Abbas I of Egypt

Abbas I of Egypt

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Abbas I , also known as Abbas Hilmi I Pasha Wāli
Wali
Walī , is an Arabic word meaning "custodian", "protector", "sponsor", or authority as denoted by its definition "crown". "Wali" is someone who has "Walayah" over somebody else. For example, in Fiqh the father is wali of his children. In Islam, the phrase ولي الله walīyu 'llāh...

 of Egypt
Egypt
Egypt , officially the Arab Republic of Egypt, Arabic: , is a country mainly in North Africa, with the Sinai Peninsula forming a land bridge in Southwest Asia. Egypt is thus a transcontinental country, and a major power in Africa, the Mediterranean Basin, the Middle East and the Muslim world...

 and Sudan
Sudan
Sudan , officially the Republic of the Sudan , is a country in North Africa, sometimes considered part of the Middle East politically. It is bordered by Egypt to the north, the Red Sea to the northeast, Eritrea and Ethiopia to the east, South Sudan to the south, the Central African Republic to the...

, was a son of Tusun Pasha
Tusun Pasha
Tusun Pasha was the elder son of Muhammad Ali Pasha, wali of Egypt between 1805-1849.Not as well known as Muhammad Ali's stepson and adopted son Ibrahim Pasha, Tusun did nevertheless attain some historical significance having led, in 1811, the successful military campaign of the Egyptian army in...

 and grandson of Muhammad Ali
Muhammad Ali of Egypt
Muhammad Ali Pasha al-Mas'ud ibn Agha was a commander in the Ottoman army, who became Wāli, and self-declared Khedive of Egypt and Sudan...

, founder of the reigning dynasty
Muhammad Ali Dynasty
The Muhammad Ali Dynasty was the ruling dynasty of Egypt and Sudan, from the 19th to the mid-20th Century. It is named after its progenitor, Muhammad Ali Pasha, regarded as the founder of modern Egypt. It was also more formally known as the Alawiyya Dynasty...

 of Egypt
Egypt
Egypt , officially the Arab Republic of Egypt, Arabic: , is a country mainly in North Africa, with the Sinai Peninsula forming a land bridge in Southwest Asia. Egypt is thus a transcontinental country, and a major power in Africa, the Mediterranean Basin, the Middle East and the Muslim world...

 and Sudan
Sudan
Sudan , officially the Republic of the Sudan , is a country in North Africa, sometimes considered part of the Middle East politically. It is bordered by Egypt to the north, the Red Sea to the northeast, Eritrea and Ethiopia to the east, South Sudan to the south, the Central African Republic to the...

 at the time. The Chambers Biographical Dictionary says of him: "[b]igoted and sensual, he did much to undo the progress made under Muhammad Ali
Muhammad Ali of Egypt
Muhammad Ali Pasha al-Mas'ud ibn Agha was a commander in the Ottoman army, who became Wāli, and self-declared Khedive of Egypt and Sudan...

."

He was born in 1812 in Jeddah
Jeddah
Jeddah, Jiddah, Jidda, or Jedda is a city located on the coast of the Red Sea and is the major urban center of western Saudi Arabia. It is the largest city in Makkah Province, the largest sea port on the Red Sea, and the second largest city in Saudi Arabia after the capital city, Riyadh. The...

 and was brought up in Egypt. Being the grandson of Muhammad Ali
Muhammad Ali of Egypt
Muhammad Ali Pasha al-Mas'ud ibn Agha was a commander in the Ottoman army, who became Wāli, and self-declared Khedive of Egypt and Sudan...

, he succeeded his uncle Ibrahim Pasha in ruling Egypt and Sudan in 1848

According to al-Jabarti, the leading historian of this time period, Abbas I was born in Cairo while his father, Tusun Pasha, was in the Hejaz
Hejaz
al-Hejaz, also Hijaz is a region in the west of present-day Saudi Arabia. Defined primarily by its western border on the Red Sea, it extends from Haql on the Gulf of Aqaba to Jizan. Its main city is Jeddah, but it is probably better known for the Islamic holy cities of Mecca and Medina...

 fighting against the Wahabist movement. As a young man, he fought in the Levant
Levant
The Levant or ) is the geographic region and culture zone of the "eastern Mediterranean littoral between Anatolia and Egypt" . The Levant includes most of modern Lebanon, Syria, Jordan, Israel, the Palestinian territories, and sometimes parts of Turkey and Iraq, and corresponds roughly to the...

 under his uncle Ibrahim Pasha
Ibrahim Pasha of Egypt
Ibrahim Pasha was the eldest son of Muhammad Ali, the Wāli and unrecognised Khedive of Egypt and Sudan. He served as a general in the Egyptian army that his father established during his reign, taking his first command of Egyptian forces was when he was merely a teenager...

