The Info List - Feisal II

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Faisal II (Arabic: الملك فيصل الثاني Al-Malik Fayṣal Ath-thānī) (2 May 1935 – 14 July 1958) was the last King of Iraq. He reigned from 4 April 1939 until July 1958, when he was executed during the 14 July Revolution
14 July Revolution
together with numerous members of his family. This regicide marked the end of the thirty-seven-year-old Hashemite monarchy
Hashemite monarchy
in Iraq, which then became a republic.


1 Family and early life

1.1 Birth and early years 1.2 1941 coup

2 End of Regency 3 Downfall and murder

3.1 An opposition forms 3.2 14 July Revolution

4 Notable published works 5 Military ranks 6 Ancestry 7 Namesakes 8 See also 9 Notes 10 External links 11 Further reading

Family and early life[edit] Birth and early years[edit]

King Faisal II at the age of 5

Faisal was the only son of Iraq's second king, Ghazi, and his wife Queen Aliya, second daughter of ' Ali
bin Hussein, King of the Hijaz and Grand Sharif of Mecca. Faisal's father was killed in a mysterious car crash when he was three years old; his uncle 'Abd al-Ilah
'Abd al-Ilah
served as regent until Faisal came of age in 1953. King Faisal was the model used by Belgian comic writer Hergé
for his character Prince Abdullah of Khemed in The Adventures of Tintin.[2] He suffered from asthma.[3] 1941 coup[edit]

King Faisal II of Iraq

Faisal's childhood coincided with World War II, in which Iraq
was formally allied with the British Empire
British Empire
and the Allies. In April 1941, his uncle 'Abd al-Ilah
'Abd al-Ilah
was briefly deposed as Regent
by a military coup d'état which aimed to align Iraq
with the Axis powers. The 1941 coup in Iraq
soon led to the Anglo-Iraqi War. German aid that was promised however never materialised, and 'Abd al-Ilah
'Abd al-Ilah
was restored to power by a combined Allied force composed of the Jordanian Arab Legion, the Royal Air Force
Royal Air Force
and other British units. Iraq
resumed its British alliance, and at the end of the war joined the United Nations. During his early years, Faisal was tutored at the royal palace with several other Iraqi boys. During World War II, he lived for a time with his mother at Grove Lodge at Winkfield
Row in Berkshire
in England. As a teenager, Faisal attended Harrow School
Harrow School
with his second cousin Hussein, later to become King Hussein of Jordan. The two boys were close friends, and reportedly planned early on to merge their two realms, to counter what they considered to be the threat of militant pan-Arab nationalism. In 1952, Faisal visited the United States, where he met President Harry Truman, Dean Acheson, the actor James Mason, and Jackie Robinson, among others. Hastening Faisal's demise was the decision taken by his regent (later confirmed by him) to allow the United Kingdom to retain a continued role in Iraqi affairs, through the Anglo-Iraqi Treaty of 1948, and later the Baghdad
Pact, signed in 1955. Massive protests greeted news of each of these alliances, resulting in the deaths of hundreds of demonstrators and an increasing deterioration of loyalty to the Iraqi crown. End of Regency[edit]

Prince Abdullah (holding hat) at Mount Vernon
Mount Vernon
USA. He was the regent for his nephew Faisal during his infancy. They were both killed during the 1958 coup.

