List of Iraqis

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This list of Iraqis includes people who were born in Iraq and people who are of Iraqi ancestry, who are significantly notable for their life and/or work.

Flag of Iraq
جمهورية العراق
Republic of Iraq
Iraq.A2003060.0750.500m.jpg

Archaeologists[edit]

  • Donny George Youkhanna
  • Taha Baqir
  • Zainab Bahrani (born 1962), an Iraqi professor of Ancient Near Eastern Art and Archaeology at Columbia University
  • Hormuzd Rassam (1826 – 16 September 1910), native Assyrian Assyriologist, British diplomat and traveller who made a number of important discoveries, including the clay tablets that contained the Epic of Gilgamesh, the world's oldest literature.

Artists[edit]

Artists of Iraqi origin[edit]

  • Yitzhak Yamin, Israeli painter and sculptor. (Born in Iraq of Iraqi Jewish heritage).
  • Anish Kapoor, (born 12 March 1954) is an Indian sculptor. Born in Bombay to Hindu father and a Jewish mother whose family immigrated from Baghdad when she was a few months old.
  • Gerry Judah, (born 30 July 1951) is a British artist and designer. Judah's maternal and paternal grandparents came from Baghdad to settle in the already established Baghdadi Jewish community in India and Burma.
  • Basma Ashworth, a globally inspired artist living and working in Cornwall, England. Ashworth was born and brought up in a remote area in the mountains of Kurdistan, on the border between Iraq, Turkey and Syria.

Architects[edit]

Fashion designers[edit]

Business people and entrepreneurs[edit]

Business people and entrepreneurs of Iraqi descent[edit]

  • Marcus Samuel, 1st Viscount Bearsted, (5 November 1853 – 17 January 1927), was the founder of the Shell Transport and Trading Company, which later took the name Royal Dutch Shell. Samuel was born into a Baghdadi Jewish family in Whitechapel, London.
  • Samuel Samuel,(7 April 1855 – 23 October 1934)was a businessman and Conservative Party politician. He sat in the House of Commons from 1913 to 1934. Samuel, born into a Baghdadi Jewish family. He founded Samuel Samuel & Co in Yokohama, Japan, in partnership with his elder brother Marcus Samuel.
  • Walter Samuel, 2nd Viscount Bearsted, Colonel Walter Horace Samuel, 2nd Viscount Bearsted MC (13 March 1882 – 8 November 1948) was a British peer and former Chairman of the Shell Transport and Trading Company. He was also a prominent art collector and a philanthropist. Samuel was the son of Marcus Samuel, 1st Viscount Bearsted.
  • Marcus Samuel, 3rd Viscount Bearsted, Major Marcus Richard Samuel, 3rd Viscount Bearsted TD DL (1 June 1909 – 15 October 1986) was a British peer and a director of numerous companies, including Lloyds Bank. Samuel was the son of Walter Samuel, 2nd Viscount Bearsted.
  • Peter Samuel, 4th Viscount Bearsted, Major Peter Montefiore Samuel, 4th Viscount Bearsted MC TD (9 December 1911 – 9 June 1996) was a British peer and former Deputy Chairman of Shell Transport and Trading.
  • Sassoon David Sassoon, (1832–1867) was an Indian-born English businessman, banker and philanthropist.
  • Sir Sassoon David, 1st Baronet,(11 December 1849 – 27 September 1926) was a member of the community of Baghdadi Jews that lived in Bombay. A prominent businessman, he was the lead promoter of the Bank of India, founded in 1906.
  • Sir Edward Sassoon, 2nd Baronet, of Kensington Gore,(20 June 1856 – 24 May 1912) was a British businessman and politician.
  • Sir Percival David, 2nd Baronet, (Bombay, 21 July 1892 – 9 October 1964) was an important collector of Chinese porcelain. The Percival David Foundation of Chinese Art is a collection of Chinese ceramics and related items in London, England.
  • Naim Dangoor, CBE (born April 1914) is a British-nationalised Jewish Iraqi refugee, engineer, entrepreneur and philanthropist.
  • Jack Dellal, (2 October 1923 – 28 October 2012) was a London-based property investor known as 'Black Jack' reportedly worth GBP £480 million in 2009.
  • Zadik Bino, is an Israeli businessman of Iraqi Jewish descent.He was ranked Israel's 24th richest man in 2006 by Forbes.
  • Albert Abdullah David Sassoon, Sir Albert Abdullah David Sassoon, 1st Baronet, KCB, CSI, (25 July 1818 – 24 October 1896) was a British Indian businessman and philanthropist. Sir Albert was born on 25 July 1818 in Baghdad.
  • Shai Agassi, Founder and Chairman of Better Place
  • Nemir A. Kirdar, is a Turkish descent Iraqi businessman and financier, he is the executive chairman & CEO of Investcorp, a private equity investment group operating out of New York, London and Bahrain. Kirdar currently lives in London. Kirdar was born in Kirkuk, Iraq, to a family prominent in the politics of the late Ottoman Empire and interwar Iraq.
  • Shlomo Eliahu, born 18 January 1936 in Baghdad, Iraq. He is an Israeli businessman, billionaire, and former politician who served as a member of the Knesset between 1978 and 1981.
  • Selim Zilkha, (b. 1927)is an entrepreneur who founded Mothercare, one of the United Kingdom's largest retail chains. He was Born in Baghdad to an Iraqi Jewish family. He is currently the co-owner of Zilkha Biomass Energy, which owns timberland and which makes pellet biofuel in Texas.
  • Bahaa Hariri, businessman. Son of former Lebanese Prime Minister Rafik Hariri and Iraqi mother (Nidal Al-Bustani).
  • Samuel Hayek, Israeli millionaire real-estate tycoon of Iraqi Jewish descent.
  • Badr Jafar, business executive and entrepreneur based in the United Arab Emirates
  • Victor Nacif, businessman and current Vice President of Design Business Aspects for Nissan Design America. He is of Mexican, Lebanese and Iraqi ancestry.
  • Vincent Tchenguiz, (born October 1956) is a Iranian-British entrepreneur born in Tehran to an Iraqi-Jewish family. He is the Chairman of Consensus Business Group.
  • Robert Tchenguiz, is a British entrepreneur, securities dealer and the brother of Vincent Tchenguiz. He was born Teheran to an Iraqi-Jewish family. He is the Co-chairman of Rotch Property Group.
  • Ghadir Razuki, British multi-millionaire of Iraqi parents. Founder of TNT Magazine Group, with magazine and media interests in the UK, Australia, New Zealand and South Africa.
  • Pnina Rosenblum, Israeli businesswoman, model and media personality, who has also been involved in politics.
  • Kevork Hovnanian (1923 – September 24, 2009), Iraqi-born Armenian-American businessman and home builder, founder of Hovnanian Enterprises in 1959. He remained the president and chief executive officer of Hovnanian Enterprises until his retirement in 1997
  • Charles Saatchi (born 9 June 1943 in Baghdad), co-founder of the PR agency called M&C Saatchi. He is also known as an art collector and owner of the Saatchi Gallery.
  • Michael Kadoorie, The Hon. Sir Michael David Kadoorie, GBS (born 1941, Hong Kong), business executive and philanthropist.
  • Sir Albert Abdullah David Sassoon, 1st Baronet (25 July 1818 – 24 October 1896), British Indian philanthropist and merchant, born in Baghdad
  • David and Simon Reuben, joint Chief Executives of Reuben Brothers, well-known British businessmen and philanthropists.
  • David Sassoon, Indian merchant and banker; born at Bagdad Oct., 1792; died at Bombay Nov. 7, 1864. His father, a wealthy Mesopotamian merchant, for many years state treasurer to the Turkish governor of Baghdad
  • Majid Jafar, A businessman of Iraqi origin and the CEO of Crescent Petroleum.
  • Edward Isaac Ezra, (born 3 January 1882 in Shanghai; died 15 December 1921 in Shanghai. He was a wealthy Jewish businessman of a Baghdadi Jewish family.
  • Lawrence Kadoorie, Baron Kadoorie, (2 June 1899 in Hong Kong - 25 August 1993 in Hong Kong) was a famous industrialist, hotelier, and philanthropist. His family were originally Mizrahi Jews from Baghdad who later migrated to Bombay (Mumbai), India in the mid-eighteenth century.
  • Elly Kadoorie, Eleazer Silas Kadoorie, known as Sir Elly Kadoorie (1867 - August 2, 1944), was philanthropist and member of a wealthy family that had large business interests in the Far East.
  • Ellis Kadoorie, (1865–1922) was a Hong Kong businessman and philanthropist. He was a member of the wealthy Baghdadian Kadoorie family that had large business interests in the Far East.
  • Silas Aaron Hardoon, (1851 – 1931) was a wealthy businessman and well-known public figure in the city of Shanghai in the early 20th century.

