Mohammed Hadid

Mohammed Hadid
Born 1907
Mosul, Iraq
Died August 3, 1999(1999-08-03) (aged 92)
London, United Kingdom
Nationality  Iraq
Alma mater London School of Economics

Mohammed Hadid (1907–1999) was a prominent Iraqi politician in the 1950s. He was the leader of the opposition National Democratic Party and held many other formidable positions. He is the father of Zaha Hadid, one of the world's foremost architects. His influence has been felt around the globe, and he has been featured in some of the most prestigious publications, including Time magazine[1] and The New York Times.[2]


Early Years and Family

Hadid was born into a rich Mosulite family [3] at the beginning of the 20th century. He was born and raised in Mosul, in the north of Iraq. There, he met his future wife, Wajeeha Sabonji, with whom he would father three children; Haithem, Fulath, and Zaha.[4]

Years of Study

Mohammed Hadid attended the London School of Economics between 1928 and 1931, and achieved a degree in Economics. It was there that he is said to have been influenced by the ideas of Professor Harold Laski, a "widely known socialist and agnostic".[5] He was also influenced by the works of Sidney Webb, Hugh Dalton, John Maynard Keynes and other economists and socialists whose Fabian ideas held the promise for a new social order to be constructed in the aftermath of the Ottoman Empire.


In 1931, Hadid returned to Baghdad and joined the Iraqi Ministry of Finance. More importantly, he became a founding member of the politically progressive Ahali group which embraced the ideals of Britain's Labour Party and attracted other leading personalities such as Abd al-Fattah-Ibrahim, Jafar Abu-t- Timman, Kamel Chadirchi and Hikmat Sulaiman.

Ahali group

In 1936, the Ahali group was involved in a coup d'état that was led by army general Bakr Sidqi. When Sidqi sought dictatorial power at the expense of the group's plans for public welfare and reform, the group resigned en bloc in 1937. In 1946, Hadid became Vice-President of the National Democratic Party. The party, essentially the social democratic wing of the Ahali group, championed agrarian reform, workers' rights and state control of Iraq's nascent oil industry.

International voice

While representing Mosul in the Chamber of Deputies, Hadid became a leading member of the Council of the Federation of Iraqi Industries. British influence was still immense in Iraq. During visits to the United Kingdom he supplied the press with calls for genuine parliamentary Iraqi democracy. He also opposed Iraqi participation in the pro-Western defence organisation known as the Baghdad Pact. In 1956, when Britain joined France and Israel in attacking Suez, he spearheaded the Front of National Union through which Iraq's political parties united in demanding "the combating of imperialist encroachments".

Another coup

Following a 1958 coup, Hadid became Minister of Finance in the government formed by the leading rebel, Brigadier Abd al-Karim Qasim, who became Prime Minister and Minister of Defence. As Minister of Finance, Hadid used credit loans from the Soviet Union and Eastern Europe to foster industry and pay for ambitious schemes to alleviate the suffering of the Iraqi masses. He served in that capacity until 1960. In 1963, another coup put the Ba'ath Party briefly into power, and Hadid was put on trial, interned and deprived of his assets.[2]

Later years

After the third coup, he focused on business rather than politics. In 1995, he relocated to London. He died on Tuesday August 3, 1999 from an asthma attack. He is survived by his three children.


  1. ^ "Three Against the Communists", Time Magazine, August 3, 1959,,9171,825815,00.html 
  2. ^ a b "Mohammed Hadid, 92, an Iraqi Who Long Backed Democracy", New York Times, August 6, 1999, 
  3. ^ "Minwathaiq al-hizbal-shuyui, kitabatal al-rafiq Al-Shabibi", Al-Rafiq Al-Shabibi, 1974
  4. ^ "Zaha Hadid Wins the Pritzker Architecture Award"
  5. ^ Stansfield, Gareth (2007), Iraq: People, History, Politics, Cambridge: Polity, ISBN 9780745632261 

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