Mehemet 'Ali

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Mehemet 'Ali (1769-1849)
The colorful history of this Albanian militia officer-turned viceroy of Egypt, unfolds like fiction. As part of a combined Turkish-Albanian detachment, Mehemet 'Ali came to Egypt during the French invasion of 1798. His support for the Egyptians' struggle against Mamelukes ultimately led to his being named viceroy in 1805, a move approved by the sultan. Mehemet 'Ali made some notable contributions to Egypt including the creation of a standing army, advances in irrigation techniques, and the annexation of Nubia. Over the course of various military campaigns, Mehemet 'Ali accumulated so much power and influence that some believed his ultimate seat of power would be in Constantinople. Though he died insane in 1849, he earned a place in Egyptian history as the man who brought elements of Europe to the area, along with increased prosperity and power.