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Faisal I

Faisal I or Faysal I (both: fĪˈsəl) [key], 1885–1933, king of Iraq (1921–33). The third son of Husayn ibn Ali, sherif of Mecca, he is also called Faisal ibn Husayn. Faisal was educated in Constantinople and later sat in the Ottoman parliament as deputy for Jidda. In World War I he served with the Turkish army in Syria until 1916, when, escaping to Arabia, he joined with T. E. Lawrence in an Arab revolt. Faisal was disappointed in his hope to rule as king over all Arab territory in the Ottoman Empire. His aspirations were partly satisfied in 1920, when a Syrian nationalist congress proclaimed him king, but France, the mandatory power, forced him to abdicate later that year. In 1921 the British, who held the mandate of Iraq, nominated Faisal as king, and he was confirmed by a plebiscite. As king, he generally cooperated with the British and actively participated in the affairs of government, particularly in achieving Iraq's independence and membership in the League of Nations (1932). He was succeeded by his son, Ghazi.

The Columbia Electronic Encyclopedia, 6th ed. Copyright © 2012, Columbia University Press. All rights reserved.

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