Comedians[edit]

Educators[edit]


  • Serapion the Younger, was the author of a notable medicinal-botany book entitled The Book of Simple Medicaments. The book is dated 12th or 13th century. He is called "the Younger" to distinguish him from Serapion the Elder, aka Yahya ibn Sarafyun.
  • Salmawaih ibn Bunan, (died 840) was an Arab Nestorian Christian physician who translated works of Galen from Greek into Arabic.
  • Yahya ibn Sarafyun, (9th century) was a Syriac physician, known in Europe as Johannes Serapion.
  • John bar Penkaye, was an East Syriac Nestorian Christian writer of the late 7th century. He lived at the time of fifth caliph of the Umayyad dynasty Abd al-Malik. His writings provides an eye-witness account of the Arab conquests of his time but make no mention of an Arab sacred book in existence by the end of the 7th century.
  • Yahya Ibn Adi, (893–974) was a Syriac Jacobite Christian philosopher, theologian and translator working in Arabic. was born in Tikrit, north of Iraq. He translated numerous works of Greek philosophy into Arabic, mostly from existing versions in Syriac. He was is buried in the Syriac church of St Thomas in Baghdad.
  • Abu Bishr Matta Ibn Yunus, (870-20 June 940) was a Christian philosopher who played an important role in the transmission of the works of Aristotle to the Islamic world. He is famous for founding the Baghdad School of Aristotelian Philosophers.
  • Hasan Bar Bahlul, Al-Hasan Ibn Al-Bahlul Al-Awani Al-Tirhani, was a Syriac translator, linguistic and an author of many boos as Syriac-Arabic dictionary and book of signs which was composed between 942 and 968. He was born in Awana, a locality 60 km north of Baghdad (in the diocese of a Christian Tirhan Nestorian).
  • Abdul Jerri, Abdul Jabbar Hassoon Jerri (July 20, 1932) is an Iraqi American physicist and mathematician, most recognized for his contributions to information theory in general, in particular to the understanding of the Gibbs phenomenon.
  • Omar Fakhri, was born in Baghdad, Iraq, on October 18, 1934. B.Sc., M.Sc., Ph.D. FRCPath is a medical scientist who is best known for his research in several areas.
  • Adil E. Shamoo, (born in Baghdad, Iraq in August 1, 1941) is an Assyrian biochemist with an interest in biomedical ethics and foreign policy. He is a professor at the Department of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology at the University of Maryland.
  • Ali Al-Wardi, Born in Kadhimiya, Baghdad in 1913. He was an Iraqi Social Scientist specialized in the field of Social history. He earned his Masters degree in 1948 from The University of Texas at Austin and his Ph.D. in 1950 from the same university.
  • Hirmis Aboona, educator and writer, (1940 – April 19, 2009) was an Assyrian historian who was known for his publications concerning the history of the Assyrians in northern Iraq.
  • Thomas L. Saaty, (born 1926, Mosul, Iraq) is a professor at the University of Pittsburgh, where he teaches in the Joseph M. Katz Graduate School of Business. He is the inventor, architect, and primary theoretician of the Analytic Hierarchy Process (AHP)
  • Emanuel Kamber, (is an Assyrian Physics professor at Western Michigan University and was the Secretary General of the Assyrian Universal Alliance. He was born in the small Assyrian village of Darbandikhan in Iraq.
  • Majid Khadduri, (September 27, 1909 – January 25, 2007) was an Iraqi–born founder of the Paul H. Nitze School of Advanced International Studies Middle East Studies program. Internationally, he was recognized as a leading authority on a wide variety of Islamic subjects, modern history and the politics of the Middle East. He was the author of more than 35 books in English and Arabic and hundreds of articles.
  • Nadje Sadig Al-Ali, educator and writer
  • Shmuel Moreh, born in Baghdad, December 22, 1932) is professor emeritus in the Department for Arabic Language and Literature at the Hebrew University and a recipient of the Israel Prize in Middle Eastern studies in 1999.
  • Abd al-Latif al-Baghdadi
  • Azad Bonni, MD, PhD, Iraqi Professor in the Department of Neurobiology, Harvard Medical School.
  • Amal Al Khedairy, academic, lecturer and founder and director of the cultural centre "Al Beit Al Iraqi" ("The Iraqi House")
  • Alphonse Mingana, Assyrian theologian, historian, orientalist and former priest best known for collecting and preserving the Mingana Collection of ancient Middle Eastern manuscripts at Birmingham.
  • Hind Rassam Culhane, chair of the Division of Social and Behavioral Sciences at Mercy College, New York.
  • Karim Yassen, Iraqi Professor who discovered the enzyme that has been named Karilysin in his honor after six months research in a university in Poland.
  • Kanan Makiya, (born 1949) is an Iraqi academic. He is the Sylvia K. Hassenfeld Professor of Islamic and Middle Eastern Studies at Brandeis University.
  • Nada Shabout, Prof. of Art History, Lecturer
  • Avi Shlaim, historian and emeritus professor of International Relations at the University of Oxford