. Muhammad Ali Pasha was removed from office on September 1, 1848, on account of mental weakness. He was replaced by his adopted son Ibrahim Pasha, who reigned briefly as Regent
Regent
A regent, from the Latin regens "one who reigns", is a person selected to act as head of state because the ruler is a minor, not present, or debilitated. Currently there are only two ruling Regencies in the world, sovereign Liechtenstein and the Malaysian constitutive state of Terengganu...

 of Egypt and Sudan from September 1, 1848 until his death on November 10, 1848. The death of Ibrahim made Abbas I, in turn, Regent of Egypt and Sudan from November 10, 1848 until August 2, 1849 (the date of Muhammad Ali Pasha's death), at which time Abbas became the reigning Wali of Egypt and Sudan until July 13, 1854).

He has been often described as a mere voluptuary, but Nubar Pasha
Nubar Pasha
Nubar Pasha was an Egyptian politician and the first Prime Minister of Egypt. He served as Prime Minister three times during his career. His first term was between August 1878 and February 23, 1879. His second term was served from January 10, 1884 to June 9, 1888...

 spoke of him as a true gentleman of the "old school". He was seen as reactionary, morose and taciturn, and spent nearly all his time in his palace. He undid, as far as lay in his power, the works of his grandfather, both good and bad. Among other things he abolished trade monopolies, closed factories and schools, and reduced the strength of the region's army to 9,000 men.

He was inaccessible to adventurers bent on plundering Egypt and Sudan of riches, but at the insistence of the British government, he allowed the construction of a railway from Alexandria
Alexandria
Alexandria is the second-largest city of Egypt, with a population of 4.1 million, extending about along the coast of the Mediterranean Sea in the north central part of the country; it is also the largest city lying directly on the Mediterranean coast. It is Egypt's largest seaport, serving...

 to Cairo
Cairo
Cairo , is the capital of Egypt and the largest city in the Arab world and Africa, and the 16th largest metropolitan area in the world. Nicknamed "The City of a Thousand Minarets" for its preponderance of Islamic architecture, Cairo has long been a centre of the region's political and cultural life...

.

Among his personal interests was the breeding of Arabian horse
Arabian horse
The Arabian or Arab horse is a breed of horse that originated on the Arabian Peninsula. With a distinctive head shape and high tail carriage, the Arabian is one of the most easily recognizable horse breeds in the world. It is also one of the oldest breeds, with archaeological evidence of horses...

s, continuing a breeding program begun by Muhammad Ali. While Egypt was not particularly known for horse-breeding in the time, the rulers of Egypt obtained horses as payment for taxes and tribute. Muhammad Ali and Abbas I both recognized the unique characteristics and careful attention to bloodlines of the horses bred by the bedouin
Bedouin
The Bedouin are a part of a predominantly desert-dwelling Arab ethnic group traditionally divided into tribes or clans, known in Arabic as ..-Etymology:...

, particularly in the Anazeh and the Nejd. Thus each ruler accumulated significant numbers of high quality animals through both diplomacy and force.

In July 1854 he was murdered in Benha Palace by two of his slaves, and was later succeeded by his uncle (who was actually younger than him), Said Pasha
Sa'id of Egypt
Muhammad Sa'id Pasha was the Wāli self-declared Khedive of Egypt and Sudan from 1854 until 1863, officially owing fealty to the Ottoman Sultan but in practice exercising virtual independence. He was the fourth son of Muhammad Ali Pasha. Sa'id was a Francophone, educated in Paris.Under Sa'id's rule...

.

Following his assassination, his Arabian horses were inherited by his eighteen year old son Ibrahim Ilhami Pasha (aka El Hami Pasha), who had little interest in them, giving away several and putting the rest up for auction. In 1861, a distant relative, Ali Pasha Sherif
Ali Pasha Sherif
Ali Pasha Sherif was an Egyptian government official and a renowned breeder of Arabian horses during the late 19th century.-Family Background:...

 purchased approximately 30 horses of the original Abbas Pasha stock and rebuilt the horse breeding program.

Honours

  • Order of the August Portrait of Ottoman Empire
    Ottoman Empire
    The Ottoman EmpireIt was usually referred to as the "Ottoman Empire", the "Turkish Empire", the "Ottoman Caliphate" or more commonly "Turkey" by its contemporaries...

  • Order of Glory of Ottoman Empire
    Ottoman Empire
    The Ottoman EmpireIt was usually referred to as the "Ottoman Empire", the "Turkish Empire", the "Ottoman Caliphate" or more commonly "Turkey" by its contemporaries...

    -1849
  • Order of Nobility, 1st Class of Ottoman Empire
    Ottoman Empire
    The Ottoman EmpireIt was usually referred to as the "Ottoman Empire", the "Turkish Empire", the "Ottoman Caliphate" or more commonly "Turkey" by its contemporaries...

    -1853
  • Grand Cross of the Order of Saints Maurice and Lazarus
    Order of Saints Maurice and Lazarus
    The Order of Saints Maurice and Lazarus is an order of chivalry awarded by the House of Savoy, the heads of which were formerly Kings of Italy...

     of Kingdom of Sardinia
    Kingdom of Sardinia
    The Kingdom of Sardinia consisted of the island of Sardinia first as a part of the Crown of Aragon and subsequently the Spanish Empire , and second as a part of the composite state of the House of Savoy . Its capital was originally Cagliari, in the south of the island, and later Turin, on the...