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Ahmed Hassanein

Ahmed Hassanein

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Ahmed Hassanein Pasha
Pasha
Pasha or pascha, formerly bashaw, was a high rank in the Ottoman Empire political system, typically granted to governors, generals and dignitaries. As an honorary title, Pasha, in one of its various ranks, is equivalent to the British title of Lord, and was also one of the highest titles in...

, KCVO
Royal Victorian Order
The Royal Victorian Order is a dynastic order of knighthood and a house order of chivalry recognising distinguished personal service to the order's Sovereign, the reigning monarch of the Commonwealth realms, any members of her family, or any of her viceroys...

, MBE
Order of the British Empire
The Most Excellent Order of the British Empire is an order of chivalry established on 4 June 1917 by George V of the United Kingdom. The Order comprises five classes in civil and military divisions...

(31 October 1889 – 19 February 1946) or Aḥmad Moḥammad Makhlūf Ḥasanēn al-Būlākī was an Oxford-educated Egyptian courtier, diplomat
Diplomacy
Diplomacy is the art and practice of conducting negotiations between representatives of groups or states...

, Olympic athlete
1924 Summer Olympics
The 1924 Summer Olympics, officially known as the Games of the VIII Olympiad, were an international multi-sport event which was celebrated in 1924 in Paris, France...

 in fencing
Fencing
Fencing, which is also known as modern fencing to distinguish it from historical fencing, is a family of combat sports using bladed weapons.Fencing is one of four sports which have been featured at every one of the modern Olympic Games...

, photographer, writer, politician, explorer and tutor to King Farouk.

Ahmed Hassanein was one of the most influential figures in Egyptian politics as the Chief of the Diwan and Chamberlain to Farouk, the king of Egypt from 1936 to 1952.

Son of an Al Azhar professor, he was a grandson of the last Admiral of the Egyptian fleet before it was dismantled under British occupation in 1882.

Tutor


King Fuad I
Fuad I of Egypt
Fuad I was the Sultan and later King of Egypt and Sudan, Sovereign of Nubia, Kordofan, and Darfur. The ninth ruler of Egypt and Sudan from the Muhammad Ali Dynasty, he became Sultan of Egypt and Sudan in 1917, succeeding his elder brother Sultan Hussein Kamel...

, father of Farouk
Farouk of Egypt
Farouk I of Egypt , was the tenth ruler from the Muhammad Ali Dynasty and the penultimate King of Egypt and Sudan, succeeding his father, Fuad I, in 1936....

, chose Ahmed to tutor the Crown Prince during the Prince's studies as a teenager in London. While Fuad spoke Turkish as his mother-tongue and was not therefore able to eloquently address his own nation, Farouk, under the supervision of Ahmed Pasha Hassanein, learned to speak Arabic well and developed a strong sense of nationalism.

Expeditions


During an expedition through the Libyan Desert
Libyan Desert
The Libyan Desert covers an area of approximately 1,100,000 km2, it extends approximately 1100 km from east to west, and 1,000 km from north to south, in about the shape of a rectangle...

 in 1923, Ahmed Hassanein (then only Effendi
Effendi
Effendi, Effendy or Efendi is a title of nobility meaning a lord or master.It is a title of respect or courtesy, equivalent to the English Sir, which was used in Ottoman Empire...

 in title) crossed a region defended by the fierce and puritanical Senussi
Senussi
The Senussi or Sanussi refers to a Muslim political-religious order in Libya and the Sudan region founded in Mecca in 1837 by the Grand Senussi, Sayyid Muhammad ibn Ali as-Senussi. Senussi was concerned with both the decline of Islamic thought and spirituality and the weakening of Muslim political...

s.

Hassanein's first journey was to the Kufra
Kufra
Kufra is a basin and oasis group in Al Kufrah District, southeastern Cyrenaica in Libya. Kufra is historically important above all because at the end of nineteenth century it became the center and holy place of the Senussi order...

, the Senussi
Senussi
The Senussi or Sanussi refers to a Muslim political-religious order in Libya and the Sudan region founded in Mecca in 1837 by the Grand Senussi, Sayyid Muhammad ibn Ali as-Senussi. Senussi was concerned with both the decline of Islamic thought and spirituality and the weakening of Muslim political...

