Ali Karim Said Abdullah Al Khafaji
Political activist and historian exiled from Iraq for 30 years.
Ali Karim was a prominent Iraqi and political activist who had been forced to live outside his native land for more than 30 years. At early age of 16, he had become a member of the Iraqi branch of the Arab Socialist Ba'ath Party. When in 1964-65 the party split into two wings, the Left and the Right, he joined the former. Ali left Baghdad in 1970 and fled to Damascus where he enrolled in the College of Philosophy.
Ali took a prominent role in the activities of the Left of the Ba'ath party; based in Damascus, while the Right of the Ba'ath party had gained absolute power in Iraq in 1968. He spent nine years in Algeria as a university lecturer and in 1990 returned to Damascus. In 1996 he went to live in Leiden, Netherlands where he devoted himself to writing and research. In 1999, Ali Karim published the memoirs of Talib Shahib.
Ali Karim Said Abdullah al-Khafaji (Abu Firas to those who knew him well) was born in the holy city of Najaf into a comfortably off merchant family. He looked forward to, while in exile, an Iraq where there was political pluralism and a spirit of tolerance and harmony between various racial and religious groupings.
Ali Karim died and buried in Damascus just fortnight after he performed his Hajj.
Compiled by:M. Nauman Khan