Faisal attained his majority on 2 May 1953, commencing his active rule with little experience and during a changing Iraqi political and social climate, exacerbated by the rapid development of pan-Arab nationalism. Faisal initially relied for political advice upon his uncle Prince 'Abd al-Ilah, and General Nuri al-Sa'id, a veteran politician and nationalist who had already served several terms as Prime Minister. As oil revenues increased during the 1950s, the king and his advisers chose to invest their wealth in development projects, which some claimed increasingly alienated the rapidly growing middle class and the peasantry. The Iraqi Communist Party
Iraqi Communist Party
increased its influence. Though the regime seemed secure, intense dissatisfaction with Iraq's condition brewed just below the surface. An ever-widening gap between the wealth possessed by the political elites, landowners and other supporters of the regime on the one hand, and the poverty of workers and peasants on the other, intensified opposition to Faisal's government. Since the upper classes controlled the parliament, reformists increasingly saw revolution as their sole hope for improvement. The toppling of Egypt's monarchy in 1952–53 by Gamal Abdel Nasser provided an impetus for a similar undertaking in Iraq. On 1 February 1958, neighbouring Syria
joined with Nasser's Egypt
to form the United Arab Republic. This prompted the Hashemite
kingdoms of Iraq
and Jordan
to strengthen their ties by establishing a similar alliance. Two weeks later, on 14 February, this league formally became the Arab Federation
Arab Federation
of Iraq
and Jordan. Faisal, as the senior member of the Hashemite
family, became its head of state. Downfall and murder[edit] An opposition forms[edit] Faisal's political situation deteriorated in 1956, with uprisings in the cities of Najaf
and Hayy. Meanwhile, Israel's attack on Egypt, coordinated with Britain and France in response to Nasser's nationalisation of the Suez Canal, only exacerbated popular revulsion of the Baghdad
Pact – and thus, Faisal's regime. The opposition began to coordinate its activities; in February 1957, a "Front of National Union" was established, bringing together the National Democrats, Independents, Communists, and the Ba'ath Party. An identical process ensued within the Iraqi officer corps, with the formation of a "Supreme Committee of Free Officers". Faisal's government endeavoured to preserve the military's loyalty through generous benefits, but this proved increasingly ineffective as more and more officers came to sympathise with the nascent anti-monarchist movement. 14 July Revolution[edit] Main article: 14 July Revolution In the summer of 1958, King Hussein of Jordan
Hussein of Jordan
asked for Iraqi military assistance during the escalating Lebanon crisis. Units of the Iraqi Army under the command of Abd al-Karim Qasim, en route to Jordan, chose to march on Baghdad
instead, where they mounted a coup d'état on 14 July 1958. During the 14 July Revolution, Faisal II ordered the royal guard to offer no resistance, and Faisal himself surrendered to the insurgents.[citation needed] Around 8 am, Captain Abdul Sattar Sabaa Al-Ibousi, leading the revolutionary assault group at the palace, ordered the King, Prince 'Abd al-Ilah, Princess Hiyam ('Abd al-Ilah's wife), Princess Nafeesa ('Abd al-Ilah's mother), Princess Abadiya (Faisal's aunt) and several servants to gather in the palace courtyard. Here, they were told to turn towards the wall, where all were immediately machine-gunned by their captors. Faisal, who had not died during the initial fusillade, was transported to a hospital, but died en route. His body was publicly displayed through being strung up from a lamp post.[4] Many years later, when the Iraqi historian Safa Khulusi
Safa Khulusi
met Al-Ibousi, who was once one of Khulusi's students, and questioned him on his part in Faisal's death, the former student answered "all I did was remember Palestine, and the trigger on the machine-gun just set itself off".[5] Notable published works[edit] Author of “How to Defend Yourself” (1951), an Arabic book on judo and self-defence.[6] Military ranks[edit] Faisal held the following ranks:[7]

Admiral of the Fleet, Royal Iraqi Navy. Field Marshal, Royal Iraqi Army. Marshal of the Royal Iraqi Air Force. Air Vice-Marshal
Air Vice-Marshal
(honorary), Royal Air Force.


v t e


Hashim (eponymous ancestor)


Abu Talib


Muhammad (Islamic prophet)

Ali (fourth caliph)


Hasan (fifth caliph)

Hasan Al-Mu'thanna


Musa Al-Djawn









Abd Al-Karim



Qatada (Sharif of Mecca)


Hassan (Sharif of Mecca)

Abu Numayy I (Sharif of Mecca)

Rumaythah (Sharif of Mecca)

'Ajlan (Sharif of Mecca)

Hassan (Sharif of Mecca)

Barakat I (Sharif of Mecca)

Muhammad (Sharif of Mecca)

Barakat II (Sharif of Mecca)

Abu Numayy II (Sharif of Mecca)

Hassan (Sharif of Mecca)

Abdullah (Sharif of Mecca)




Auon, Ra'i Al-Hadala

Abdul Mu'een

Muhammad (Sharif of Mecca)