Engineers and scientists[edit]

Film actors and directors[edit]

Film actors and directors of Iraqi descent[edit]

  • Andy Serkis, (born 20 April 1964) is an English film actor, director and author. His mother was English and taught disabled children. His father was an Iraqi gynaecologist of Armenian ethnicity.
  • David Chokachi, born David Al-Chokhachy on January 16, 1968 in Plymouth, Massachusetts) is an American film and television actor. He's best known for his role in the TV series Witchblade, Baywatch, and Beyond The Break. His father is Iraqi Turkmen and his mother is Finnish
  • Michael Nouri, is an American television and film actor. He may be best known for his role as Nick Hurley, in the 1983 film Flashdance. Nouri was born in Washington, D.C., the son of Gloria (née Montgomery) and Edmond Nouri. His father was born in Baghdad in 1918.
  • Ruby Myers Sulochana (सुलोचना) (1907–1983),was an Indian silent film star of Jewish ancestry, hailing from the community of Baghdadi Jews in India. In her heyday she was one of the highest paid actresses of her time.
  • Layth Abdulamir
  • Sasson Gabai, (born 24 November 1947) is an Israeli actor. Gabai was born in Baghdad to an Iraqi Jewish family. During his childhood he immigrated together with his family to Israel.
  • Uri Gavriel, (born April 3, 1955) is an Israeli theater, film and TV actor. Uri Gavriel was born in 1955 in the Magdiel transit camp in Israel to the Iraqi Jewish immigrants Bertha and Gabriel Gavriel.
  • Joe Balass, (born 1966 in Baghdad, Iraq) is an Iraqi Canadian film maker.
  • Dina Mousawi, is an actress of British/Iraqi origin
  • Maysoon Pachachi, (born September 17, 1947, is a film director, editor and producer of Iraqi origin. She was educated in Iraq, the U.S., Britain and can speak English, Arabic, French and Italian. She is the daughter of Iraqi politician Adnan Pachachi.
  • Antonio Albadran, Iraqi-American actor born in Basra.
  • Anja Al-Erhayem, filmmaker (Iraqi father/Danish mother)
  • Ja'far 'Abd Al-Hamid, Iraqi-British filmmaker of "Mesocafe".[4]
  • Fajer Al-Kaisi, Iraqi-Canadian actor, now resides in the States.
  • Dar Salim, Danish actor, born in Baghdad, Iraq in 1977. He played the role of Qotho, one of Khal Drogo’s bloodriders, in Game of Thrones.
  • Sarmed al-Samarrai, actor starred in the Universal Pictures film United 93
  • Usama Alshaibi, director of Muhammad and Jane and Nice Bombs
  • Amer Alwan, film director known for winning an award for Zaman, The Man From The Reeds
  • Joe Balass, film maker
  • Claudia Basrawi, German actress and writer (German mother and Iraqi father)[5]
  • Carole Basri, filmmaker
  • Zana Briski, director of Born into Brothels
  • Selma Chalabi, film maker
  • Brian George, British-Israeli actor, most famous role is as Pakistani restaurateur Babu Bhatt on Seinfeld. (Born to Baghdadi Jewish parents).
  • Shosha Goren, actress and comedian
  • Ishtar Yasin Gutierrez, film director (Iraqi father and Chilean mother)
  • Yasmine Hanani, American actress featured in documentary films Voices of Iraq and My Country, My Country
  • Don Hany, actor (Won Best Actor for Winning the Peace (2005)
  • Parine Jaddo, Iraqi-American filmmaker of Rasta's Paradise
  • Nicholas Kadi, actor
  • Chris Kattan, American comedian and actor, best known for his work on the sketch show Saturday Night Live. (Born to an Iraqi Jewish father and Hungarian Buddhist mother).
  • Charlotte Lewis, actress most notable for her lead female role in The Golden Child alongside Eddie Murphy
  • Anisa Mehdi, Emmy Award winning film director, journalist and director of Inside Mecca
  • Safia Monney, actress
  • Yigal Naor, actor
  • Rashed Radwan, Spanish film director[6]
  • Heather Raffo, Award winning playwright/actress most known for her role in 9 Parts of Desire
  • Haider Rashid, director, producer and writer (Iraqi father and Italian mother)
  • Shero Rauf, actor and a stuntman in the film Troy (film) alongside Brad Pitt
  • Liat Ron, actress and dancer
  • Mohamed Said (actor), Swedish actor
  • Osamah Sami, actor
  • Ashley Sawdaye, actor (Iraqi Jewish father and French/Israeli mother)
  • Alia Shawkat, American actress known as Maeby Funke on Arrested Development
  • Zina Zaflow, Actress
  • Nadira (Farhat Ezekiel Nadira (5 December 1932 – 9 February 2006), commonly known as Nadira, actress in Indian Bollywood cinema
  • Amy Fadhli (born January 30, 1966 in Galveston, Texas), an American fitness model, actress and winner of the Fitness America National Champion 1996. Her father is Iraqi, born in Baghdad, a cardiovascular surgeon, and her mother is Czech, a sculptor and breeder of Arabian horses.
  • Ashley Sawdaye (born June 2, 1974), American actor, most notable for his role as Sgt. Bridges in the 2007 film, The Ungodly.
  • Randa Chahal Sabag a Lebanese film director, producer and screen-writer born to an Iraqi mother and Lebanese father.
  • Abraham Sofaer, (October 1, 1896 – January 21, 1988) was a stage actor of Burmese-Jewish descent who became a familiar supporting player on film and television in his later years. He was born in Rangoon.

