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Ismail Pasha
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Monarch
    (December 31, 1830-March 2, 1895)
    Born in Cairo, Egypt
    Khedive of Egypt and the Sudan (1863-79)
    Was also known as Ismail the Magnificent
    The Ottoman Empire refused to recognize his claim to the title of Khedive for four years (1863-67).
    He launched an unsuccessful invasion of Ethiopia (1875-84).
    During his reign, the national debt ballooned from the equivalent of 3 million British pounds to 100 million.
    This led to European powers intervening in the Egyptian economy, followed by a populist uprising, and finally to Britain and France forcing Ismail to resign and go into exile.
    He launched a massive modernization program that included reforming the customs system and post office, suppressing the slave trade and building a network of railroads.
    He established an assembly of delegates to make decisions concerning taxes, legal reforms and administrative matters (1866).
    At the opening of the Suez Canal, he held a lavish festival that was attended by dignitaries from around the world and opened with the first joint Muslim-Christian religious service in history (1869).

Credit: C. Fishel


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