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Bibliography on Iraqi censuses and statistics

Aderet, Ofer. “For the First Time in Israel's History, Jewish Fertility Rate Surpasses That of Arabs.” Haaretz, 31 December 2019, Accessed .

al-Ansary, Khalid, and Jim Loney. “Iraq to hold first full census since '87 in October.” Reuters, 16 January 2010, Accessed .

Alexander, Ari. The Jews of Baghdad and Zionism: 1920-1948. Oxford, Faculty of Oriental Studies, University of Oxford, 2004, Accessed .

Chmaytelli, Maher, et al. “With Jews largely gone from Iraq, memories survive in Israel.” Reuters, 18 April 2018, Accessed .

CIA. “The World Factbook.”, 2020, Accessed 19 October 2020.

Israel Ministry of Foreign Affairs. “Israel - Size and Dimension.” Israel Ministry of Foreign Affairs, 2013, Accessed .

Palestine Central Bureau of Statistics. Preliminary Results of the Population, Housing and Establishments Census, 2017. Palestine Central Bureau of Statistics, 2018. PCBS, Accessed .

Research Directorate, Immigration and Refugee Board of Canada. “Iraq: Whether there was a census in Iraq on 15 October 1997 and if so, whether Iraqis outside the country who did not return for the census would lose their status if they returned.” Refworld, Canada: Immigration and Refugee Board of Canada, 1998, Accessed .

Shezaf, Hagar. “Israel Prepares for First West Bank Census Since 1967 as Potential Annexation Nears.” Haaretz, 11 June 2020, Accessed .

Whitcomb, Alexander. “In Kurdistan, Birth Rates Lower than in Rest of Iraq.” Rudaw, 08 May 2014, Accessed .

The World Bank. “Birth rate, crude (per 1,000 people).” The World Bank Data, 2020, Accessed .

The World Bank. “Life expectancy at birth, total (years).” The World Bank Data, 2020, Accessed .

The World Bank. “Metadata Glossary.” The World Bank Data, 2020, Accessed .

The World Bank. “Surface area (sq. km) - Iraq.” The World Bank Data, 2020, Accessed .

United Nations

Prior to the October 1997 census, earlier censuses had been conducted in October 1987 and October 1977. While the 1987 census had included all of Iraq’s 18 governorates, the latest census had covered only 15. Three Kurdish autonomous regions comprising some 12 per cent of the total national population in 1987 had not been covered by the 1997 census. Preparations for the 1997 census had taken 10 months, as compared to the 24 months for the 1987 census. The cost of the 1997 census was some 60 per cent less than that reported for the 1987 census.

Fort Worth Star-Telegram (Fort Worth, TX)

Gains remarked in Iraqi Census

BAGHDAD (AP) — Government statistics show a 17 per cent increase in Iraq's population over the last five years. The population is now reported to be about 9.4 million. It was slightly more than eight million in 1965, according to census figures.

But despite the increase, Iraq — two thirds the size of Texas — is still one of the most sparsely populated Arab countries.

Musterite Stranded In iraq

Although she is safe and unharmed, a Munster woman stranded in Iraq after the Middle Eastern country’s military revolution three weeks ago has not been able to return home.

The families of two former Lake County men are also reported in safe condition, although the men plan to remain in Iraq so long as the country’s new government continues operation of an oil refinery where the Americans are employed in supervisor positions.

Florence Morning News
Florence SC

Red Goods Imported

BAGHDAD, Dec. 19 (AP) — Iraq has no diplomatic relations with any Communist country but it imported goods worth $2,915,958 from the Soviet bloc in the first half of 1957. The announcement noted that Iraq exposed nothing to the Iron Curtain lands.

Green Bay Press-Gazzette
Green Bay, WI

Iraq’s Development in Near Future Fabulous

This is the fifth in a series of articles by a De Pere student at the University of Wisconsin who toured the Middle East this summer on a trip sponsored by the American Education Abroad Scholarship Fund


“If you come to Iraq in 10 or 15 years, you will not see the same Iraq that you see to-day.” These were the words of Iraqi development officials, private contractors, and citizens as well as American representatives on the Iraq Development Board and USOM. They believe it and so do I.

The most impressive example of recent development in Iraq was the Sulaimania district. Without the aid of UN technical assistance and Point-Four, the district launched a five-year plan in 1954 for the purpose of road construction, public gardens, hospitals, schools, and similar projects.

Just outside the small city of Sulaimania looms a large new cement factory government owned and constructed by a French firm. The daily production of the factory is 350 tons per day and its operation employs a large number of the Sulaimania population. The factory was built as a necessity in view of the vast development in the area including especially road building, a new tobacco plant and sugar refinery, housing projects and the Dokan Dam.

Big Lake Formed

Dokan is one of a number of irrigation projects undertaken by the Iraq Development Board and designed to obtain control over floods and their aftermaths, to utilize irrigation waters, produce electrical power for industry, and ultimately to raise the standard of living. The lake which will be formed will cover 58 existing villages, and the villagers will be given land and new homes by the government.

The Iraq Petroleum Co., with its construction of huge housing projects and recreation clubs for employees was made even more impressive after our visit to the mud villages in which may of the employees now reside. The controversial, but unsolvable question concerning the IPC development, however, was whether or not the British were actually training the Iraq workers so that they would eventually be able to take over the entire oil process themselves. There was further an accusation that Iraq workers were discriminated against in the new recreation clubs as well as on the job.