Human rights activists[edit]

  • Naziha al-Dulaimi, (1923, Baghdad – 9 October 2007, Herdecke) was an early pioneer of the Iraqi feminist movement. She was a cofounder and first president of the Iraqi Women League 10-3-1952, the first woman minister in Iraq’s modern history, and the first woman cabinet minister in the Arab world.
  • Widad Akrawi, Danish writer, doctor, advocate for peace, human rights, justice and equality, co-founder of Defend International.
  • Zainab Salbi, (born 1969) is an Iraqi American author, women's rights activist, filmmaker, humanitarian and social entrepreneur who is founder and former CEO (1993-2011) of Washington-based Women for Women International.

Journalists[edit]

  • Safa Khulusi, 1917–1995) was an Iraqi historian, novelist, poet, journalist and broadcaster. He is known for mediating between Arabic- and English-language cultures, and for his scholarship of modern Iraqi literature.
  • Talal Al-Haj, is an award winning Iraqi Journalist. He is the current New York/United Nations Bureau Chief for the Al-Arabiya news network.
  • Fadhil Al Azzawi, writer, journalist and translator
  • Zuhair Al-Jezairy, journalist
  • Atwar Bahjat, journalist and reporter murdered in Iraq
  • Rauf Hassan, journalist and writer
  • Bilal Hussein, photojournalist
  • Salam Pax, blogger, translator and journalist
  • Taher Thabet, journalist
  • Ghaith Abdul-Ahad, unembedded Iraqi journalist

Journalists of Iraqi descent[edit]

  • Lorraine Ali, a reporter, editor and culture writer for many publications, including Newsweek. Ali was born to an Iraqi American father who immigrated from Baghdad to Los Angeles in the 1950s. Her mother is of French Canadian descent.
  • Leila Barclay, American journalist and storyteller
  • Nina Burleigh, is an American writer and journalist. Burleigh has written about her visits to Iraq, her mother's country of birth, both as a child and later in life as a journalist.
  • Dunja Hayali, German journalist and TV presenter[7][8]
  • Salam Karam, Swedish journalist, has reported for the newspaper Svenska Dagbladet and in the radio program Godmorgon, världen!.
  • Farah Nosh, photojournalist
  • Michelle Nouri, journalist and writer, her publications include "La ragazza di Baghdad" ("The girl in Baghdad").
  • Daniel Pearl (1963–2002), American journalist, kidnapped and murdered in Karachi, Pakistan. (Born to an Iraqi Jewish mother).
  • Tim Judah, is a reporter for The Economist and author.
  • Sharif Hikmat Nashashibi, is a London-based journalist, analyst on Arab affairs, and co-founder and chairman of Arab Media Watch, a media watchdog organization that monitors and responds to British media coverage of the Arab world. Nashashibi was born in Kuwait to a Palestinian-Jordanian-Lebanese Muslim father and an Iraqi-Syrian Christian mother.

Military figures[edit]

Modern military figures[edit]

  • Salah al-Din al-Sabbagh (1889–1945) Iraqi Army officer
  • Hagop Hagopian, one of the founders and the main leader of the Armenian Secret Army for the Liberation of Armenia (ASALA).
  • Toma Tomas, also known by his nom de guerre Abu Joseph, Assyrian politician and the leader of anti-government millitias (al-Ansar) in northern Iraq during the 1960s and 70s.

Military figures of Iraqi origin[edit]

  • J. F. R. Jacob (born 1923) is a retired Indian Army Lieutenant General. He is best known for the role he played in India's victory in the Indo-Pakistan War of 1971 and the Liberation of Bangladesh. He also fought in World War II and the Indo-Pakistan War of 1965. He later served as the Governor of the Indian states of Goa and Punjab. His family were Baghdadi Jews originally from Iraq who settled in Kolkata in the middle of the 18th century.
  • Sybil Sassoon, Marchioness of Cholmondeley, (30 January 1894, London – 26 December 1989, Cheshire) was Chief Staff Officer to Director WRNS, WRNS HQ, Admiralty (HMS Pembroke III) from 12 November 1939 until 1946. On 9 February 1945 she was appointed as Supt. of the Women's Royal Naval Service (WRNS) and the following year was made CBE. She belonged to the prominent Sassoon and Rothschild families.

Misc[edit]

  • Maria Theresa Asmar, known as Babylon's Princess in Europe, born in 1804 in Tel Keppe, Iraq, and died in France before the Franco-Prussian War, author of Memoirs of a Babylonian Princess, consisting of two volumes and 720 pages. This book was written in the early 19th century, describing her travels through Turkey, Syria, Lebanon, and Israel and the harem system used in Turkey.[9]
  • Sandra Mary Algudady, Wife of John Ellis Bush, former Florida Governor Jeb Bush's youngest son and his grandfather is Former US president George Bush Sr. Sandra is 30 years old and comes from a Jordanian father and an Iraqi mother and is the director of an charity called "Strathril" that is supporting marginalized youth in the Middle East and Europe. She previously worked for the United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees (UNRWA) and got a Master's degree in sociology from the University of McGill Canada.
  • Dan Halutz, Israeli air force general
  • Moshe Levi (1936 – January 8, 2008), 12th Chief of Staff of the Israel Defense Forces, the first Chief of Staff of Mizrahi (Iraqi) origin.
  • Zee M Kane (born 8 October 1982) to Iraqi father and English mother, Editor-in-Chief of the blog The Next Web, a Technorati Top 50 blog worldwide.
  • Moshe Barazani, (June 14, 1926 – April 21, 1947), was an Iraqi Kurdish Jew and a member of Lehi ("Freedom Fighters of Israel," aka the "Stern Gang").
  • Yitzhak Mordechai, Israeli general and later Minister of Defense and Minister of Transport.
  • Muayyed Nureddin, geologist
  • Ibn Rajab, scholar
  • Kaysar Ridha reality TV contestant.
  • Curtis Sliwa, American anti-crime activist, founder and CEO of the Guardian Angels, and radio talk show host and media personality.
  • Nadya Suleman, Nadya Denise Doud-Suleman (born Natalie Denise Suleman July 11, 1975), known as Octomom in the media, is an American woman who came to international attention when she gave birth to octuplets in January 2009. Suleman's father, Edward Doud Suleman, identified himself as a former Iraqi military man and said he would be returning to his native Iraq as a translator and driver in order to financially support his daughter and her fourteen children.
  • Julie Iny is an American activist and author of The Flying Camel: Essays on Identity by Women of North African and Middle Eastern Jewish Heritage, she is committed to ending oppression, racism, and antisemitism. She was born to an Ashkenazi mother and Mizrahi father, who originated from Basra, Iraq.

