FAISAL I of Iraq. 21124



An important Typed Letter, in English, signed in Arabic by Faisal a few weeks before becoming king, to Ormsby-Gore, expressing “my deep gratitude for your late speech in Parliament, in which you took up the defence of the Arab cause”, reflecting on the future of Iraq and the importance of relations with Great Britain. 1 page 12 x 8 inches, folded, creases in good condition. Baghdad, 28 July 1921. Faisal bin Al Hussein Bin Ali El-Hashemi (1883-1933), King of Iraq from 23 August 1921. Faisal sided with Great Britain in World War I and with the help of T. E. Lawrence organised a revolt against the Ottoman Empire. His correspondent is William George Arthur Ormsby-Gore, 4th Baron Harlech KG GCMG PC (1885-1964). Ormsby-Gore was on active service in Egypt when in 1916 he joined the Arab bureau as an intelligence officer attached to the high commissioner, Sir A. Henry McMahon. In March 1921, at the Cairo Conference, the British decided that Faisal was a good candidate for ruling the British Mandate of Iraq because of his apparent conciliatory attitude towards the Great Powers and based on advice from T. E. Lawrence. Following a plebiscite showing 96% in favour, Faisal agreed to become king. On 23 August 1921, he was made King of Iraq. A few weeks before, he writes in this letter: “We are passing now through an important change in the history of this country; a change which will surely have great effects on its future. Voting has already commenced, and we hope it will be over in a few days, and a new Government will be formed. The Arabs here appreciate the importance of the change in British policy. There is no doubt there are many difficulties in the way, but I am sure that your support and that of other friends will facilitate the difficulties I have to surmount. The future will prove that the Arabs are worthy of the confidence and friendship of Great Britain, and that your defence of their cause was not in vain.”