Help Develop Villages

Mr. Brown, the American representative of USOM explained the Iraq Community Development project, participated in by the Iraq Ministry of Social Affairs (newly formed), Health, and Education. The object of the project is to help the villages develop themselves — their health standards, agricultural methods, sanitation, and the like.

The Community Development Program has not been especially effective as yet, he said, principally because it has not had the full support of the Iraq government and there is an immediate problem of manpower especially acute by the Iraq draft for military service. “The Iraqis have plenty of money of their own in oil revenue, what they want and need from us, is technical assistance. By necessity, many Americans are employed in development projects, but their constant objective is to work themselves out of a job.”

Agriculture Key Project

USOM participation in Iraq development projects is concerned primarily with agriculture ($400,000), transportation ($317,000), and health and sanitation ($301,000). Education and technical support rank fourth and fifth respectively in amount of dollars expended. The total government of Iraq Development Program expenditure for the fiscal year 1957 is $238,000,000. USOM expenditure is $2,300,000.

The Minister of the Development Board explained the organization of the board, which includes one voting member of the U.S., one voting member of the U.K., three Iraq government affiliated members. Requests of districts for what they consider necessary projects are surveyed by the board and then processed through five technical sessions which are headed by an American, a Frenchman, and three Iraqis.

70 Per Cent of Revenue

The development board receives 70 percent of the country’s oil revenue, some of which goes to direct contractors who operate under supervision of the board, and some of which takes the form of allotments to ministers. The Greek Co., Doxiades seemed to be the most popular in community development, and most of the machinery that we saw in development projects was German-made. “The main problem,” said the minister, “is that the government has more money that it has trained people to operate and maintain.”

After my visit to a typical village in Iraq, with the small mud huts which housed family and animals alike, the central water hole where the women washed clothes and themselves, the numerous small children whose eyes were infected and whose skin was covered with boils, and the multitudes of flys, cats, and sheep everywhere—after riding on the old roads and dirt paths throughout Iraq—after visiting overcrowded and understaffed schools and hospitals in this country which is starved for education and sanitation, the ambition fo the Iraq Development Program was to me heartening.

A special tour through the new palace fo King Faisal was a grand finale to the development in Iraq. That is, impressive and dynamic.

The Herald-News
Passaic, NJ

Iraq Uses Oil Revenues to Improve Country
Spending Vast Income Wisely, Visitor to Ancient Land Says

Dr. Milton J. Hoffman is a retired seminary professor living in East Millstone. He is a travel consultant to KLM Royal Dutch Airlines. This is one of several articles he wrote following a 20,000-mile air tour that took him to South Africa, Italy and the Middle East.

By Dr. Milton J. Hoffman

It is only a three-hour flight by airlines from Beirut, in Lebanon, to Basra, in Iraq. Basra is in the heart of the Arab world. The flight carried me over the barren Arabian desert, which in summer becomes a sea of burning sand.

Forty miles north of Basra, the Tigris and Euphrates Rivers come together to form the Shattered el Arab, which flows into the Persian Gulf.

It was my second visit to Iraq, a land which attracts me like a magnet. In this it is like South Africa.

In Iraq are the cities about which my Sunday school teachers talked in my boyhood 60 years ago; Ur of the Chaldees, Abraham’s birthplace, Nineveh, the city of the proud Assyrian kings; and Babylon, the capital of an ancient empire.

The Euphrates and Tigris Rivers have a fascination all their own, embracing, as they do, Mesopotamia, the land between the rivers.

Iraq is a large country, 168,000 square miles—as large as Iowa, Illinois and Wisconsin combined. Except for the western part, which is desert, it was once one of the most productive regions of the world. And it could be so again, for the soil is like Iowa soil. The two great rivers could supply irrigation for 7,000,000 acres.

Like every visitor here, I could not help being impressed by what oil (rightfully called “black gold”) is doing for this backward country. In 1955, crude oil production amounted to 240,000,000 barrels, from which approximately 200,000,000 barrels of gasoline could be refined.

That meant little to me until I tried breaking this figures down to an everyday level. A barrel of oil contains 42 gallons.

Now, if a person used five gallons of gasoline a day, driving between 75 and 100 miles per day, it would take him over 12,000 years to use up what Iraq produces every day. Other Arab lands have a combined production of over three times as much as Iraq.

It is the huge profit from the oil industry that is transforming this country. A development board, appointed by the King, makes a careful study of all recommended construction projects, and the gives the go-ahead signal to those that look promising.

So roads and bridges, schools and hospitals are built. Hundreds of soil and reclamation projects are being pushed vigorously. Oil profits provide loan funds which make large building projects possible.

In a real sense, Iraq was the cradle of western civilization as we know it. Archaeological discoveries reveal the amazing building genius of architects who lived 4,000 years ago. Here, quite likely, writing was discovered. Here laws and the rights of man were first recorded in the Code of Hammurabi.

To the learned men of ancient Mesopotamia we owe the beginnings of the science of astronomy. Here the circle was divided into 360 degrees, and the hour into 60 minutes.

We trace the true arch, razors, cosmetics, harps, and shepherd’s pipes to this ancient land. Such words as cassia, chicory, cumin, crocus, hyssop, myrrh, nard, and saffron come to us directly from a language that was in daily use in what today is Iraq, millenniums before the English language was dreamed of. Little wonder that citizens of Iraq prefer to be called Iraqis rather than Arabs!

