The palace of the prominent leader in the 1920 revolution against the British occupation, Sheikh Abdul Wahed Al Sukkar, is still one of the important archaeological monuments in the Mashkhab district of Najaf governorate, south of Baghdad, where he witnessed important events during that revolution and the establishment of the modern Iraqi state.

Al-Sukkar, born in 1880, is considered an influential leading figure in the "twentieth revolution", and he had an active role in the independence of Iraq and the establishment of the Hashemite monarchy in 1921.

Sheikh Abdul Aziz Al Sukkar confirmed that the palace was visited by King Faisal I, Faisal II, and the regent Abdul Ilah (Al Jazeera)

Historical significance

His grandson, the Emir of the Emirate of Al-Fattah, Sheikh Abdul Aziz Rahi Abdul Wahed Al Sukkar (born in 1944) said in an interview with Al Jazeera Net, that "his grandfather was a seasoned politician, he struggled and sacrificed his money and himself for the liberation of his country," noting that his grandfather's first palace was destroyed by bombing. British planes in 1921, and the bombing led to many casualties, in addition to great material losses. As for the second palace that is currently located, it is adjacent to the first and was built in the 1940s.

Amir Al-Fatla asserts that "his grandfather's palace has great historical importance, as King Faisal I, Faisal II, Regent Abd al-Ilah and all ministers were received, in addition to a large gathering of religious scholars and tribal sheikhs."

The palace was built on an area of ​​5,000 square meters and was designed in cooperation with a Lebanese engineer (Al Jazeera)

He notes that one of the most important events that the palace witnessed was the agreement signed by the gentlemen and tribal sheikhs to expel British colonialism from Iraq.

Sheikh Munir: My grandfather Al-Sukkar demanded the British to establish an Iraqi state and the exit of the British occupation (Al-Jazeera)

Lebanese engineering

In turn, Sheikh Munir Abdel Aziz, the grandson of the Al Sukkar family, says that "after the agreement with the leaders and sheikhs of Iraq began to resist British colonialism, and the Al Sukkar palace was bombed as it was the starting point of the revolution. My grandfather surrendered himself to the British occupation forces, to stop the killing of members of his clan and other clans."

In his speech to Al-Jazeera Net, Abdel Aziz points out that the British told his grandfather after he turned himself in, "What are your demands to stop the resistance?" He replied, "We want to establish an Iraqi state and the British occupation exit, and this was achieved in 1921, so that King Faisal I was installed in this palace." .

Al-Sukkar Palace has historical importance, as it received kings, ministers, clerics and clan elders (Al-Jazeera)

Regarding the style of the palace, Al Sukkar says that it was designed in cooperation with a Lebanese engineer, and it was built on an area of ​​5,000 square meters, but the palace was vandalized during the regime of the late Iraqi President Saddam Hussein after the execution of Sheikh Rahi Abdul Wahed Al Sukkar and the confiscation of his money.

After the US invasion in 2003, the palace was burnt and destroyed, before it was restored by the Al-Sukkar family with individual efforts, and restoration operations are still continuing.

Al-Fatlawi indicated that the Al-Sukar Palace was the home of the national leadership that fought the British occupation (Al-Jazeera)

national symbolism

For his part, Jawad Abdullah Al-Fatlawi, a researcher and writer in modern Arab history, says, "Abdul-Wahed Al-Sukkar is a patriotic leader, and his palace was the home of the national leadership that fought the British occupation."

He adds to Al Jazeera Net that the British wanted to obliterate the features of this palace and its national symbolism by destroying it, because they had been planning a policy for more than 100 years, and what happened in 2003 is an extension of the British occupation.

King Faisal II with Sheikh Rahi Al Abdul Wahed Al Sukkar The photo from the rooftop of Sheikh Abdul Wahed Al Sukkar Palace #iraqzaman

— Cindy (@CindyYassen) July 21, 2016

Al-Fatlawi notes that "this palace witnessed the coronation of King Faisal I on the throne of Iraq in 1921, who was brought from the Hijaz, and in 1932 King Ghazi visited this palace and had public meetings in front of the palace."

It shows that Al Sukkar's family refused to hand it over to the Antiquities Department and preferred that it repair and develop it, and this work is still going on today.

Al-Janabi called on the Ministry of Culture to take care of the palace and turn it into a museum of the Twentieth Revolution (Al-Jazeera)

Archaeological Museum

The journalist specializing in antiquities investigation Haider Al-Janabi believes that this palace is not just an ordinary building, but rather was a military headquarters, in addition to adopting the issue of social reform between opponents and reconciliation between clans, and this place had a great national role through national unity and engaging in issues of interest to Iraq. .

And about the possibility of turning it into a museum, Al-Janabi adds to Al-Jazeera Net, that the Ministry of Culture has a responsibility to adopt these topics and turn important places - such as this National Palace - into museums instead of neglecting them.

Al-Janabi believes that the Al-Sukkar Palace is ready and does not need many things. Rather, it is simply managed by the Ministry of Culture, and it was supplied with other holdings related to the Twentieth Revolution, such as weapons, swords, a falah (a multi-headed spear), a makwar (a stick with a solid head) and some tools that were used in the revolution. .

The palace was burned and destroyed after the US invasion in 2003 and was restored by the Al-Sukkar family (Al-Jazeera)

Al-Janabi called on the Ministry of Culture to pay attention to this heritage place, and turn it into a museum of the Twentieth Revolution, as an alternative to the previous museum, which was canceled before 2003.

For his part, activist Ahmed Al-Husseini calls for the preservation of cultural and civilizational heritage and heritage by introducing the antiquities and heritage that were built on the land of Mesopotamia, including this palace, which remained a witness to the history of the founding of the modern Iraqi state.

In his speech to Al-Jazeera Net, Al-Husseini explains that this palace simulates what happened in that era of the revolution that ended the British Mandate over Iraq, and it is possible to shed light on these signs, which represent a great legacy for the Iraqis, and the most important aspect is the restoration of such palaces and their inclusion in programs to develop tourism and define the world out.

The palace of Sheikh Abdul Wahed Al Sukkar Al Pharaoh Sheikh Al Fattah .. 1918

before it was blown up by the British .. Photo ..

from the archive of Gertrude Bell

— 🇮🇶 Abeer 🌴 (@abeerfatla) April 6, 2021

Al-Husseini believes that despite the Al-Sukkar family’s restoration of this palace, it needs government support in order to advance it and show it in the appropriate appearance.

Although Al-Husseini excluded fears of removing this historical landmark, he revealed that there is concern that it will collapse due to natural factors that pose a challenge to its survival unless it is renovated and included in a special restoration program.