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Egypt in the Reign of Muhammad Ali (Cambridge Middle East Library)
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His ascendancy to power began when he was appointed second in command to Albanian force the Ottomans sent to Egypt to evacuate the French.
(There is an unconfirmed story that Ali rescued from drowning the Ottoman Commander of the fleet and then his sequel of promotions started to surface).
Muhammad Ali could not squash the plot against him by the English Empire when he extended his influence to control greater Syria, threatening the Sublime Port as far as Istanbul.
Britain also forced him to renounce his claims on Hijaz and Crete.
Russia, Austria and Great Britain granted him hereditary over Egypt pursuant to the London convention of July 15 1840, on condition that he withdrew from greater Syria and Mount Lebanon.
Pages 233 and 235 describe the efforts made by the Egyptians to thrive Beirut Port to encourage the trade of silk and cotton textiles to Europe.
In fact the word `Money' is translated into `Massari' (Arabic) in reference to Masri (Arabic) i.e. Egyptian. This term has been in use up to now since the days the Egyptian Army came to Beirut on route to Syria hinterland.
The book is full of substantiated reference to Mohammed Ali achievements and to the works of his dynasty.
Such was the importance of the Albanian Viceroy to Egypt that his dynasty remained in power for about 150 years, until 1952.
Super powers' interests, and counter plotting behind the Khedive's back, characterized his rise and fall in one full circle. There was no room for another `Empire' to be formed in the Middle East after the demise of the defunct Ottomans `The sick man of Europe'.
Egypt was NOT permitted to be the one to replace the Ottoman Empire.
A principal characteristic of these reforms was a process of industrialization conceived to build local capacity and in the manufacture of military equipment and a parallel capacity in the production of consumer goods to do away with dependency on imports. The state managed the industrialization process and the economy in general through a system of protective trade mechanisms and monopolies intended to guarantee the state's exclusive ownership of the means of production and distribution. Significant advancements in infrastructure and an administrative shift in the organization of land tenure that renewed agricultural growth accompanied the industrialization drive. By the end of his reign Muhammad Ali succeeded in establishing a hereditary governorship in Egypt and de-facto autonomy from Istanbul, though his ambitious industrial experiment did not survive him.Read more ›