It is not an accident that Iraq forms the keystone in the Baghdad Pact arch. The pact is composed of England, Turkey, Iraq, Iran (Persia), and Pakistan, which together make a firm barrier against Soviet design on the rich oil areas in the south. World War I ended the three centuries rule (or rather, misrule) of the Ottoman Turks. The Emir Faisal, the third son of the Sherif of Mecca, Islam’s holiest center, ranged his armies with the British, and so helped to drive the Ottoman Turks out of the land.

At the peace conference in Versailles, the borders of the present Arab kingdoms were more or less fixed. Iraq chose Emir Faisal as her King. No better choice could have been made.

Faisal was at the peace conference in Paris. He visited London and there helped to work out long-range plans for what was to be his kingdom. England secured a mandate over Iraq. In 1922 she recognized Iraq as an independent kingdom. Ten years later she surrendered her mandate, and sponsored Iraq’s full membership in the League of Nations.

King Faisal was a statesman. He consolidated friendships with Iraq’s neighbors. As a progressive ruler, he made tours all over the land. His fine democratic spirit and lively sense fo humor won him the admiration and love of his people.

The fact that he was of Hashimite lineage, the family to which the prophet Mohammed himself belonged, increased his stature religiously, for Iraq is decidedly a Moslem land.

Upon his death in 1933, King Faisal was succeeded by his only son, Ghazi, then 22 years old.

Like his father, Ghazi was determined to make Iraq a modern state. He loved mechanical inventions, flew his own plane, and was a keen motorist. He married the daughter of his uncle, who had been his father’s intimate associate and adviser.

His tragic death in a motor car accident in 1939 threw the entire country in deep mourning. Ghazi was succeeded by his four-year-old son, who had as his regent his mother’s brother.

The regent, Emir Abdul Ilah, proved himself a real statesman by guiding the country safely through the dark days of World War II, when through effective propaganda Hilter had built up a good deal of pro-German strength.

Since the war, young Faisal II has shown himself to be an able administrator. His coronation took place May 2, 1953, his 18th birthday.

Iraq’s government is a constitutional monarchy. The Chamber of Deputies is composed of 134 members elected by popular vote for a four-year term. The King nominates 29 senators who hold office for eight years. There is a Council of Ministers very much like our President’s Cabinet.

Oil revenues, it seems to me, are used more wisely in Iraq than in any other Arab land. The King has an advisory council composed of 11 members who submit plans for development in every area of national life. High on the priority list are education, health, trade, industry, highways, and communication. Baghdad, the capital, has one of the largest and best equipped international airports in Asia.

It was my good fortune to see several new irrigation projects in operation and others in course of construction. Dates are Iraq’s primary agricultural export. Soon this fruit crop will be followed by grain and dairy products.

Iraq has a population of a little over 5,000,000. In 1950 there were 1,070 state elementary schools with 170,000 pupils, 108 secondary schools with 20,000 students, and 14 colleges with an enrollment of 5,200.

This shows how far Iraq still must go before every child and youth has a chance to obtain an adequate education. But it also shows how far Iraq has come during the past few years. The royal family is an ardent exponent of education for girls and young women.

Military service is required of all men between the ages of 18 and 25. The training is along modern lines. There is a small but growing air force. Some jet fighter planes were obtained recently from the U.S.A.

There is even a navy. I saw gun boats riding at anchor in the harbor of Basra. These are evidently ships the Allies turned over to Iraq at the end of World War II.

While in Iraq, I spent several days visiting two of my former students who live in Basra. This busy shipping port is called the Venice of the Arab world because canals, filled with small craft, crisscross the city and the surrounding date groves.

Interesting notes on industrial and agricultural surveys,

The Daily Chronicle (De Kalb, Illinois)

The Miami News

Britain To Protest Iraq’s Ban On Jews

LONDON, May 3.—The British foreign office is to protest against a ban by Iraq on visas or transit visas being granted to Jews holding Palestinian citizenship, it was learned today.

The Iraq consul in Jerusalem has instructions not to issue any such visas for Iraq. Arthur Creech-Jones, the colonial secretary, announced in a written answer to a parliamentary question this week. This move is the latest development in the conflict between Arab States and Palestinian Jews.

The Guardian


The Iraq Government to-day handed a memorandum to the British Embassy and United States Legation protesting against President Truman’s demand for the immediate immigration of 100,000 Jews into Palestine. The Premier has asked the Arab States represented on the Arab League to join in protesting against what he calls “the backing of Zionism by United States foreign policy.”—Reuter

The Guardian

The Iraq Pipeline

In a building east of the Tigris to-day young King Ghazi of Iraq will turn a tap and start a river of oil flowing through hundreds of miles of desert to the ports of the Mediterranean. The formal opening of the great Iraq pipeline may suggest various reflections. One might ponder the success of international finance (British, French, and American finance) in doing what pre-war German foreign policy was never able to do— effectively tap the wealth of the Iraq oilfields. One might reflect curiously on that other freak of the whirligig of time, the return, from the wish to avoid paying tankers’ dues in the Suez Canal, to using the overland route for commerce from the Asiatic interior which existed before the canal. One might speculate how the economy, manners, and morals of the people of Iraq and the Syrian Desert will be affected by such proportion of this prosperous gush of wealth as comes their way. One might wonder what the hardy and predatory bedouin thinks of this colossal desert work which he has helped to build and will presumably be paid to guard. But it is enough that this Iraq scheme must rank as one of the greatest public works undertaken since the war. The difficulties of laying 1,200 miles of steel pipe across inhospitable desert, torrid-hot in summer, icy cold in winter, and of inventing and using the machines for ditching and laying, the tasks of road-making and arranging supplies of food and water to the workers, the immense scale of the whole project — these things would have equally appealed to Haroun and the Romans and the other administrators who knew these lands and were also great builders in their day.

