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“The Sheikh of the Sheikhs of the Gulf”… Persia did not agree to return his body for a decade.


Khaz’al al-Kaabi, one of the last rulers of Ahwaz, was Khaz’al, son of Jaber, son of Mardaou, son of Ali, son of Kasib (June 24, 1861 – May 24, 1936). He was the fifth Emir of Ahwaz, commonly known as the Prince of Mohammerah.

He was the fifth descendant of Sheikh Jaber, son of Mardaou, the third Emir of Ahwaz. His mother was Noura, the daughter of Sheikh Talal Al-Alwan, leader of the Bawiya tribe. He was born in Kut Al-Zain, in Abu Al-Khasib, south of Basra. He ascended to power after the death of his brother, Maz’al, son of Jaber al-Kaabi, in 1897. He was a prominent figure in the Arabian Gulf during his time and was known as “The sage among the sages of the Gulf”.

Following a betrayal orchestrated by the British, with the complicity of Reda Pahlavi, then the Defense Minister under British orders, Sheikh Khaz’al, his cousin Sheikh Musa (the ruler of Abadan at that time), and his son, Sheikh Abdul Hamid, were captured. Sheikh Musa managed to escape by jumping off the ship. The others were imprisoned in 1925.

Sheikh Khaz’al met his end in 1937, assassinated in his palace in the occupied capital where Prince Khaz’al was held captive. He was buried in Tehran. The Iranian government refused to hand over his body immediately. He remained in Tehran for ten years before finally being transferred to Iraq in 1947, where he was laid to rest in Najaf.

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