Models and Miss Iraq[edit]

  • Renee Dangoor, Miss Iraq 1947. She was born in December 1925 in Shanghai, China and died in July 2008 in London, England. She was married to Naim Dangoor.
  • Camilla Barak, Miss Iraq 1950. She was born in 1929 in Baghdad.
  • Deborah Mussaffi, Miss Iraq 1970. She was born in 1951 in Baghdad.
  • Wijdan Burhan El-Deen, Miss Iraq 1972. She was born in 1955 in Baghdad.
  • Klodia Hanna, model and singer
  • Silva Sahagian, Miss Iraq 2006. She was born in 1985 in Iraq. She is an Iraqi Armenian who received the crown because the initial winner, Tamar Goregian, feared retribution from militants.
  • Anais Catala, Miss Iraq 2007. She was born in 1986 in France

Models and Beauty Pageant of Iraqi Decedent[edit]

Monarchs[edit]

Main article: List of Kings of Iraq

Musicians[edit]

Main article: Music of Iraq
Shatha Hassoun holds her Murex D'or award
  • Ilham al-Madfai, is an Iraqi guitarist, singer and composer. al-Madfai's synthesis of Western guitar stylings with traditional Iraqi music has made him a popular performer in his native country and throughout the Middle East.
  • Rida Al Abdullah, is an Iraqi singer. Born in 1966 in Baghdad, Iraq.
  • Dali Hadad, born 5 February 1982 in Baghdad, is an Assyrian singer, producing work in both Assyrian Neo-Aramaic and Arabic.
  • Acrassicauda, Iraqi thrash metal band formed in 2001. Members are Faisal Talal, Tony Aziz, Firas Al-Lateef, Marwan Riyadh and James Al Ansari (assyrian)
  • Nazem Al-Ghazali, was one of the most popular singers in the history of Iraq and his songs are still heard by many in the Arab world.
  • Rahim AlHaj, is an Iraqi American oud musician and composer.
  • Dashni Murad, (born 1 January 1986 in Sulaymaniyah, Kurdistan Region of Iraq) is a Kurdish born Dutch pop singer and television presenter.
  • Basim al-karbalaie
  • Hussam Al-Rassam
  • Kathem Al Saher, one of the most successful Arab singers in the Arab world
  • Ashur Bet Sargis, Assyrian singer
  • Jamil Bachir
  • Munir Bashir
  • Zakaria Abdulla, is a Kurdish pop music star. He is one of most popular artists in Middle East. Zakaria was born in Hawler, Kurdistan region of Iraq.
  • Seta Hagopian, famous Iraqi Armenian singer.
  • Klodia Hanna, singer and model
  • Shatha Hassoun winner of Star Academy 4
  • Bashar Lulua, orchestra conductor
  • Rahma Mezher came 2nd in Najm Al Khaleej
  • Majid Al Muhandis, an Iraqi singer, was born in Baghdad, Iraq, and after his birth moved to live in Kuwait, Jahra Province. He lived there until the Iraqi invasion into Kuwait, and studied Engineering, hence the title Majid "Al Muhandis (المهندس)," which means "The Engineer" in Arabic.
  • Ahmed Mukhtar
  • Beatrice Ohanessian (1927–2008), Iraqi pianist, notable for being Iraq's first concert pianist and first female composer.[10] (Born in Baghdad, of Armenian origin).
  • Salima Pasha (?-1974), well known Iraqi Jewish singer and dubbed as the most famous female singer since the early 1930s. She married fellow Iraqi singer and actor Nazem Al-Ghazali.
  • Hanna Petros (1896–1958), Iraqi Chaldean composer and scholar, wrote numerous books and treatises over oriental music, Iraqi Maqams and Syriac hymnody.
  • Janan Sawa, Iraqi Assyrian singer.
  • Linda George, Iraqi Assyrian singer.
  • Juliana Jendo, Iraqi Assyrian singer.
  • Naseer Shamma is a renowned Iraqi musician and oud player.
  • Nawfal Shamoun
  • Salman Shukur
  • Sahar Taha, singer and artist[11]
  • Unknown to No One, boyband
  • Haitham Yousif, popular Iraqi singer
  • Mansour Zalzal
  • Ziryab
  • Tara Jaff, an Iraqi Kurdish musician. She founded Zipang, a storytelling group which focuses on stories from ancient Mesopotamia.

Musicians of Iraqi descent[edit]