The Guardian

Palestine and Iraq have both been garrisoned since 1922 by the Air Force, on the whole with excellent effect. But there is a difference between the two cases which is instructive. Iraq’s troubles have been frontier troubles; Palestine’s domestic. Raiding by desert tribes has been expeditiously put down by bombing squadrons; here the Air Force has proved its utility, and for this kind of defensive work against uncivilised tribes it is probably the most efficient weapon. But when rioting or tumults occur in towns or populous districts airplanes are likely either to kill indiscriminately or to become ineffective.

The Guardian



(From our Correspondent.)

Bagdad, December 24.

The primary elections for the country are now being held, those for Bagdad city being fixed for to-day. When the result of these is known, probably in about ten days’ time, the secondary elections will be held. There is little or no excitement over the election, largely owing to the fact that there are not rival political parties as present in existence, and the general public has no precedent to help it to grasp the significance of the occasion.

The authorities have already experienced considerable difficulty owing to the obviously fraudulent returns sent in by tribal chieftains for the census upon which the election registers are based. The return called for the number of males of voting age in each tribe; in some cases this has been grossly overestimated, according to other information in the Government’s possession, in other cases ridiculously underestimated. The difference is accounted for by the fact that some powerful sheikhs do not care, for obvious reasons, to let the Government know their full “rifle strength,” and other less powerful potentates are anxious to impress the central authority and the world in general with the numbers behind them, and possibly have Parliamentary ambitions of their own in the offing. I pointed out the likelihood of this difficulty occurring some months ago. It is a serious matter, and it is not easy to see how the Government can effectively deal with it. The election register for the tribes is based on belief in the reliability of the sheikhs in the matter of estimating their following, and though the Government know[s] now that this belief was unjustified, it might easily be impolitic to admit it. In any case, the Government has no means of obtaining really exact information, except by the use of methods entailing prohibitive expense. It is probably, therefore, that the authorities will accept the sheikhs’ figures at their face value, and trust to the secondary elections undoing any very violent harm entreated in the primary by inaccurate figures. In any case, since there is no national issue at stake in the elections, and political parties, in the ordinary sense of the term, do not yet exist, it does not matter very much from the national point of view who is elected and who is not. The thing is to get the machine started, and trust to the good sense of the people for the elimination of everything which may impede its smooth working. Experience has shown, even in Europe, the extreme difficulty of procuring an electoral system which shall be truly representative. In spite of tribal manœuvres, the new Iraqi Parliament may end by being quite as representative as the present British one.

King Feisul is still away in the north. Having completed his visit to Mosul, he went on to Arbil, and thence to Kirkuk, where he is remaining for the present. His majesty is determined to leave no stone unturned to procure a united front when the League of Nations Boundary Commission reaches his country, and those here in the best position to know assert that his visit is having a remarkable effect.

The Guardian


(From our Correspondent.)

Bagdad, January 8.

The Iraq Government has announced that, owing to the enormous discrepancy between the numbers submitted on the electoral returns and the estimated population of the country, all election arrangements will be suspended for the present pending a general inquiry. The present population of Iraq is generally thought to be somewhat over 3,000,000 (the British census in 1920 gave it as 2,849,282), but the electoral returns show a total of over 9,000,000 male voters! Such a figure would, incidentally, require a largely increased Parliament, for the number of deputies is reckoned on a population basis. The discrepancy is due to faulty returns from the tribes, the likelihood of which I pointed out before. There is no doubt whatever that many of the sheikhs have submitted grossly fraudulent returns of the number of their followers. The reasons for such a course are obvious, but the remedy is not so easy to find. Meanwhile Yassin Pasha and his Cabinet colleagues are anxious for the coming together of Parliament at the earliest possible moment, because they feel the weight of certain decisions, including that of the Turkish petroleum question, to be heavier than they ought to bear unaided.

The Government has suspended the Arabic daily “Al Istiklal” for fifteen days. This is by no means the first time that action has been taken against this paper. The immediate cause on this occasion was the publication of an article linking up present British policy in Egypt with the Spanish attempt to dominate the Riffs, and French and Italian policy in North Africa, as exhibiting a concerted European and Christian attempt to crush Islam.

The Guardian
London, England


To the Editor of the Manchester Guardian.

Sir,—Strange things have happened in the Moslem East since 1918. In my recent journey to the Near and Middle East I was struck by the swiftness with which events were moving away from their old groove towards a more modern (good or bad) outlook of life. The crux of the matter, however, is not whether there have been changes, but whether the sap of these changes has reached the elaborated stage and sunk deep enough into the inner veins of the plant.

So far as my own experience went I noticed a decided improvement in the material side of Iraq. A journey which in 1914 took a caravan traveller ten days can now be made by train or motor in one. But have such obvious amenities of modern civilization been able to influence the moral and spiritual outlook of the population? He would be a bold man who would say so. Your Bagdad correspondent was at some pains in your to-day’s issue to show us how difficult it was even to take an exact census of the population!

