IRAQ: In the Family

During World War I, Great Britain commissioned the proud Hashemites, an old Mecca family, to lead the Arab revolt against the Ottoman Turks. To reward the Hashemites at war's end, the British carved up the Turkish empire, installed Hashemites as rulers over two vast chunks of it. Thus were Jordan and Iraq (formerly Mesopotamia) brought awkwardly into the world. The grateful Hashemites have remained loyal to Britain. Until 1948, they remained loyal to each other as well. Then Jordan's Abdullah, warrior hero of World War I, defied the Arab League by annexing Arab Palestine for himself. Iraq, along with the...

Want the full story?

Subscribe Now


Learn more about the benefits of being a TIME subscriber

If you are already a subscriber sign up — registration is free!