Muhammad Amin Zaki

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Muhammed Emin Zeki Bey
Born 1880
Sulaymaniyah, Ottoman Empire
Died 1948
Sulaymaniyah, Kingdom of Iraq
Occupation Historian, Politician, writer
Nationality Ottoman Empire
Subject Politics, Social issues, History
Literary movement Kurdish Nationalism
Notable works Kurds and Kurdistan

Muhammed Amin Zaki Bey, (1880 Sulaymaniyah –1948 Sulaymaniyah), was a Kurdish writer, historian, Iraqi statesman and politician. He was born in Sulaimaniya, son of Hagi Abdul Rahman. After studying in Sulaimaniya Military School and Baghdad Military High School, on 10 February 1902, he graduated from the Ottoman Military Academy (P. 1317-23) as the 23rd of the class and joined the Ottoman Army as Infantry Second Lieutenant (Mülâzım-ı Sani ). He graduated from the Ottoman Military College (Staff College) at Istanbul[1] as distinguished officer (Mümtaz subayı ) on 11 January 1905. And then he served as a staff officer (major) in the Ottoman Army.[2] He left his last duty at the Military history department on 23 July 1923 for Baghdad, and started to give lecture at the Iraqi Military Academy. He also served in the Iraqi administration under the British mandate in the 1920s[3] and was appointed as Defence Minister in 1928.[4] His two-volume book on history of the Kurdish people and states is one of the acclaimed works on this subject and has been translated into several languages including Arabic and English.[5] He died in Sulaimaniyah in July 1948.[6]


His books were in Kurdish, Arabic and Turkish. His works primarily focused on Kurdish history, and include:

  1. A Short History of the Kurds and Kurdistan, in two volumes, Dar al-Islami Publishers, Baghdad, 1931. (in Kurdish: Tarîxî Kurd û Kurdistan, Kurmancî: Dîroka Kurd û Kurdistanê ) Vol.I: From the Antiquity to the Present., Vol.II: History of the Kurdish States and Principalities.
  2. Meşahirî Kurd
  3. Tarîxî Silêmani

Political life[edit]

Zeki was MP of Sulaymaniyah on a number of occasions. He also served as a minister in different portfolios:

  • Transport minister (1925-1927)
  • Education minister (1927-1928)
  • Defence minister (1929)
  • Economics and finance minister (1931)


  1. ^ G. F. Clayton, R. O. Collins, An Arabian Diary, 379 pp., University of California Press, 1969, p.340
  2. ^ P. G. Kreyenbroek, S. Sperl, The Kurds: A Contemporary Overview, 250 pp., Routledge Publishers, 1992, ISBN 0-415-07265-4, p.197
  3. ^ N. Méouchy, P. Sluglett, The British and French Mandates in Comparative Perspectives, 743 pp., BRILL Publishers, 2004, ISBN 90-04-13313-5, p.589
  4. ^ P. Sluglett, Britain in Iraq: Contriving King and Country , 318 pp., I.B. Tauris Publishers, 2007, ISBN 1-85043-769-6, p.117
  5. ^ L. Meho,' The International Journal of Kurdish Studies: a cumulative index, 1986-2002[1].
  6. ^ Mihemed Emîn Zekî Beg, Dîroka Kurd û Kurdistanê, Avesta, İstanbul, 2002, ISBN 978-975-8637-20-1, p. 4.

Additional reading[edit]

  • Al-Zerekly Al-A'LAM Biographical Dictionary, Dar El-Ilm Lilmalayin