On the other hand, under the guidance of British advisers, the actual rulers of the country seem certainly to be well-intentioned, and even if the number of their school can be maintained at its present level, or even increased, we may look for a genuine improvement and a thorough change of heart in the next few generations. What emphasises the good intentions of the present Government is the unique fact that they have have accepted the Parliamentary candidature of a Syrian Uniate cleric, the Very Ref. Joseph Khayyat, who has lately been duly elected to represent a Mosul division in the Constituent Assembly. In history this fact should be noted as a first instance of a highly-placed Christian cleric ever having been promoted to such a rank in an Arab Moslem country. —Yours, &c.,

A. Mingana.
Mancheter, September 3

The Guardian



By Dr. A. Mingana.

Apart from he terms of the Peace Treaty, the most interesting topic in the political world of the moment is the somewhat sporadic revolutionary outbreaks in the Mohammedan world. No sooner had the storm of the Egyptian agitation subsided than the Afghanistan trouble began to raise its head, while Kurdistan showed signs of resuming its old predator tactics. We are not even sure that all is quiet in Syria, Mesopotamia, Persia, North India, and Southern Caucasus, which, we are told, may soon seethe with unrest.

The causes of this curious phenomenon are doubtless complex. For us who live in the West to try to judge Eastern mentality according to our own standard of political ethics is certainly misleading, and in this respect there is much truth in Kipling’s verdict, "East is East and West is West." We are apt to believe that because a country is called Kurdistan its inhabitants are proud to be called Kurds, and stand or fall together, as those, say, of France or Germany; in perusing a geographical atlas and finding a country named Persia, we immediately think of the glorious history of the Achemenids, Parthans, and Sasanians, who are in their time the terror of Greece and Rome.

Linked by Religion, Not Nationality.

It must be borne in mind that the principle of nationality as understood in the West is almost unknown in the Near and Middle East. There were, for instance, Arabs who were proud of their ancestry, and such may also be found to-day, but the link which unites the inhabitants of a country and the tie which binds them together are not nationality, common language, common ancestry, identical habits and customs, but religion. A man may be a neighbour, a friend, but I will never consider myself as one with him if he is a Moslem and I am a Christian or a Jew. This turn of mind is shared more or less by all Semites, but in Islam it is found in a more accentuated manner, and with a true Mohammedan it is a semi-article of faith.

It cannot be denied that the Koran in many passages enjoins war against the unbelievers until they pay humble tribute, and orders a holy war to be pursued till this aim is attained. The Moslem idea is therefore to dominate an unbeliever, and not to be dominated by him. Coming to the Moslem jurisprudence, we find it full of degrading laws against non-Moslems; these are not to wear the same dresses, not to ride on horses but on donkeys, to have ignominious tokens hanging round their necks, and to be denied the right to citizenship. An unbeliever is simply a dhimmi—i.e., a man tolerated on the express payment of a specific sum of money; he is nothing more. It is a misfortune that the Moslem law should have been enacted at the time of the greatest expansion of Islam—second century of the Hijra,—and when every other country and every other religion were swallowed up in the insatiable gulf of the Abbasids. The law naturally bears distinct traces of contempt for the partisans of other religions. From people brought up in such an atmosphere one expects some initial recalcitrance to the new regime, which hey were religiously taught to despise.

Even our historical terminology is for the Moslems an unheard-of anachronism. We are won’t to call the period A.D. 650-1252 Arab Empire, but by the native Arab writers such a misnomer is never used; for them it is only Islamic Empire, and the interesting epoch preceding it is simply styled "Epoch of the Ignorance," of which they feel ashamed. We speak of Persians of our days as descendants of Cyrus, Darius, and Chosroes, but by the native Persian poets and historians malediction is poured upon them; "May God curse them" is the only sentence they use after their names. Poets and historians vie in their attempt to attach their country to an early Moslem saint, an Ali, a Fatimah, and the like; this is the national spirit in which they glorify. In this they resemble the European countries of the Middle Ages; indeed, the best method to learn the mind of the Moslem East in the present day is to read a detailed account of the legislation of the Holy Roman Empire or of its pendant the Christian Byzantium.

Young Turks' Intrigues

With such inflammable material at hand a spark can cause conflagration, and, to the eternal unhappiness of the world, spark-throwing people are found in those masters of intrigue the Young Turks; but be it said to their credit that in religion they are not fanatic. If they excite the Kurds against the Armenians or the Moslems against the non-Moslems generally, it is as a means to an end, and in accordance with the principles of high Oriental diplomacy, but not, so far as we are aware, for the sake of a religion towards which they are at best lukewarm. Seeing that the Ottoman Empire is disrupted, the octopus of that ungodly gang of the Committee of Union and Progress has been able to spread its hidden tentacles to some fanatic or ill-informed Kurdish and Afghan tribal chieftains, and has instilled into their mind the long-exploded but malicious formula: "You would be ruled by unbelievers; is then Islam dead?" This Turkish weapon has been sedulously used in the last forty years among the neighbouring Sunni Mohammedans. In Persia the sound of the Turkish alarm-trumpet does not re-echo always well, because in religion Persia is Shiah; in India their powder gets somewhat damp, because by experience and by force of circumstances the Moslem element has learnt that its interests are best served under a Christian Power. In Afghanistan, Egypt, and Kurdistan both of these conditions are missing. It does seem strange to a Moslem to awaken suddenly to the fact that he is being policed by an unbeliever whom he has been taught all his life to hate and despise.