Hussein ( Sharif of Mecca
Sharif of Mecca
King of Hejaz)

Ali (King of Hejaz)

Abdullah I (King of Jordan)

Faisal I (King of Syria
King of Iraq)

Zeid (pretender to Iraq)

'Abd Al-Ilah ( Regent
of Iraq)

Talal (King of Jordan)

Ghazi (King of Iraq)

Ra'ad (pretender to Iraq)

Hussein (King of Jordan)

Faisal II (King of Iraq)


Abdullah II (King of Jordan)

Hussein (Crown Prince of Jordan)

Namesakes[edit] Martyr Faisal II College (Kolleyet Al-Shahid Faisal Al-Thani) is a military school in Jordan
that was named after him. See also[edit]

Wikimedia Commons has media related to Feisal II of Iraq.

Sharif Ali
bin al-Hussein – The cousin of Faisal II who currently lives in Iraq
and has a political platform to establish a constitutional monarchy in Iraq. Prince Ra'ad, head of the royal house of Iraq Nuri al-Said
Nuri al-Said
– The Prime Minister
Prime Minister
of the Kingdom of Iraq
Kingdom of Iraq
who was also executed by supporters of Colonel Abdul Karim Qassim.


^ "IRAQ – Resurgence in the Shiite World – Part 8 – Jordan
& The Hashemite
Factors". APS Diplomat Redrawing the Islamic Map. 2005.  ^ Michael Farr, Tintin: The Complete Companion, John Murray, 2001. ^ S9.com. Retrieved on 14 July 2008. ^ Margaret MacMillan, "Iraq's twisted British roots". Globe and Mail, January 23, 2003: A17. ^ Professor Safa Khulusi, Obituary, The Independent, 5 October 1995. ^ Royal Ark Retrieved 24 November 2017. ^ Royal Ark

External links[edit]

"Young King". Time Magazine. 17 April 1939. Retrieved 24 November 2017.  "Revolt in Baghdad". Time Magazine. 21 July 1958. Retrieved 24 November 2017.  "In One Swift Hour". Time Magazine. 28 July 1958. Retrieved 24 November 2017.  "Coins of Faisal II". Retrieved 24 November 2017.  Photos of Faisal's 1952 journey to the United States

Further reading[edit]

Khadduri, Majid. Independent Iraq, 1932–1958. 2nd ed. Oxford University Press, 1960. Lawrence, T. E. Seven Pillars of Wisdom. Retrieved 14 July 2008 Longrigg, Stephen H. Iraq, 1900 to 1950. Oxford University Press, 1953. Morris, James. The Hashemite
Kings. London, 1959. De Gaury, Gerald. Three kings in Baghdad, 1921-1958 (Hutchinson, 1961).

Faisal II of Iraq House of Hāshim Born: 2 May 1935 Died: 14 July 1958

Regnal titles

Preceded by Ghazi I King of Iraq 4 April 1939 – 14 July 1958 14 July Revolution

Titles in pretence

Preceded by Ghazi I — TITULAR — King of Syria 4 April 1939 - 14 July 1958 Reason for succession failure: Kingdom abolished in 1920 Succeeded by Zeid bin Hussein

Loss of title Monarchy abolished

— TITULAR — King of Iraq 14 July 1958

v t e

Kings of Iraq

House of Hashim

Faisal I Ghazi I 'Abd al-Ilah
'Abd al-Ilah
(as Regent) Faisal II

v t e

Iraqi princes

Generations are numbered by descent from Hussein bin Ali, Sharif of Mecca.

1st generation

King Faisal I Prince Zeid

2nd generation

King Ghazi I Crown Prince Abdullah1 Prince Ra'ad

3rd generation

King Faisal II Prince Zeid Prince Mired Prince Firas Prince Faisal

4th generation

Prince Ra'ad Prince Rakan Prince Jafar

See also House of Hashemite 1 Appointed Crown Prince from 10 November 1943.

Authority control

WorldCat Identities VIAF: 25542089 LCCN: nb2002094152 ISNI: 0000 0000 3785 7842 GND: 124649033 BNF: