Khedive Ismail

Khedive Ismail

Khedive Ismail was the son of Ibrahim Pasha and the grandson of Muhammad Ali; he was the first to change his title from Wali (governor) to Khedive (viceroy). Muhammad Ali  considered the second to introduce the manifestations of European civilization to Egypt.
He was born on January 12, 1830 AD, in Al Musafir Khana Palace in Cairo.
He joined the private school that his grandfather established in Qasr al-Aini to educate princes. He received the principles of science, Arabic, Turkish and Persian languages, and a precursor degree of mathematics and natural sciences.
He suffered from conjunctivitis when he was fourteen years old, so his father summoned him to the Levant, where he was based, then sent him to Vienna (the capital of Austria) for treatment, to complete his education, and to be brought up in a European education, and he spent two years there.
His grandfather Muhammad Ali ordered his transfer to the Egyptian School in Paris with the Egyptian Special Mission (1844 AD). He joined the students, among whom were his brother, Prince Ahmed Refaat, and the two princes Abdel Halim and Hussein, the two sons of Muhammad Ali, and a group of young men who later occupied state positions, such as: Sherif Pasha, Ali Mubarak, Murad Bey and others.
He did not stay at the Egyptian Military School for more than three years, and then completed his studies at École spéciale militaire de Saint-Cyr in Paris in 1848.
He did free studies on architecture and planning at the Faculty of Fine Arts in Paris; therefore He mastered the art of planning and drawing, which later led to his passion for street organization and building decoration. As he was fascinated by the beauty and splendor of Paris, this motivated him to make Cairo “second Paris.”  
Ismail returned to Egypt during his father's reign in Egypt, and managed to head his vast fields in Upper Egypt, and plant cane; therefore, he had worked to improve the production and was selling the crops himself.
The Ottoman Sultan appointed him member of the Ruling Council of the Ottoman and he did not return to Egypt until after Abbas I was murdered.
He was the deputy of Said Pasha during his travels to Sudan, Syria, Hejaz and Astana.
Sa’id Pasha appointed him the Egyptian Army Commander and assigned him the suppression of the sedition of some Sudanese tribes in 1861. He successfully completed the mission and was able to quell this strife.
On January 18, 1863, he took over the rule of Egypt; the period of Ismail’s rule is considered one of the brightest eras of the rulers of the Muhammad Ali Pasha family. Ismail directed his attention to Alexandria and Cairo to add the style of European cities, taking into consideration that Alexandria is Egypt’s first port with various foreign communities, and Cairo is the capital of Egypt.
He changed the Consultation Council into the Shura Council of Representatives, and let the people choose their representatives.
He changed the bureaus (divans) into ministries. He established the first cabinet that shares him the responsibility of ruling the country. He also cancelled the consular courts and replaced them with the hybrid tribunals.
During his era, the digging of the Suez Canal was done.
He built luxurious palaces such as Abdeen Palace, Ras El-Tin Palace, and Al-Quba Palace. He also established the Opera House and the Qasr Al-Nil Bridge.
He was interested in agriculture, extended the area of agricultural land, and dug the Ibrahimia Canal and the Ismailia Canal.
He established factories, including 19 sugar factories, and built 15 beacons to revive trade.
He paid a great attention to education, so he increased the budget of the National Education Ministry, and assigned Ali Mubarak to set a basic law for education.
He established a number of primary schools, including: Nasiriyah School in Cairo 1863, Ras El Teen Primary School in Alexandria in the same year, Banha School (1868), Beni Suef School (1872) and others. He also established a number of secondary schools, including: Ras El-Tin School in Alexandria in 1863, and the Preparatory School in Abbasiya, which was established in the same year.
He re-organized the School of Medicine and Engineering. He established a number of high schools, including: the School of Arts and Industries (1868), the School of Alsun and Administration, which was replaced by the School of Law and Administration (1875), the School of Accounting and Surveying, the School of Old Languages 1869, and Dar Al Uloom )1872). He also re-sent scientific missions abroad; their number reached 174 students during his reign.
The number of European schools opened by religious missions for boys and girls increased. During the reign of Ismail, their number reached 70 schools, and they did not spread in any era as much as they did during his reign.
The first school for girls (Al-Soufiya) was established in 1873, and it was founded by the third wife of Ismail, and Ismail ordered the establishment of another school for girls.
He also established Dar Al-Ulum for preparing graduates to become teachers and Egyptian National Library, the Egyptian Scientific Institure, the Knowledge Society, the Geographical Society, the Islamic Charitable Society, and the House of Egyptian Antiquities.
In his era, several newspapers have emerged such as Al-Ahram and El-Watan a