Egyptian Chronicles: The Scorpio explorer

Friday, October 12, 2007

The Scorpio explorer

Through my early reading I always considered him an educated womanizer of his time working in the most prestigious and important places and positions in Egypt during the 1940s but when I began to watch the TV Series "King Farouk" on MBC this Ramadan I rediscovered that man in the same way he discovered the deserts of Egypt ,already he was my true discovery ,not King Farouk because already I know the reality of young King from a long time but I did not know who Ahmed Pasha Hassanein was except through that Series , sorry it made me want to discover that man

The Ladies Man .The Men's Man .The man of all town

Ahmed Pasha Hassanein was underestimated early in the history of Ahmed Pasha HassaneinEgypt regarding him only as the Chief of the Royal Diwan and the Chamberlain of King Farouk who used to be womanizer ,allegedly married to his mother Queen Nazli and had an affair with Princess and Singer Asmahan "Amal Al-Atrash" and I think the revolution did not cause that underestimation ,already the man was killed in a terrible car accident that raised question marks in 1946 and he was hated by many politicians in that time not to mention some people said that the King did not like the relationship between his mother and his chief of Diwan who was his special tutor in London

This was the general idea I had for him before yet after watching the TV series and searching for more information about this man online and offline I found out the Egypt's earliest explorer was the most influential man in Egypt in 1940s , a politician for the first degree and the most trusted and influential person for Farouk.

That Man despite his claim that he did not understand anything in King Farouk in the inauguration of the international telecommunications congress 1938Politics proved to be a master in the political arena in front of huge gladiator from the weight of Mustafa Pasha El-Nahas and Ahmed Pasha Maher , yes he was not as powerful and dangerous as Ali Pasha Maher but we should not forget that when Ali Pasha Maher was in his exile in Egypt during the WWII for being a Nazi ally ,Hassanein played a great role in saving both the King throne and the country in the famous crisis of 4th of February as Young King Farouk was going to sign the abdication document in order to the Save the Egyptian people with no fight yet clever Hasseinein saved the day ,if Farouk had signed that document , the British Commissioner Sir Miles Lampson would have chosen Prince Mohamed Ali who was a puppet in the hand of the British instead of him.

Hassanein was an extraordinary man ,it is rare to find a man who understands in culture ,in politics and in society in that way . You will be amazed already if you check his background , his grandfather was the last admiral for the Egyptian fleet in 18th century when the British invaded Egypt , his father was a Sheikh in Al-Azhar , he was born on the 31st of October 1889 in Boulaq which is a very popular area even till now , he started his education in Al-Azhar then he completed his education in Oxford University ,he was a champion in Fencing that he represented Oxford University once and Egypt twice in two Olympics in ,

when he returned to Egypt , he returned as a young explorer who went in exploration the Egyptian Western and Libyan desert in a time that where there were no GPRS or satellites phones or laptops or Jeep cars , no ,it takes a lot of courage even now to go to the middle of the desert. Hassanein Pasha was an Egyptian legend in exploration , already he was the first to write to the National geographic society in year 1923 , he also wrote a book about his explorations in the desert in the Ahmed Hassanein Pasha in his famous trip in 1923book " The lost Oases" which was translated in to Arabic,French and German. in That book Hassanein Pasha shared in a very attractive way his journey for 8 month trip full of perils on a camel from Egypt's Mediterranean coast west of Marsa Matrouh, heading for the oases of Siwa and Kufra and into the unknown reaches of the Libyan Desert. His perilous eight-month journey in 1923 took him around the western edges of the Great Sand Sea to El Obeid in the Sudan, a distance of 2200 miles, and lead him to the discovery of the lost oases of Arkenu and Uweinat at the extreme southwest corner of Egypt.Yes he was the first one to discover the Uweinat Oasis where he discovered rock drawings of animals, including lions, giraffes, ostriches, and gazelles. He was deep in the trackless desert, but what he had found was evidence of a flourishing human existence ten thousand years ago, and proof that the Sahara was once green, people we are talking here as I said in year 1923 ,the wonderful thing in that book was that Hassanein was also one hell of a photographer who documented his discoveries with photographs and illustrations .

