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Faisal I of Iraq

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Faisal ibn Husayn (May 20, 1883 - September 8, 1933) was for a short while king of Greater Syria in 1920 and king of Iraq from 1921 to 1933.

He was born in Taif (in present-day Saudi Arabia) in 1883 he was the third son of Husseini, the Grand Sharif of Mecca. In 1913 he was elected as representative for the city of Jidda for the Ottoman parliament. In 1916 whilst he was on a visit to Damascus he joined with the Al-Fatat[?] (group of Arab nationalists) and his father became king of Hijaz. Faisal also worked with the Allies during World War I in their conquest of Transjordan and the capture of Damascus, where he became part of a new Arab government in 1918. He attended the Paris Peace Conference of 1919[?] and, with the support of the knowledgeable and influential Gertrude Bell[?], argued for the establishment of independent Arab emirates[?] for the area previously the Ottoman Empire.

On March 7, 1920 he was made king of Greater Syria by the Syrian National Congress[?]. But In April 1920 the Conference of San Remo[?] gave France the mandate for Syria, which led to the battle of Maysalun[?] on July 24, 1920 and Faysal was expelled from Syria by the French, and went to live in the United Kingdom in August that year.

The British government, mandate holders in Iraq, were concerned at the unrest in the new country. They decided to step back from direct administration and create a monarchy to head Iraq while they maintained the mandate. Following a plebiscite showing 96% in favor, Faisal agreed to become king so, in August 1921 he was made king of Iraq.

He died on September 8, 1933 when he had a heart attack whilst he was staying in Bern. His only son Ghazi succeeded him.



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