Provided that no European help and machinations are at work, the present writer believes that no serious consequences will follow the revolutionary movements of Kurdistan and Afghanistan. They are mostly under the guidance of tribal chieftains who are still under the spell of the old Turkish prestige. In a country where the inhabitants are illiterate the actual trend of events is not easily grasped, and one is tempted to believe that at least one-half the population do not know yet that Turkey has been beaten. The abrupt end of the war int he East would seem to lend colour to this error. When the tentacles of the Turkish octopus have been severed from its head and when people begin to realize the true state fo affairs, these misapprehensions will come to an end on condition that the notorious criminals are handled with firmness and courage. Eastern people listen generally to force, and any lenience with regard to undesirables is invariably interpreted as a sign of weakness and fear. A little dose of moral persuasion is also useful, and the Oriental, who is primarily a practical man, will readily submit to the inevitable and fall back on his fatalistic apathy. It is in this way that all empires began and ended in that historic land.

The Times
London, UK





MOSUL (by mail)

The British political officer, on his arrival in Suleimaniyeh in November, 1918, attempted to introduce into the area a temporary system of government which would be acceptable to the people. Sheikh Mahmoud was appointed Governor of the district, and for each of the subdivisions Kurdish officers were named, to work under the guidance of British political officers.

Whenever possible Turkish and Arab officials were removed and replaced by Kurds. Each chief was made responsible for the government of his own tribe, and was recognized as a Government official. Foodstuffs, seed grain, and merchandise sufficient not only to ward off immediate danger of famine, but to allow some revival of trade, were imported. The chief masques also were put under repair at Government expense, and a grant was made for religious purposes.

On December 1 the Civil Commissioner of the Mesopotamian Force held at Suleimaniyeh a meeting which was attended by some 60 leading chiefs of Southern Kurdistan, including representatives of tribes from the other side of the Turco-Persian frontier, at Sehna, Sakiz, and Avroman. After some discussion Sheikh Mahmoud made written request for British protection and for the attachment of Suleimaniyeh to Mesopotamia.

Sheikh Mahmoud’s personal ambitions were partially satisfied by an undertaking from the Civil Commissioner that any Kurdish tribes between the Greater Zab and the Diala (other than those in Persian territory), who of their own free will accepted his leadership, would be allowed to do so. The tribes and townsfolk in the Kifri and Kirkuk areas were not willing to accept Sheikh Mahmoud, and the Sheikh agreed to their exclusion from his confederacy. He asked for British officers for all administrative departments and for Kurdish levies, stipulating only that the subordinate staff should, wherever possible, be Kurdish and not Arab. It was explained to the representatives of Kurdish tribes in Persia that, while they should be on friendly terms with Sheikh Mahmoud’s confederacy, they could not be included in it as they must remain loyal Persian subjects. This position they accepted cheerfully, but later some of them carried their friendliness to Sheikh Mahmoud too far.


Amongst Kurdish tribesmen it is difficult to pick a winner, and Sheikh Mahmoud proved, after all, the wrong horse to back. "Kurdistan for Sheikh Mahmoud" was his real motto and he would have none, or very little, of Baghdad. He had marched through the dismemberment of the Turkish Empire to rapine, and rapine he meant to have. The idea presented itself to him of using the accommodating British as a means of spreading his personal authority throughout all Kurdistan and carrying his influence into parts that knew him not. For a time we played his game, and introduced the Suleimaniyeh "Government" into Koi Sanjak, Rania, and Rowanduz, to all of which places British political officers were posted. But it soon became clear that Sheikh Mahmoud was a menace to peace, and that to spread his authority was to offend justice. The more unwilling tribes, who soon wearied of him, were therefore released from the Suleimaniyeh confederacy. In particular, the important Jaf tribe were severed from it, and a political officer was posted to Halebja to deal with them direct.

A swift slump in Sheikh Mahmoud’s influence followed. This he attempted to counter by frantic intrigues at Halebja and elsewhere, but especially in Persia. In Suleimaniyeh he remained powerful through long-standing family influence, and from here he finally organized a sort of coup d’erat on May 22 as a last desperate effort to re-establish his waning influence. With the help of the Avroman and Merivan tribes from Persia, and his own armed following in Suleimaniyeh and its neighbourhood, he suddenly overpowered the small force of Kurdish levies which we had organized in Suleimaniyeh, and confined the British officers to their houses, one motor-driver being killed. The telegraph line to Kirkuk was cut, Government records and the treasury seized, and a convoy proceeding to Suleimaniyeh with treasure, rifles, and horses was captured. On May 26 Halebja was seized, but the British political officer and his staff were allowed to withdraw to Khanikin, thanks to the loyalty of that admirable Kurdish chieftainess, Adela Khanoum, who has since received an appropriate reward and a title of honor.

A concentration against Suleimaniyeh then began. Military operations were delayed by the difficulties of supply and the necessity of safe-guarding lines of communication. But by the beginning of July Sheikh Mahmoud was a wounded prisoner, and his movement was at an end. It ruined out that he had little following, and the important Jaf and Pizdher tribes rallied to our side. Sheikh Mahmoud was at first sentenced to death, but the sentence has been commuted to 10 years’ imprisonment.


