Abbas Basha I
Abbas Basha I
He was born in 1813 in Alexandria, Egypt. The son of Ahmed Toson bin Muhammad Ali. His father led the expedition to the Hejaz in 1811 AD to fight the Wahhabis, and he died in 1816 AD when Abbas was two years old. He participated with his uncle Ibrahim Basha in the Levant War, in which he led one of the war corps.
After his return from the war, Muhammed Ali Pasha put efforts to let him acquire experience of the governorship, so he assigned him some administrative positions, including the director of Gharbia province.
He was appointed the inspector of the maritime regions (The Nile Delta), then he was appointed the inspector of the general offices.
He was appointed as the director of the Khedive’s office while continuing to be the inspector of other offices. Besides, he was appointed as Khedive's Kaymakam while Muhammad Ali traveled to Sudan.
He took over the rule of Egypt on November 24, 1848 AD.
He closed the factories established by Muhammad Ali, thus putting an end to the Monopoly System that Muhammad Ali had established in industry, and putting an end to it in the field of agriculture as well.
His relationship with the british consul, who proposed a project to build a railway between Cairo and Alexandria, strengthened. So, Abbas Basha I established the railway line connecting only Alexandria to Kafr El-Zayat in 1854 AD; however, the entire line was completed during the reign of Said.
He reformed the Cairo-to-Suez road, and ordered the construction of a straight road between Banha and Cairo, then from Banha to Birkat al-Sabaa, then from there to Tanta, and then to Kafr El-Zayat which indicates that he is credited with laying the corner stone of the current Cairo-Alexandria agricultural road.
Moreover, he built several palaces, including: "Saray Al-Abbasiya", "Banha Palace", "Saray Al-Helmeya", and "Saray Al-Ataba Al-Khadraa".
He encouraged Merritt, the French archaeologist, to search for antiquities, as he sheded light on the history of ancient Egypt.
He issued a new regulation to organize conscription, and allowed volunteering for military service.
He established the Council of Judgments, re-formed the Special Council and amended its name to be "The Court of the Governorate of Egypt". He participated in the legislative authority, as he was supervising the judicial authority.
Moreover, he established five squares in Alexandria.
He established the Al-Mafrouzeh Military School and sent 19 students to study in Europe. As he summoned most of the members of the missions who had been studying in France since the era of Muhammad Ali.
Eventually, he was assassinated in his palace in Banha in 1854 AD.