's oasis capital. The journey nearly came to grief owing to the inability of his companion, Rosita Forbes
Rosita Forbes
Rosita Forbes, née Joan Rosita Torr was an English travel writer and explorer. In 1920-21 she was the first European woman to visit the Kufra Oasis in Libya , in a period when this was closed to westerners...

, to read a compass correctly. Forbes claims in her book The Secret of the Sahara: Kufara (1921) that she had been the inspiration and leader of the exhibition, though this claim has been challenged.

In December 1922, Hassanein began a new scientific expedition from Sallum. He recorded bearings and measures of distances, took photos, samples, wrote his journal, and interacted with his men to learn more about their traditions and places and natural phenomena. His success was ensured when he saw Kufra his destination in the horizon to correct its position for the first time on maps, but — even to his own surprise — there was more to be discovered. The climax of his expedition was the discovery of unknown water sources that opened new Sahara routes from Kufra to Sudanic Africa
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...

. The water sources or 'The Lost Oases' are Jebel Uweinat
Jebel Uweinat
Jebel Uweinat is a mountain range in the area of the Egyptian-Libyan-Sudanese border. The mountain lies about 40 km S-SE of Jabal Arkanu...

 and Jebel Arkenu
Jabal Arkanu
Jabal Arkanu is a mountain and a valley-oasis placed in the Libyan Desert in the Kufra District of Libya, about 300 km southeast of El Tag...

: the former was not even known to the Senussis he visited in Kufra., the latter was known since 1892 through Arab sources. He is still remembered today for the significant rock art
Rock art
Rock art is a term used in archaeology for any human-made markings made on natural stone. They can be divided into:*Petroglyphs - carvings into stone surfaces*Pictographs - rock and cave paintings...

 he photographed on this journey.

In September 1924, his famous report was published in the National Geographic Magazine
National Geographic Magazine
National Geographic, formerly the National Geographic Magazine, is the official journal of the National Geographic Society. It published its first issue in 1888, just nine months after the Society itself was founded...

 with 47 photos and a map. His book 'The Lost Oasis' has followed a year later in English and subsequently in Arabic and German.

Ahmed's work includes: an unusually accurate map of a then-unknown region (based on astro-fixing and triangulation techniques), writings on the history and traditions of the isolated middle-eastern sect the Senussis in Libya, who had fought for their independence fiercely, a widely published memoir, a geological collection, thousands of photos, hours of footage, Bey
Bey
Bey is a title for chieftain, traditionally applied to the leaders of small tribal groups. Accoding to some sources, the word "Bey" is of Turkish language In historical accounts, many Turkish, other Turkic and Persian leaders are titled Bey, Beg, Bek, Bay, Baig or Beigh. They are all the same word...

 title, and the prestigious Gold Medal of the British Royal Geographical Society
Royal Geographical Society
The Royal Geographical Society is a British learned society founded in 1830 for the advancement of geographical sciences...

 in 1924.

Hassanein mausoleum


Hassanein was laid to rest in the Mameluke Northern Cemetery across the Salah Salem road from the new seat of the Al-Azhar Imam in a mausoleum built by his brother-in-law, the renowned architect Hassan Fathy
Hassan Fathy
Hassan Fathy was a noted Egyptian architect who pioneered appropriate technology for building in Egypt, especially by working to re-establish the use of mud brick and traditional as opposed to western building designs and lay-outs...

.

Olympics


He competed at the 1920
1920 Summer Olympics
The 1920 Summer Olympics, officially known as the Games of the VII Olympiad, were an international multi-sport event in 1920 in Antwerp, Belgium....

 and 1924 Summer Olympics
1924 Summer Olympics
The 1924 Summer Olympics, officially known as the Games of the VIII Olympiad, were an international multi-sport event which was celebrated in 1924 in Paris, France...

 in the foil
Foil (fencing)
A foil is a type of weapon used in fencing. It is the most common weapon in terms of usage in competition, and is usually the choice for elementary classes for fencing in general.- Components:...

 and Épée competitions.

External links