Mohamed Ali of Egypt - Royal Institute Mohamed Ali

It can be considered as an era of rebirth, progress and independence in that Nation´s history.

Mohamed Ali Pasha, the founder of the dynasty of the same name was, born in 1769 in Kavala, a Macedonian seaport on the northern coast of the Aegean, in today’s Greece.

His forefathers originated from the village of Iliç in Anatolia.

At that time, Kavala was part of the Ottoman Empire. Mohamed Ali´s father, Ibrahim Agha, having died early, he grew up in the care of his uncle, the city´s governor.

Young Mohamed Ali prospered in the tobacco trade and became an officer in the Ottoman Army.
It is noteworthy that Napoleon Bonaparte, who was born in the same year as Mohamed Ali, unknowingly set the stage for Mohammed Ali´s rise to power in Egypt.

In 1798, Egypt was a province of the Ottoman empire ruled by a military caste called the Mamelukes and administered by a Pasha (governor) sent by the Sultan of Turkey. That year, Napoleon Bonaparte invaded Egypt, destroyed the Mameluke army at the Battle of the Pyramids and occupied the country.

The French later departed in 1801, leaving behind a power vacuum in which Ottomans, the old Mameluke elite & the Egyptian Arab nobles fought for supremacy which led the country to chaos and anarchy.

It was Mohamed Ali, a Turkish Officer at the head of the Albanian regiments of the Ottoman army, who had played a waiting role, to whom the Sheikhs of Cairo turned to, as the only man capable to put order in the country and elected him in 1805 as Pasha of Egypt, a decision soon after confirmed by the Sultan Selim III of Turkey.

In 1840, he was awarded the hereditary possession of the Pashalik of Egypt by Sultan Abdül Mecit the Ist. He ruled the country until 1848 and was succeeded by his son Ibrahim Pasha.

Mohamed Ali and his family ruled Egypt for a century and a half.

His rule was an era of great modernization and progress and the first step of Egypt towards nationhood.
He can truly be called “The Father of modern Egypt".