Mohammed Said Pasha
Mohammed Said Pasha
He was born on the 17th of March, 1822 in the governorate of Alexandria. He received education in Paris and he was fluent in both French and English.
At a young age, his father Mohammed Ali Pasha enlisted him in the navy service. He climbed the ranks until he became commander of the navy. He is the fifth prince of the seas in the Egyptian Navy. He ruled Egypt at the age of 34.
He put in great efforts to improve the condition of peasants; he granted them the right to own agricultural land, canceled the agricultural crops monopoly system and eased the load of taxes off the People. He issued a regulation concerning pension for retired clerks and those at the age of pension, the basis on which the current pension system in Egypt was built.
Known for his inclination towards the army, Mohammed Said Pasha cared for improving the affairs of soldiers and often spent his days at the army camp.
He put in considerable effort to uplift the affairs of the army so he shortened the period of military service and mandated it for everyone.He founded the Nile navigation company in 1854 as well as the maritime navigation company "Al-Majidiah Company" in 1857.
He restructured government Divans (Diwans) as four ministries: "interior," "finance," "defense" and "foreign affairs." He granted Ferdinand De Lesseps concession for the construction of the Suez Canal. His rule was considered as the beginning of economic freedom.
The Sultan granted him the right to assign judges after it was the practice for the grand judge appointed by the Sultan to assign them. Thus, he achieved judicial independence for Egypt and cut off one of the sources of corruption in the judicial system. In his rule emerged a foreign funds epoch which was the root of the crisis that hit the country.
He neglected education, which is considered as one of the most significant weak points of his rule. He died on the 18th of January, 1863.