He wrote an article to the National geographic in September 1924 about his discoveries with photographs , you can check it here

If you are no amazed yet wait and you will be amazed by this multi-talented man whom in 1930 tried to fly solo from London to Cairo yet unfortunately the plan was smashed in Pisa ,he was quite an adventurous

Despite his claim that he did not understand politics at all he worked in it since day one as He started his career as the Arab Secretary to the British Commanding Officer General Maxwell during the Great War 1914-1918 , he received the MBE for his valuable efforts for the diplomatic bridge he created between Britain and Egypt in 1927 yet that does not mean he was a traitor working for the invaders sake on the contrary ,years later Hassanein was the worst nightmare the British Commissioner had faced in his working years he worked also as the first secretary of Seif Allah Yusri Pasha our first Ambassador to the United States.Then he returned to Egypt to work as an advisor to King Fouad and then a Chamberlain to the lands of Queen Nazli,after Young King Farouk arriving from Londonthe most important phase in his life from my point of view started when he was sent with crown Farouk "16 yrs" to London as Tutor and there in those couple of years he formed a special bond with Future King Farouk ,I guess no one had it , he was more like father to the young man who suffered from a very lonely strict childhood ,yes he made mistakes in London but on the other hand he won the trust of the rebel teenager.Hassanein later became the head of the Royal Diwan , which is like the office of the President Now. Through his work as in the Royal Diwan he was the closet one to Farouk and he proved that as an advisor he was not looking for his interest but the country's and the King's Interests , it is enough to know that Sir Ahmed Hassanein Pasha was not that rich ,I mean the man did not use his position for profit and surely he did not have friends like Mamdouh Ismail and the whale of Nasr city "I am speaking the current Head of the President's Diwan"

In 1926 he married the Ambassador daughter Princess Latifa whose Princess Shuvekarmother Princess Shivakiar ,yet the marriage did not last thanks to his relationship with Queen Nazli who many said that he married secretly for couple of years from 1943 to 1946 ,during that time it was said that he was in love with Singer and Princess Amal Al-Atrash aka Asmahan , to tell you the truth no body knows whom he real loved from those ladies but I think he married Nazli only to keep her from scandals ,Nazli was mad about him and could not accept the truth that she was just a fling for him , in revenge she acted in a way that threatened her son's throne who was mad to see his mother setting in her Royal Suite with him at night where he was wearing his pajamas teaching her how to read the holy Quran "1" !!

His death proved to be tragic from all ways , it was the start of the down fall of Farouk , he died in Car accident by British military vehicle near Qasr El Nil Bridge in Cairo on 19th of February1946 , Queen Nazli went Crazy and thought that her son was behind it where as her son began his true fast trip to downfall , it started with the divorce of Farida in 1948 despite Hassanein's warnings , then the defeat of 1948 then the clashes with the Wafad cabinet ,the successive weak minority cabinets and the mother of all scandals and disasters The escape of Nazli and her daughter Fatahiah who married the Christian Riyad Ghali ,I think if he were alive things would be different but what can we say Fate is fate

By the way he was buried in a very elegant mausoleum across the hassanein-bey-mausoleum-cs Salah Salem road from the new seat of the Al-Azhar Imam if you are used to pass by Salah Sallam road every day you may recognize it ,here it is

By the way do you know how designed that Mausoleum ??

Legendary Egyptian Architect Hassan Fathy who was Ahmed's brother-in-law by marriage of his sister Aziza Hassanein. That man does not stop surprising you even in his death ,if you go there or pass by it please remember to read Fataha

By the way he had 4 children from Princess Latifa : 2 boys "One of them called Tarek and he died from some time" and 2 girls ,his grand daughter is called Ayaat Mahmoud

Why did I write this post about that man ?? well beside my admiration of his personality ,I love the fact that he was 100% Egyptian man raised in Boulaq and according to many he was down to earth

By the way do you know what is the secret of that man??

I think it has to do with his horoscope Sign ,Ahmed Pasha Hassanein was living example on dangerous,adventurous,diplomat and charming characteristic of the Scorpios


1-Adel Thabat Book "Farouk and those who betrayed him"

2-The World of Ahmed Hassanein "Three images from it ", I don't want to suffer from their curse :)

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  1. n. american princess10/13/2007 11:01:00 PM

    This was very interesting. My brother was glued to this King Farouk show. I was going to Taraweeh when it was on so I'll watch it in reruns.

    Tell me something. You seem to be the Queen of Internet research. I would like to find information (date of death etc.)about my late grandfather who died in Montazah palace in Alexandria in the late 1930s I believe. What's the best way to go about doing this?

