FREE MASONS IN IRAQ
A few Masonic Lodges were operative in Iraq mainly in Baghdad
and Basra under
the constitution of the Grand Lodge of England.
In Basra, a
port town in southern Iraq,
there were two Lodges: Basra
# 5105 was working in English whilst Fayha Lodge was
working in Arabic.
In both Lodges one could find Brethren from
all dominations though the majority were Jews. Muslims,
Christians, Britons and Indians, merchants as well as local high ranked civil
servants were among the Brethren. The District Superintendent, (Grand Master)
was Prince Abdul Ilahh (Acting King since King
Feissal 2nd. was still a minor)
Among the Brethren in the Basra Lodge was a
well known Jewish figure and millionaire the late Shafik
Adas. He was the importer of agricultural equipments
and Ford dealer in Basra.
During the Independence War in Israel
he was falsely accused for collaborating and selling army equipment to the new
IDF and was hanged in October 1948
in a lot opposite his house and was fined 5 million Dinars (Sterlings).
The regular Tyler
in the 2 Lodges was the late Salem
(Shlomo) Katan the Grand
Father of Judge Yoav Biron (Katan) Past Master of Neguhat Hamidbar # 57
in Beer Sheva. The late Adv. Abraham
Batsri the father of Adv. Menashe
Batsri Past Master of Reuven
Lodge # 1 in
Haifa was a
regular member of Fayha Lodge.
My father, the late Yaakov
Kivity (Koweity), a pharmacist
in Basra, was initiated
to the Craft back in the 30th in Basra Lodge and held number of offices.
After emigrating to Israel
in 1950 he united with few other New immigrant Brethren to form Samson Lodge # 56 in Ashkelon.
In the Military Coup in July 1958 and the
abolishment of the Monarchy in Iraq
it was ordered that all Masonic activities should be stopped and Brethren that
did not or could not escape Iraq
were sentenced to death by the regime of Abdul Karim Kassam.
W. Bro. Yossef Kivity, PM Reuven Lodge # 1 Haifa ISRAEL.