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This Video Shows This is How Iraq Used to Be in the 1950s

Ian Smith

This film shows an amazing insight into Iraq, the country  steeped in a rich history and culture. The video was produced by British Pathe in the 1950s.

In addition, we decided to make a little research and compiled a brief overview of important events that have happened in Iraq during this decade.

Take a look at this amazing video:


The 50s in Iraq had its ups and downs. At the begging of the decade a series of bombings of Jewish targets  occurred in Baghdad, Iraq, between April 1950 and June 1951.

There is a controversy around the true identity and objective of the culprits behind the bombings, and the issue remains unresolved.

Two activists in the Iraqi Zionist underground were found guilty by an Iraqi court for a number of the bombings, and were sentenced to death. Another was sentenced to life imprisonment and seventeen more were given long prison sentences.The allegations against Israeli agents had “wide consensus” amongst Iraqi Jews in Israel. Many of the Iraqi Jews in Israel who lived in poor conditions blamed their ills and misfortunes on the Israeli Zionist emissaries or Iraqi Zionist underground movement. The theory that “certain Jews” carried out the attacks “in order to focus the attention of the Israel Government on the plight of the Jews” was viewed as “more plausible than most” by the British Foreign Office. Telegrams between the Mossad agents in Baghdad and their superiors in Tel Aviv give the impression that neither group knew who was responsible for the attack.

Israeli involvement has been consistently denied by the Israeli government, including by a Mossad-led internal inquiry, even following the 2005 admission of the Lavon affair

In 1950, Nuri al-Said persuaded Iraqi Petroleum Company to increase the royalties paid to the Iraqi government. Al-Said looked to Iraq’s growing oil revenues to fund and propel development. Al-Said determined that 70 percent of Iraq’s revenue from was to be set aside for infrastructure development by a Development Board, which consisted of three foreign advisors, out of six members in total. This foreign presence provoked popular disapproval on al-Said’s policy because of its reliance on decision-making by foreigners. Despite anti-Western sentiments toward oil and development, al-Said’s hired economist Lord Salter to investigate the prospects for development in Iraq because al-Said’s oil revenue reallocation seemed to be ineffective. Salter continued to make suggestions  as to how to implement development projects regardless of massive Iraqi dislike of his presence.

In 1958 a coup d’etat known as the 14 July Revolution led to the end of the monarchy. Brigadier General Abd al-Karim Qasim assumed power, but he was overthrown by Colonel Abdul Salam Arif in a February 1963 coup. After his death in 1966 he was succeeded by his brother, Abdul Rahman Arif, who was overthrown by the Ba’ath Party in 1968. Ahmed Hassan al-Bakr became the first Ba’ath President of Iraq but then the movement gradually came under the control of General Saddam Hussein, who acceded to the presidency and control of the Revolutionary Command Council (RCC), then Iraq’s supreme executive body, in July 1979.

Source: British Pathe