This paper offers an appraisal of the contribution of Dr Ali Al Wardi – one of the Middle East's pioneers in sociology – to the foundation of Iraqi sociology. It opens with an introduction to sociology in Iraq past and present, followed by an assessment of the sociological approach of Al Wardi, his hypotheses including his theories on the ‘ambivalent personality’ exemplified in Iraq, which was later generalized to the Arab personality more broadly, and his sociological critiques. It was in these areas that Al Wardi became one of the leading liberal thinkers in the Arab world and his books continue to be bestsellers to this day. The paper will also posit the direct reasons for the success of his scientific contribution and the popularity of his premises and arguments. To achieve these objectives, it examines the most lasting aspects of his research, Al Wardi's own published works and those written about his contribution, including books, papers and articles which either glorify or criticize, to help form a better understanding of Al Wardi's contributions to Iraqi sociology.

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