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Last Ottoman viceroy casts shadow on current Turco-Egyptian culture war

After the success of the series "Kingdoms of Fire,” Egyptian cinematographers may have found the next controversial figure that can be used to counter Turkey’s interpretation of Ottoman history on screen: Muhammad Ali Pasha.
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Cairo — Following the success of the Emirati-made TV series "Kingdoms of Fire,” many Egyptian authors, producers and directors search a new subject that would counter the popular Turkish TV series that highlights the glories of the Ottoman era. The solution may lie on brushing off the dust from a project from 2007 — the life and times of Muhammad Ali Pasha, the Ottoman viceroy who turned against the Sublime Port in his quest of establishing his own dynasty and making Egypt independent from the sultanate.

Muhammad Ali (1769-1849) was appointed as the Ottoman viceroy, or governor, to Egypt in 1805, where he started a process of administrative, economic and military reform. His policies aimed at establishing himself and his successors in Egypt as its hereditary rulers. He is accredited as the founder of Egypt’s modernization — a move that hardly made him popular in the Ottoman Empire, particularly after he defeated twice the sultan’s forces, first in 1833, then in 1839.

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