjordan Used in three contexts: the geographical region to the east of the River Jordan (literally ‘across the River Jordan’); a British protectorate (1921-46); an independent political entity (1946-49) now known as Jordan .
72. Mar Shimun
Eshai, Mar Shimun, Patriarch of the Assyrians
(Catholicos of the Church in the East).
Born about 1909. Succeeded to the patriarchate
in 1920 when a child. Educated in England at a
seminary in Canterbury. Since coming of age and
assuming the authority of his position, Mar Shimun
has actively fostered discontent among the Assyrians.
Whatever his position as the head of a spiritual
community, his temporal authority is not acknow
ledged by a large number of Assyrians, estimated at
a maximum at 12,000. His aim has been to establish
the whole community in a compact enclave under
his own spiritual and temporal authority. He was
the inspirer of the mutiny of the levies in 1932 and
of the exodus to Syria in 1933. Deported by the
Iraq Government in the summer of 1933, he was
given an asylum in Cyprus, where his father David
and his aunt Surma joined him. In October 1933
he went to Geneva to protest to the League of
Nations against the massacre of Assyrians which
followed the Assyrian attack on the Iraq army at
Dairabun (Faishkhabur) in August 1933, and in
November went to England to obtain support from
friends and sympathisers there. On his deportation
King Feisal granted him and his family a provisional
allowance of £780 a year, subject to his correct
behaviour. This allowance was stopped by King
Ghazi in the summer of 1934 on account of the

About this item


This file contains copies of the following Foreign Office documents:

  • 'Leading Personalities in Persia, 1947' (folios 3-20)
  • 'Leading Personalities in Iraq, 1947' (folios 21-36)
  • 'Leading Personalities in Saudi Arabia, 1948' (folios 37-47).
Extent and format
1 file (46 folios)
Physical characteristics

Foliation: the foliation sequence (used for referencing) commences at the front cover with 1, and terminates at the inside back cover with 48; these numbers are written in pencil, are circled, and are located in the top right corner of the recto The front of a sheet of paper or leaf, often abbreviated to 'r'. side of each folio.

Written in
English in Latin script
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'File 11/44 Leading Personalities in Iraq, Iran & Saudi Arabia' [‎29r] (57/96), British Library: India Office Records and Private Papers, IOR/R/15/6/392, in Qatar Digital Library <> [accessed 28 November 2023]

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