Al-Iraq was a daily newspaper focusing on politics, literature, and the economy, first published in Baghdad on June 1, 1920. Owned by Razzuq Dawood Ghannam, the paper showed an independent editorial streak from its first few issues. Throughout its existence, it recorded the political, social, and economic history of Iraq and was considered the first and last source for news on national issues and causes. The paper did not represent the rising nationalistic, anticolonial elite, but it was pan-Iraqist in orientation and counted among its staff a number of young, nationalistic, and liberal writers for whom the paper was the only platform where they could express themselves. Some of the paper’s early writers included Shukri al-Fadhli, Hassan Ghussaiba, Ata Amin, Rafael Butti, and Muhammad Abd al-Hussein. Because of the scarcity of modern printing means at the time, the paper was published in four small pages, with supplements at various times. Its editorials were simple, and its world news reports were largely reprints from the Reuters news agency, but it also covered domestic news. Some historians have contended that Al-Iraq began as an instrument of the British and was in effect a colonial substitute for Al-Arab, which was issued by the British authorities in Baghdad circa 1917–20. The new paper was printed at the same press as Al-Arab, and Al-Arab announced in its last issue that "the first issue of Al-Iraq newspaper will be published tomorrow” and that “the editorial policy of Al-Iraq will be an extension of that of Al-Arab."
Place: Middle East and North Africa; Iraq
Institution: Iraqi National Library and Archives
Physical description: 4 pages; 37 x 24 centimeters