Southern Kurdistan is at present perfectly peaceful. Its leaders have had their little flutter of autonomy, and appear to be disinclined at the moment for any more. Geographically and economically it cannot escape some dependence on Baghdad, and it is clear that it must be included in the new Mesopotamia, for which presumably Great Britain will receive a mandate. Moreover, with our new responsibilities in Persia it is necessary for us that the peace of the frontier in the Khanikin-Suleimaniyeh area shall be secure. The only way to secure it is by the inclusion of Southern Kurdistan in Mesopotamia. The administration will be almost exclusively Kurdish. Kurdish levies are already organized under Kurdish officers, and the Kurdish tongue is recognized as the official language of Government. Laws can be modified to conform with local customs, and a system of revenue collection is already being devised to meet the situation. There is a provincial Budget and the taxes are spent locally. Suleimaniyeh district is already almost self-supporting, and should soon be able to give a contribution to the parent administration at Baghdad. The association with Mesopotamia will ensure material advantages of great importance, inasmuch as education, public works, agriculture, and communications all derive their main impetus from Baghdad.

It may safely be assumed, therefore, that Mesopotamia will have for its eastern boundary the Turcos-Persian frontier, as finally delimited in 1914, up to at any rate a point east of Erbil. It was originally proposed that from this point the line should run to the source of the Lesser Zab, down that river to the Tigris, and thence across country to Abu Kemal on the Euphrates (due east fo Tadmor, or Palmyra). But the settled community of Erbil which will be on the Baghdad-Bakuba-Kirkuk-Mosul railway, will not endure exclusion, nor will this be acceptable to the people of Rowanduz, whose town and district have been made absolutely desolate by Christian camp followers of the Russians, and who regard us as their sole hope. A good road from Erbil to Ushni would link up Mosul with Urumiah, produce a great commerce between Mesopotamia and North-West Persia, and largely transform the countryside at both ends.


Some Mandatory Power will have to have Mosul, as all hope of getting the Americans or anyone else to undertake Armenia depends on the possession of Mosul by some European Power able to cooperate in the task fo controlling the Northern Kurds. If, therefore, the French waive the claim to Mosul accorded them by the secret "Sykes-Picot Agreement" of 1916, the Mesopotamian eastern frontier will probably run northwards to a point on the Turco-Persian frontier about the 37th parallel, that is, south-west of Lake Urumiah. For the northern frontier experience has shown that it would be better not to follow precisely the Armistice line—which coincides with the boundary of the Mosul vilayet—laid down in October of last year as the limits of our military occupation, but to exclude Amadia, the whole of the Goyan [Goran?] tribe’s country, and the upper Khabur valley. The line, then, would roughly follow the 37th parallel, turning northward to include Zakho and following thence the left bank of the Khabur to the Tigris. Here, leaving Jezireh-ibn-Omar outside, it would turn south-westwards and cross to the Euphrates, north-west of Deir-el-Zor.

By shedding Amadia and the Goyan country we shall be rid of those Kurdish elements which have shown no desire to welcome us. There is a suspicious resemblance to the old problem of the north-west frontier of India in the whole situation. All this northern limit of Southern Kurdistan is desperate country. Flying from Mosul between Erbil and Rowanduz, the aero-plane heads straight at a succession of mounting precipices. As it clears one and floats low over a new level, it finds itself confronted with another. The pilot has anew to gain sufficient height to clear the barrier, and has little room to manœuvre in the process, for he is often in a narrow corridor with mountain walls to right and left, as well as in front. Below are spurs of rock, jungle, and aching voids of many sorts, but rarely a patch that even the specious delusion of height can interpret as a possible landing ground in case of need.

From Mosul to Zakho one mounts in a car through a tremendous pass, to burst at last upon a height dominating the valley of the Khabur. Far away to the west in the blue haze one can see the Tigris and Jezireh-ibn-Omar. North-eastwards beyond the plain lies a tangle of mountains culminating in the sheer wall of the Sea Amadia, 8,000 ft. up. Here the fewer military commitments we have the better.

This brings us to our relations with Kurdistan proper, and the Kurds north of Mosul.

(To be concluded.)

The Times



A War Office communiqué issued last night reports progress in the restoration of order in the Middle and Upper Euphrates regions and also in the Erbil district of Mosul vilayet. On December 11 and 12 rain fell throughout Mesopotamia. The communiqué says:—

MIDDLE EUPHRATES.—The junction between the 34th Brigade Column, working from Rumeitha (about 160 miles north-west of Basra) and the 53rd Brigade Column, advancing south from Diwaniya, was effected on the 12th at Imam Hamza (19 miles north-west of Rumeitha). No opposition was met with. The repairing of Rumeitha railway bridge was completed on the 9th.

UPPER EUPHRATES.—The 77th Brigade Column, working up the Middle Euphrates and along the Hillah-Baghdad railway, has now visited the whole area as far northwards as the railway from Baghdad to Feluja (the line connecting the Tigris and Euphrates). A small column from the Ramadie area cooperated with the 77th Brigade in receiving the submission of the tribes, and on the arrival of this force on the 10th, the 77th Brigade returned to Baghdad.

MOSUL AREA.—The operations of the column int he Erbil area (east of the Tigris) have come to an end and the units are returning to their stations. The area Tel Afar-Zakho (west to north of Mosul) is reported by aeroplanes to be quiet.

The Guardian



Mr. William Leach, Under Secretary for Air, addressing members of the Bradford Independent Labour party last night, said it was not true that he had changed his convictions. He had never been asked by anybody to resign. "I am still a pacifist," he declared. "I have caused nobody to be slaughtered."

