Dawud Pasha of Baghdad
Dawūd Pasha (Arabic: داود باشا Dāwūd Bashā; Georgian: დაუდ ფაშა; Turkish: Davud Pasha; (c.1767-1851), who was born in Tbilisi, Georgia of Georgian Christian origin, His full name was (Georgian: დავით მანველაშვილი; Turkish: Davit Giorgis Manvelashvili), was the last Mamluk ruler of Iraq, from c.1816 to 1831.
Iraq at this period was nominally part of the Ottoman Empire but in practice largely autonomous. Mamluks were freed slaves who had converted to Islam, and were assigned to military and administrative duties in the Ottoman Empire. Mamluks succeeded in asserting autonomy over Iraq from the Sultan from 1704 to 1831.
The history of modern Iraq’s boundaries could be traced to 1749, when the Sultan extended the authority of the Mamluk Vali (Governor) of Basra to include the eyalet (province) of Baghdad, initiating a period of Mamluk rule that lasted until 1831. After seizing control in 1816/17, Dawud Pasha initiated modernization programmes that included clearing canals, establishing industries, and reforming the army with the help of European instructors. The political and economic policies of Dawud Pasha united these eyalets, although their external borders were ill-defined.
Following Napoleon’s invasion of Egypt, the British government had recognised the strategic importance of the Middle East in defending its eastern empire and commercial ambitions against the French and later against Russia and then Germany, and at the beginning of the nineteenth century had negotiated inter alia the establishment of a British Consulate in Baghdad . Dawud reduced the influence of the British Consul, and, perhaps more controversially, compelled the British East India Company to begin paying duties on imported goods. It was at the instigation of the British government that the Sultan seized back control of Baghdad, facilitating a resurgence of British influence in the region. In 1830, the Ottoman Sultan Mahmud II decreed Dawud Pasha's dismissal, which was enforced the following year by an army under Ali Ridha Pasha, which ousted Dawud and reimposed direct Ottoman rule on Iraq.
When his life ended, Dawud was custodian of the shrine at Medina, the burial place of the Prophet Muhammad.
Dawud Pasha is said to have established the first newspaper of Iraq, Jurnal al-Iraq, in Baghdad in 1816., but this is disputed because there are no extant copies and no mention of it in the Ottoman archives or in contemporary travellers’ accounts.
- Diskin, J.J. 1971. The ‘Genesis’ of the Government Educational System in Iraq. PhD dissertation, University of Pittsburgh.
- Ismael, T.Y. 2008. The Rise and Fall of the Communist Party of Iraq. Cambridge, UK: Cambridge University Press.
- Abdallah Shalaby; Salah al Din al Jurshi; Mostafa El Nabarawy; Moheb Zaki; Qays Jawad Azzawi; Antoine Nasri Messarra (2010). Towards a Better Life: How to Improve the State of Democracy in the Middle East and North Africa. GPoT. p. 123. ISBN 978-605-4233-21-2. Retrieved 4 October 2014.
- Al-Rawi, A.K. 2012. Iraqi Media: The Beginnings. In: Media Practice in Iraq, 6-27. London, UK: Palgrave Macmillan.
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