Issue 74 Download Archive Links Search Contact Us


The articles in this issue have been divided up into the following categories







Regarding the marriage of the parents of General Khaled AL-ZAHAWI

by Edward Yamen Milan

The letter of Ms Z. Zahawi showed a sincere and serious interest in searching for facts, in contrast to the typical attitudes of other persons in similar cases who disregard the past, ignore it and against all logic do consider even yesterday a day of an era already passed.

I would like to seize this opportunity to appreciate and applaud her noble sense of belonging and strong will for fact-finding, as she proved to be validated as a person who matters.

In relation to the marriage itself, I should say that it was a very rare event and strictly an isolated case in our community for many years right across the spectrum.

I find it not enough from my side to stop here while I can say a word about two sons from that marriage, namely, Khaled and Naji whom I had the chance to meet and remember very well.

Just four or five days before the end of the pro-Nazi revolt in Iraq while I was walking with my father in a torrid afternoon in the main street of Baghdad, he bumped into Khaled Al-Zahawi by mere chance just across the street from the shop of the latter’s relatives from his mother’s side. I was at that time a 13 year old kid and am glad that I can still remember that casual encounter with clarity and brightness.

They shook hands very warmly and had a cordial talk while I remained a silent observer looking at that charismatic person with his enthusiastic and jovial gestures wearing a very new ‘SIDARA’ and a wide smile.

Meantime, I could not forget for a moment the tense, crucial and upsetting period we were passing by, whereat the shops which belonged to the non-Jews over the street were already marked and painted with the words "MUSLIM" OR "CHRISTIAN". (It was by itself an easier job than to write "JEWS" on the shops of the Jews, as they were more numerous"! – without a shadow of doubt, that scenery gave the broadest hint that an act of violence was in the offing against us at the zero hour.

Spontaneously enough, Khaled Al Zahawi pointed up with disapproval and disgust to all those things, saying to my father something like "we are not going to stand by and let them do what they want....NEVER!"

Those assurances were surely very helpful especially to me as a kid, frightened to death from all those upsetting surroundings!

It was really an incredible gift; I felt so refreshed and rejoiced at that news beyond description but at the end when the time did come all the good intentions and expectations of Al Zahawi were transformed into a ‘pious hope’ when the attacks of the mobs started to take place and the Kafka-esque nightmare came true as Jewish people were falling dead and shops and homes were being attacked, robbed, plundered and looted. Degradation and death showed their ugly face in no time. Oddly enough, the unrestrained ruthlessness of the British so-called ‘liberators’ exploited that terrible situation as a vested interest for themselves and as a scapegoat weaponry leaving Baghdad for more than 36 hours in full disorder, disarray and lawlessness.

Al Zahawi informed the Dangoors privately as I could see from the last paragraph of the Scribe’s article under reference, that he wasn’t given the permission to disperse the rioters neither by the British nor by Noori al-Sa’eed, not even by firing into the air only.

Seventeen years later just by a history’s twist of fate, Noori al Sa’eed himself was killed in the streets of Baghdad and had not a better end than those innocent civilian Jews, killed in that event and who could have been saved if he wanted to. Though I would like to declare that I wasn’t happy to what has happened to him just as I wasn’t happy for what happened to the Jews in June 1941. Nevertheless, I should say that I had given a thorough and well meditated philosophical thought to how things happen in life of which to take note of; just at the manner of the ‘Ecclisiasticus’ in the Bible.

Now speaking about Naji Mahmood Al Zahawi, the younger brother of Khaled; his that full name was enlisted among the customers’ of my father’s banking bureau. He was honest, reliable and punctual. Surely these high marks couldn’t be given to every customer; I can add that he was extraordinarily meticulous in his those virtues and qualities. Whereas Khaled was so extrovert, Naji was so introvert though very quick in talking and walking, modest and mild – he was shorter and thinner. As he was a ‘Judge’, I daresay he was a ‘lenient’ Judge because looking at his characters he couldn’t be otherwise.

N.B. Enclosed: a photograph of my father with a Sidara. Date: easily 1930’s.

Read article on the marriage of the parents of General Khaled AL-ZAHAWI from issue 73

If you would like to make any comments or contribute to The Scribe please contact us.