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Born 1883 in Al-Ta’if; died Sept. 8, 1933, in Bern. Arab political and state figure. King of Syria (1920) and Iraq (1921–33); member of the Hashimite dynasty.
On the eve of and during World War I, Faisal maintained ties with the Arab nationalists of the Ottoman Empire. After an uprising broke out in the Hejaz in 1916, Emir Faisal assumed the leadership of the northern army of Arab rebels, which liberated Syria and Transjordan from the Turks in 1918. He represented the Hejaz at the Paris Peace Conference of 1919–20. From 1918 to 1920, Faisal headed the Arab administration in Syria; in March 1920 he was proclaimed king of Syria. When the French occupied Syria in late July 1920, he was driven from the country. By order of the British colonial authorities, Faisal was proclaimed king of Iraq in August 1921.
Relying on feudal landowning circles for support, Faisal carried out reactionary policies and was closely allied with the leaders of pro-British political groups.