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.

Click on the picture to enlarge

Brethren of Basrah Lodge 5105 at the front of the lodge in 1947

Brethren of Basrah Lodge 5105 at the lodge's garden in 1945