Laith Al-Deen in concert.
  • Moshe Peretz, ( born 10 May 1983) is an Israeli Mizrahi Pop singer-songwriter and composer. He is also currently serving as a judge for the first season of The X Factor Israel. He was born from a Moroccan father and an Iraqi mother.
  • Rami Fortis, (born July 7, 1954), or simply Fortis, is an Israeli rock singer. Born in Tel Aviv. Fortis is of Iraqi Jewish and Italqim origin.
  • Lior Narkis,(born November 8, 1976 in Holon, Israel) is a male Israeli singer. He was born to a mixed Iraqi and Serbian Jewish family.
  • Yair Dalal, is an Israeli musician of Iraqi-Jewish descent.
  • Elliott Yamin, Efraym Elliott Yamin (born July 20, 1978) is an American singer known for his hit single "Wait for You" and placing third on the fifth season of American Idol. Yamin was born in Los Angeles, California, to father Shaul Yamin, an Israeli Jew of Iraqi Jewish descent, and mother Claudette Goldberg Yamin, a Jewish American of Ashkenazi descent.
  • Stacey Solomon, (born 4 October 1989) is an English singer, television presenter and reality TV star. Solomon was born in Dagenham, East London, the daughter of Fiona (née Nash), a nurse, and David Solomon, a photographer. Her father is from a Jewish family that had immigrated to England from Iraq and Poland.
  • Omar Bashir (musician), (born in 1970), is an Iraqi Hungarian Musician. His father, Munir Bashir, was considered to be the supreme master of the Arab maqamat scale system
  • Robin Ghosh, (born 1939 in Baghdad, Iraq) is a Bangladeshi musician and music composer.
  • Brian Elias, (born 30 August 1948, Bombay, now Mumbai, India) is a British composer.
  • Hanan Alattar, American Soprano opera singer
  • Laith Alattar, Iraqi American musician
  • Laith Al-Deen, German pop musician
  • Farida Mohammad Ali, singer
  • Nora Foss al-Jabri, Norwegian child singer
  • Saleh and Daoud Al-Kuwaity
  • Inbar Bakal, Israeli singer/songwriter of mixed Iraqi and Yemeni descent.
  • Bruno Coulais, composer
  • Yair Dalal
  • Amir ElSaffar
  • Rami Fortis, Israeli rock singer (Iraqi/Italian ancestry)
  • Linda George, singer
  • Munir Bashir, musician
  • Juliana Jendo, singer
  • Klodia Hanna, singer
  • Ashur Bet Sargis, singer
  • Lowkey, British-Iraqi rapper
  • The Narcicyst, Iraqi-Canadian rapper
  • Aida Nadeem, Iraqi-Danish musician
  • Esma Redžepova, Romani Macedonian vocalist, songwriter, and humanitarian. Her grandfather was an Iraqi Jew.
  • Shlomo, human beatbox and member of UK-hip hop act, Foreign Beggars
  • TIMZ Iraqi-American rapper
  • Elliott Yamin
  • Daron Malakian (born July 18, 1975), Armenian-American singer-songwriter.
  • Roni Dalumi (born September 15, 1991), Israeli singer, won the final of Kochav Nolad 7 contest in August 2009
  • Darin or Darin Zanyar (born June 2, 1987 in Stockholm, Sweden) more commonly known as Darin, a Swedish, Kurdish pop singer and songwriter of Kurdish descent.
  • Loris Ohannes Chobanian (born April 17, 1933 to Armenian parents in Mosul, Iraq), accomplished Armenian-American composer of classical music.

Patriarchs[edit]

Physicians and surgeons[edit]

Politicians[edit]

Politicians of Iraqi descent[edit]

  • Sir Philip Sassoon, 3rd Baronet, (4 December 1888 – 3 June 1939), was a British politician, art collector and social host. Sassoon was a member of the prominent Jewish Sassoon family and Rothschild family. His father was Sir Edward Albert Sassoon, 2nd Baronet. His sister was Sybil Sassoon, who married the Marquess of Cholmondeley. He was a cousin of the war poet Siegfried Sassoon.
  • Maurice Saatchi, Baron Saatchi, (born 21 June 1946), is an Iraqi-British politician and founder of the advertising agencies Saatchi and Saatchi and M&C Saatchi.
  • Andrew Rohan, MP (born 1948 in Iraq), an Australian politician, is a member of the New South Wales Legislative Assembly representing Smithfield for the Liberal Party of Australia since 2011
  • Nadhim Zahawi, is a British Conservative Party politician who has been the Member of Parliament (MP) for Stratford-on-Avon since 2010.
  • Aryeh Bibi, (born 28 April 1943 in Baghdad, Iraq) is an Israeli politician who served as a member of the Knesset for Kadima between 2009 and 2013.
  • Anood Al-Samerai, British Southwark councillor for the Liberal Democrats. (Born to an Iraqi father and British mother).[12]
  • Binyamin Ben-Eliezer, Israeli politician and former soldier, the first Iraqi Jew to lead the Israeli Labour party.
  • José Murat Casab, born to Iraqi immigrants), Mexican politician and a member of the Institutional Revolutionary Party also former Governor of Oaxaca.
  • Ra'anan Cohen, former Israeli politician who served as a government minister during the early 2000s.
  • Ran Cohen, Israeli politician and Knesset member for Meretz-Yachad. (Born in Baghdad to Iraqi parents)
  • Saad Hariri, Lebanese Legislator (2005–), son of Rafik Hariri and an Iraqi mother.
  • Dalia Itzik, Israeli politician affiliated with the Kadima party.[13] She took office as the first female speaker of the Knesset on 4 May 2006.
  • David Saul Marshall, the leader of the Singapore Labour Front and became the first Chief Minister of Singapore in 1955, born into an Orthodox Jewish family of Iraqi ancestry in Singapore.
  • Eliyahu Navi, mayor of Beersheba, Israel, born in Basra.
  • Ebrahim Daoud Nonoo, former member of the National Assembly of Bahrain and currently the CEO of the Basma.
  • Houda Nonoo, politician and current Bahraini Ambassador to the United States, of Iraqi Jewish origin.
  • Anna Eshoo, U.S. Representative for California's 14th congressional district, serving since 1993, a member of the Democratic Party, the only member of Congress of Assyrian descent.
  • Esabelle Dingizian, born in Baghdad in 1962, Swedish Green Party politician, member of the Riksdag since 2006.
  • Murad Artin, born 6 January 1960 in Iraq, a Swedish politician and Left Party member who worked in the Riksdag from 1998 to 2002
  • Les Gara, Democratic member of the Alaska House of Representatives, representing the 23rd District since 2003.
  • Franso Hariri (1937 – February 18, 2001), Assyrian politician, high ranking and long-standing Kurdistan Democratic Party of Iraq member and head of the KDP block of Iraqi Kurdistan National Assembly.
  • Fawzi Hariri (1958 Arbil, Iraq), Iraq's Minister of Industry and Minerals, sworn in on May 20, 2006.
  • David Marshall (Singaporean politician), (12 March 1908 – 12 December 1995) was a politician and lawyer from Singapore who served as Singapore's first Chief Minister from 1955 to 1956. Born into an Orthodox Jewish family descended from Indian Baghdadi Jews in Singapore.

