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Muhammad Ali (1769-1849)

Muhammad Ali Pasha was born in a town called Kavala in 1769 (currently in modern Greece) in an Albanian family. He was a tobacco merchant before he joined the Ottoman army. After the French occupation of Egypt ended in 1801 he took power to fill the political vacuum and then Ottomans appointed him viceroy of Egypt.

Muhammad Ali spent the first years of his rule fighting attempts to unseat him. In one of the bloodiest events he massacred over 500 Mamluks in the Citadel after inviting them to a celebration where they were trapped and killed by Ali's soldiers.

Mohammad Ali is seen as the founder of modern Egypt. He modernized the army, built military needed factories and ship yards, monopolized Egyptian cotton and used its revenue to finance his projects.

He made a deal with the Ottoman sultan that Egypt became independent stays under the rule Muhammad Ali's family members.

Muhammad Ali died in 1849.


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