Mohammed Ridha Al-Shabibi

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Mohammed Ridha Al-Shabibi
الشيخ محمد رضا الشبيبي
President of the United Popular Front
Preceded by Taha al-Hashimi
Personal details
Born 1889 (1889)
Died 1965 (1966)
Political party United Popular Front
Spouse(s) Shamsa Rahmatalla
Relations Sinan Al Shabibi
Occupation Politician, Poet, Teacher, Author

Sheikh Mohammed Ridha Al-Shabibi (Arabic: الشيخ محمد رضا الشبيبي‎‎) was an Iraqi national figure, statesman, poet and educator. A member of the prominent Al-Shabibi family of Najaf he studied religion and literature, and as a young man published poetry in major publications of the Arab World (Syria, Lebanon, and Egypt).

He lived from 1889 until 1965, and played a major role for Iraq to achieve independence after World War I. He was the emissary of petitions, letters and messages from Iraqi political and religious figures to Sharif Hussein bin Ali and Faisal I to explain the desire and importance of Iraqis to achieve freedom and independence in 1919.

This was a major step as he publicized formally outside Iraq the desire of Iraq's self-determination and its opposition to British rule after World War I. This was the start of a process that actually led to Iraq's independence on 3 October 1932.

Mohammed Ridha Al-Shabibi also served in parliament from the 1920s through the 1940s and as minister of education in several cabinets (1924–1925, 1935, 1937–1938, 1941, 1948). He was elected president of the Iraqi Academy in 1928–1929 and in the 1930s became a member of the Arabic Language Academy in Cairo. He authored a number of books on Iraqi history, the Iraqi dialect, and education.

Family and Personal life[edit]

Mohammed Ridha Al-Shabibi married Shamsa Rahmatalla in 1926. They had 4 sons (As'ad, Akram, Amjad, and Sinan Al-Shabibi) and 6 daughters (Wajiha, Hadiya, Aida, Arwa, Asma, and Dunia Al-Shabibi). As'ad Al-Shabibi his elder son was abducted by the Iraqi Baathist regime for his political views on the morning of November 26, 1980. His youngest son, Sinan Al Shabibi became the governor of the Central Bank of Iraq in 2003 immediately after the fall of the regime.


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