Religious figures[edit]

  • Yosef Hayyim, (1 September 1835 – 30 August 1909), was a leading hakham, authority on Jewish law (Halakha) and Master Kabbalist. He is best known as author of the work on Halakha Ben Ish Ḥai. Rav Yosef Chaim was born in Baghdad where his father, Hakham Eliyahu Chaim, was the active leader of the Jewish community.
  • Rabban Bar Sauma,(c. 1220–1294) also known as Rabban Ṣawma or Rabban Çauma,(Chinese: 拉賓掃務瑪), was a "Nestorian" monk turned diplomat of the Church of the East faith.
  • Yahballaha III, (1245–November 13, 1317), known in earlier years as Rabban Marcos or Markos, was Patriarch of the Church of the East from 1281 to 1317. As a young man, he engaged in a remarkable journey, which began as an ascetic monk's pilgrimage from China to Jerusalem, led him to the Patriarch position in Baghdad, and brought him to recommend his former teacher and traveling companion, the monk Rabban Bar Sauma, to become the first Asian ambassador to Europe.
  • Mani, prophet and the founder of Manichaeism, a gnostic religion.
  • Abo of Tiflis, Patron Saint of Tbilisi, Georgia
  • Muhsin al-Hakim
  • Muhammad Baqir al-Sadr
  • Jules Mikhael Al-Jamil, Archbishop Jules Mikhael Al-Jamil was born in Bakhdida in November 18, 1938 – dies in Rome, Italy in December 3, 2012). He was the Syriac Catholic titular archbishop of Tagritum and the auxiliary bishop.
  • Basile Georges Casmoussa
  • Mordechai Eliyahu, former Sephardi Chief Rabbi of Israel
  • Yitzchak Kaduri, renowned Mizrahi Orthodox Haredi rabbi and kabbalist
  • Yitzhak Nissim (1896–1981), former Sephardic Chief rabbi of Israel
  • Ovadia Yosef, the former Sephardic Chief Rabbi of Israel, and the former spiritual leader of the Shas political party in the Knesset (Israel's parliament).
  • Mar Dinkha IV, the current Catholicos-Patriarch of the Assyrian Church of the East.
  • Andraos Abouna (March 23, 1943 – July 27, 2010), the Roman Catholic auxiliary bishop of Hirta and the auxiliary bishop of the Chaldean Catholic Patriarchate of Babylon.
  • Emmanuel III Delly, the Patriarch of Babylon of the Chaldeans and Primate of the Chaldean Catholic Church.
  • Paul II Cheikho, the patriarch of the Chaldean Catholic Church from 1958–1989, born on November 19, 1906, in Alqosh
  • Raphael I Bidawid, patriarch of the Chaldean Catholic Church, 1989–2003, Syriac scholar.
  • Asenath Barzani (1590–1670), renowned Kurdish Jewish woman who lived in Mosul, Iraq, daughter of the illustrious Rabbi Samuel Barzani, studied Kabbalah.[14]
  • Anastas Al-Karmali, Anastas the Carmelite (b. 5 Aug 1866-d. 1947 Jan 7), Christian priest, most famed for his contributions to the field of Arabic linguistics.
  • Louis Cheikhô (b. 1859 d. 1927) thnic Assyrian Orientalist and Theologian, considered as a major contributor and pioneer of the rediscovery of the Eastern Rite Christian heritage.
  • Torkom Manoogian, the current Armenian Patriarch of Jerusalem serving the Armenian Patriarchate of Jerusalem as Archbishop under the authority of the Catholicos of Armenia and of all Armenians of the Armenian Apostolic Church.

Sports personalities[edit]

Ammo Baba at a 1979 Military Cup game.


Sports personalities of Iraqi descent[edit]

Television and radio personalities[edit]

Sama Dizayee wearing the Kurdish outfit
  • Rosil Al Azawi, born January 11, 1987 in Sharjah, UAE is an Iraqi television presenter and model based in the United Arab Emirates.
  • Jasim Al-Azzawi, Iraqi host, who presents the show Inside Iraq on Al Jazeera English
  • Suhair al-Qaisi, born 1985 in Baghdad, Iraq is an Iraqi news anchor for the Al Arabiya television station
  • Laila Al Shaikhli, television presenter on Al Jazeera English
  • Anwar Al-Hamadani, television presenter
  • Rola Bahnam, s a Lebanese TV presenter of an Iraqi descent. She is mostly known for working in Future TV. She was a former member of the Lebanese girl band, The 4 Cats in 1998
  • Ali Jaafar (d. May 31, 2006), sports anchorman for Iraqi state television Al Iraqiya
  • Shaima Zubeir, television presenter
  • Sama Dizayee, (born 2 June 1988) is an Iraqi radio and television presenter

Television and radio personalities of Iraqi descent[edit]

  • Alan Yentob, (born 11 March 1947) is a British television executive and presenter. He has spent his entire career at the BBC. Alan Yentob was born into an Iraqi Jewish family in London.
  • Kenza Braiga, French TV reality show star of Iraqi origin.
  • Péri Cochin, television host (French of Lebanese/Iraqi ancestry)
  • Eli Yatzpan, Israeli television host and comedian

Writers and poets[edit]