Proceeding, he said the Government in accepting office had to run the fighting services with some measure of faithfulness and peach the gospel of peace and disarmament to other nations. It had been found there was no loner need to sacrifice lives in Iraq, and it was cheaper and more effective to use the air weapon. Referring to the pledges to the League of Nations I respect to Iraq, he said we could not clear out of Iraq so long as the mandate from the League remained in force. The Labour Government thoroughly disliked, and the airmen also disliked, to see the air weapon used for civilising purposes. After discussing the problem with the authorities on the spot the Government laid down conditions which had been rigidly observed — namely, that the air weapon must not be used except at the request of the Iraq authorities, that the High Commissioner on the spot should personally examine the circumstances, that the officer commanding should go into the facts, and that the weapon should not be used without a warning notice. In five cases out of six when a difficulty had since arisen the warning had been effective without using the air weapon. That weapon had been used five times, and had been successful without taking a single life. If he could see any better way than the present of solving those difficulties he would adopt it, but it was for those who saw a better way to tell him.

From COSIT, but undated. Accessed .

Brief history of the census in Iraq

The task of implementing the general census of population has being entrusted to the Central Organization of Statistics, where it carried out the sixth census in 17/10/1977 in order to meet the requirements of the national development plan and other national needs for statistics and population data to ensure carrying out the international comparisons on a scientific and perfect basis, the results of that census was completed during the period of nine months, which was a record period in terms of shortness at the global level, where the latest statistical methods were used in that period for preparing it at higher possible level of accuracy and the widest necessary details.

The Seventh population census also carried out by the Central Organization of Statistics in 17/10/1987, which provided comprehensive statistical indicators on the population, social, economic and housing changes at the level of all governorates and of both the urban and rural areas.

The latest population census was the eighth census carried out in 16/10/1997, that census provided comprehensive statistical indicators on the population, social, economic and housing changes at the level of (15) governorates for both of urban and rural areas, except the governorates of Kurdistan region (Sulaimaniya, Arbil and Duhouk).

From 2009,

Census Progress Report June-November 2009
Statistical, Economic and Social Research and Training Centre for Islamic Countries (SESRIC)
Accessed .

Prior to 1969 the Ministry of Interior Affairs/ Nationality Civil Identification, conducted the First Population Registration in 1927, Its aim was to provide population records & to make a list for military service.

The Second; Third; Fourth & Fifth Censuses were conducted in 1934, 1947 , 1957 & 1965.

The Sixth & Seventh Censuses were conducted in 1977 & 1987, by the Ministry of Planning/ Central Statistical Organization.

The last Population & Housing census was conducted in 1997, covering 15 governorates (except Kurdistan Region) for one day enumeration period by adopting the De Facto & De Jure Systems.

Annual Abstract of Statistics 2012
Accessed .

The population statistics are considered as an important fundamentals for social and economic planning process due to clear definition for the population size , structure ,distribution and growth which are available through censuses and sample surveys. Many censuses were carried out in Iraq since 1927 The last was in 2009 building, housings, establishments & household census.

The number of population increased from (4.8) million in 1947 to nearly (6.3) million in 1957 with annual growth rate (2.68%) for (1947-1957), it's reached to (12) million in 1977 the annual growth rate was (3.2%) for (1957-1977). The population reach to (16.3) million in 1987 with an annual growth rate (3.1%) by final population census results for (1977-1987) and then raised to (22) million in 1997 according to the population census in 1997, with an annual growth rate of (3%) for (1987-1997) and raised in 2009 to (31.6) million by numbering & listing results, with an annual growth rate of (3.0%) for (1997-2009).


Statistical handbook of middle eastern countries, Palestine, Cyprus, Egypt, Iraq, the Lebanon, Syria, Transjordan, Turkey.

Functional Review Report: Iraqi National Statistical System
Iraqi Public Sector Modernisation Programme (I-PSM)
Statistical Sector, December, 2011

The dissemination of official statistics has high priority in the Central Statistical Office, CSO, as well as
in the Kurdistan Regional Statistical Office, KRSO. The current status and focus of official statistics
were recently discussed in July, 2011. Several meetings took place partly in the CSO, partly in the
KRSO. Representatives from the pilot ministries and the Regional Statistics Directorates participated
and undertook a general appraisal of current data dissemination prac-tices, their coverage, advantages and disadvantages.

The recent publication National Strategy for the Development of Statistics 2011-2015, issued by the
CSO, gives a portrayal of the future and its information needs. During the current mission, discussions
took place both in the CSO and the KRSO regarding dissemination and its shortcomings. The meetings took place with participation from the Ministry of Health, Ministry of Education and Ministry for
Municipality and Tourism, Kurdish Regional Government.


Varying dissemination practices by CSO

Before 2003, only selected statistics were disseminated. In addition, many of the statistics
produced by the CSO, and other government agencies, were not available to the general public but
only to a limited cadre of privileged persons. In response to this situation, the CSO recently
embarked on developing a modern system of data dissemination practices aligned with the United
Nations Fundamental Principles for Official Statistics. This marks a radical new tradition in official
statistics in Iraq.

It is noted that CSO’s national strategy for modernizing the production and wider use of statistics,
calls for a new organization for the dissemination of official statistics. This new organization, called
the “Office for Dissemination and Public Relations” addresses relevant issues and tasks.


CSO library

The Central Library has not yet been established, for which reason documentation for the undertaken statistical publications is not readily available. It is recognized however that it is of paramount
importance that the CSO has a central library for internal and external users, containing all publications and reports produced in the past, statistical methodologies, international classifications and
statistical concepts, etc. All books and associated technical documentation should be indexed
using a modern electronic library system for easier access by users.