Nazik Al-Malaika
Abd al-Wahhab Al-Bayati
Saadi Youssef
Sargon Boulus
Muhammad Mahdi al-Jawahiri
Badr Shakir al-Sayyab
  • Nazik Al-Malaika, Born in Baghdad, Iraq (August 23, 1923 – D20 June 2007. She was an Iraqi female poet and is considered by many to be one of the most influential contemporary Iraqi female poets.
  • Abd al-Wahhab Al-Bayati, (December 19, 1926 – August 3, 1999) was an Iraqi poet. He was a pioneer in his field and defied conventional form of poetry that had been common for centuries.
  • Saadi Yousef, (born 1934 near Basra, Iraq) is an Iraqi author, poet, journalist, publisher, and political activist.
  • Abd al-Wahhab Al-Bayati, (December 19, 1926 – August 3, 1999) was an Iraqi poet. He was a pioneer in his field and defied conventional form of poetry that had been common for centuries.
  • Ferhad Shakely, (born 1951) is a prominent Kurdish writer, poet and researcher. He is one of the founders of modern Kurdish poetry in the post-Goran period. He was born in 1951 in the province of Kirkuk in Iraq.
  • Muhammad Mahdi al-Jawahiri, (26 July 1899 - 1 January 1997) was a famous Iraqi poet.
  • Badr Shakir al-Sayyab, (December 24, 1926 – 1964) is an Iraqi and Arab poet, born in Jekor, a town south of Basra in Iraq. was one of the greatest poets in Arabic literature, whose experiments helped to change the course of modern Arabic poetry.
  • Rabia Basri, Rābiʻa al-ʻAdawiyya al-Qaysiyya (Arabic: رابعة العدوية القيسية) or simply Rābiʿah al-Baṣrī (Arabic: رابعة البصري) (717–801 C.E.) was a female Muslim saint and Sufi mystic.
  • Enheduanna, was an Akkadian princess as well as High Priestess of the Moon god Nanna (Sin). Enheduanna composed 42 hymns addressed to temples across Sumer and Akkad including Eridu, Sippar and Esnunna
  • Amira Hess, is an Israeli poet and artist. She arrived to Israel in 1951 from Baghdad Iraq.
  • Haifa Zangana, (born 1950 in Baghdad, Iraq) is an Iraqi novelist, author, artist, and political activist, best known for writing Women on a Journey: Between Baghdad and London.
  • Daisy Al-Amir, is an Iraqi writer, poet and novelist. She is author of The Waiting List: An Iraqi Woman's Tales of Alienation has renowned her as one of the leading female writers of Iraq.She was born in Basra in 1935.
  • Sargon Boulus, (1944 – 2007) was an Iraqi-Assyrian poet and short story writer.
  • Shalash al-Iraqi, writer and blogger
  • Walid al-Kubaisi, writer
  • Thura Al Windawi, author
  • Jamil Sidqi al-Zahawi, poet and philosopher
  • Inaam Kachachi, (born 1942) is an Iraqi journalist and author.
  • Al-Hariri of Basra, Iraqi poet, scholar of the Arabic language and high government official of the Seljuk Empire.[15]
  • Hafsa Bikri, poet
  • Ya'qub Bilbul, writer
  • Naeim Giladi, an Anti-Zionist, author of an autobiographical article and historical analysis titled The Jews of Iraq.[16] The article later formed the basis for his originally self-published book Ben-Gurion's Scandals: How the Haganah and the Mossad Eliminated Jews.
  • Jamal Jumá, poet and researcher
  • Betool Khedairi, author
  • Moshe Levy, author
  • Alia Mamdouh, author
  • Sami Michael, author
  • Dunya Mikhail, poet
  • Samir Naqqash, novelist, short-story writer, and playwright
  • Abu Nuwas (750–810), born in Ahvaz, of Arab and Persian descent, one of the greatest of classical Arabic and Persian poets.
  • David Rabeeya (born 1938), author and professor of Hebrew and Judaic Studies.
  • Mahmoud Saeed, novelist
  • Rena Kirdar Sindi, author and party hostess (born in Baghdad).[17]
  • Reuven Snir, writer
  • Haifa Zangana, novelist, author and artist

Writers & poets of Iraqi descent[edit]

  • Siegfried Loraine Sassoon, (8 September 1886 – 1 September 1967) was an eminent English poet, writer, and soldier. Decorated for bravery on the Western Front, he became one of the leading poets of the First World War. His father, Alfred Ezra Sassoon (1861–1895), son of Sassoon David Sassoon, was a member of the wealthy Baghdadi Jewish Sassoon merchant family.
  • Sinan Antoon, (born 1967) (Arabic: سنان أنطون), is an Iraqi poet, novelist, scholar, and an associate professor at the Gallatin School of Individualized Study, New York University. He was featured in the 2003 documentary film About Baghdad, which he also co-directed.
  • Adeeb Kamal Ad-Deen, Iraqi Australian poet
  • Suzanne Alaywan, poet and painting artist, born in Beirut to a Lebanese father and Iraqi mother[18]
  • Lorraine Ali, American reporter, editor, culture writer and music critic for Newsweek.
  • Khalid al-Maaly, German-Iraqi writer, poet and publisher
  • Alise Alousi, Iraqi-American poet[19]
  • Eli Amir, Israeli writer and activist.
  • Loolwa Khazzoom, is an Iraqi American Jewish writer who writes about Jewish multiculturalism and the cultural traditions.[20]
  • Alon Ben-Meir, professor, writer, the Middle East Project director at the World Policy Institute
  • Ari Ben-Menashe, Israeli author of Profits of War: Inside the Secret U.S.-Israeli Arms Network
  • Amira Hess, Israeli poet and artist
  • Julie Iny, author and activist
  • Armand Nassery, author and filmmaker.
  • Raed Jarrar, writer, architect and human rights activist
  • Alia Mamdouh, (born 1944 in Baghdad, Iraq) is an Iraqi novelist, author and journalist living in exile in Paris, France. She won the 2004 Naguib Mahfouz Medal for Literature for her novel The Loved Ones.
  • Naïm Kattan, Canadian novelist, essayist and critic.
  • Achmed Khammas, German writer (Iraqi/German heritage)
  • Jack Marshall (author), poet and author
  • M.T. Mehdi 1928–1999), Iraqi-American writer and pro-Palestinian activist.
  • Sami Michael, Israeli author and the president of The Association for Civil Rights in Israel.
  • Abdul Rahman Munif (1933–2004), one of the most important Arabic novelists of the 20th century, born in Amman to an Iraqi mother and Saudi father.
  • Leilah Nadir, is an Iraqi-Canadian writer who grew up in England and Canada with an Iraqi father and an English mother.
  • Michelle Nouri, is an Italian journalist and author. She was born in Prague, Czech Republic in 1973 to an Iraqi father and Czech mother.
  • Greg Patent, author, born in Hong Kong to a Russian father and Iraqi mother[21]
  • Zainab Salbi, writer, activist, co-founder and president of Women for Women International.
  • Rachel Shabi, author and contributing writer to The Guardian. Shabi was born to Iraqi Jewish parents.
  • Ella Habiba Shohat, is Professor of Cultural Studies at New York University.
  • Ronny Someck, Israeli poet
  • Rachel Wahba, writer
  • Abraham Yahuda (1877–1951), Jewish writer, teacher and linguist, born in Jerusalem to a Jewish family originally from Baghdad.
  • Samuel Shimon, Iraqi author and journalist, was born in Habbaniya in 1956. He is a co-founder of Banipal magazine. His autobiographical novel (An Iraqi in Paris), was published in Arabic in 2005, and a limited first edition in English translation was published the same year.
  • Shant Kenderian, notable as an Iraqi-born United States citizen who became an American prisoner-of-war after being forced to fight against the United States in the Persian Gulf War.

See also[edit]

References[edit]