    Wallahi you seem to be able to unearth information about just about any topic...mashallah! ;0)

  2. @N.American Princess , they are going to rewind it in ART channels
    Wow your late grandfather died in Montazah in 1930s, well it seemed that he was either a royalty or worked in the palace because that area before the revolution was a royal area

    the only way is through reading books I think about this period , it always contained many names

  3. n. american princess10/15/2007 12:28:00 AM

    He was a pharmacist that worked for the royal family and died while taking a walk through the palace grounds while he was fasting. He was hit by a motorcyle I believe. This is all my father knew as he was around 4 or 5 years old when he passed away. My aunt refused to visit Montazah palace with me last year because she said there were too many memories or something.

    I'll tell my brother to start searching. I think I missed the last episode of the stupidest show to watch during Ramadan..the Hussein Family soap...OMG I don't know how I kept watching this except that it was the only show on in the only hour I had free for tv in the just wanted to know how the lame thing ended...eyes rolling...I don't suppose you were wasting any time watching this show were you?

  4. n. american princess10/15/2007 12:29:00 AM

    Oops..meant Hussein Fahmy soap not Hussein family

  5. Hussein Fahmy Soap with Abala Kamal , are you kidding !!?? ,that the only thing I am sad that I missed that they were showing it in 1 AM on Chl and i could not watch it , that's real drama , not because Hussein Fahmy but because the Drama Queen Dame Abala Kamal :)they will show it again on MBC thank goodness

  6. n. american princess10/15/2007 03:51:00 AM

    You were watching it 2? How funny is that. I didn't think anybody watched it except me. No one here I know was watching it. My brother complained that I should be watching Bab al Harra instead cuz there is so much action on it. Yeah right. That show was slower than molasses. He kept making fun of how Hussein Fahmy's fake brown makeup was only on his face and not on his neck (so true) and how it made his blue eyes look even more freaky. Bab al Harra...Puleeeze. It's quite popular here cuz the Syrian dialect is closer to the Lebanese one. V. whiney dialect though. I only watched it when he invited me over for iftar.

    That Dr. Taher is easy on the eyes..what can I say :0)..Abla Kamal is indeed a fine actress and she never wears a drop of makeup and has this flawless, ageless skin that I'm very jealous of...Damn..I was hoping you had seen it..1 am would have been 7 pm here...there was some lame play with that loser Dina the bellydancer on Abu Dhabi channel instead...I don't know if I can watch those 29 or 30 episodes all over again just to see the final's rerunning here on MBC as well but probably when I'm at work or something...oh well...

  7. Another good article on Hassanien Pasha. Good work. I hope you will too write about El Nasha Pasha and how his life after the revolution and when did he died and how about his wife Zeinab Hanim.

  8. @N.American princess ,unfortunately this tv series got lost in that season , the Make up of Hussein Kamal is a black point in the TV series
    Bab El-Hara is popular in the Arab world but not in Egypt due to the accent and the story ,Egyptians won't watch stories abouta Syrian Shami alley in th 18th century ,sorry it is not our style for sure

    @anonymous, well this is a good idea , especially I did not like the way they protrayed him the TV series also they did not mention the truth of his wife , I will keep it in my mind , but not sooner , because this needs a good research

  9. This man really is inspirational. No one is perfect but I admire the sense of adventure.

    I've really enjoyed looking up your old posts for the subject matter by the way


  10. @Sam ,I happy that you find my old posts interesting
    about Ahmed Hassenein , yes nobody is perfect in fact this man is being hated even right now by the hardcore Egyptian liberals who saw in him the villain who destroyed the democratic life in Egypt by standing against the elected Wafad Cabinet :)

  11. manar filisteen7/06/2008 03:16:00 AM

    wow.... seriously intresting.... and the coolest part is that hez like 100% arab. but zeinobia, there was that part when u mentiones that they were in her chambers where he was 'tutoring' her... i mean we all clearly noe what they were really doing, but may u please consider removing the holy Qoraan refrence.... i mean... it is disrespectful to joke abt things like this (im nt a mufti, though am quite sure it is 7aram bt bdeish a7arem o a7alel 3a kayfi). im sure u had no intention of refering to their 'activities' as koraan lessons... but it gives off a wrong vibe.
    but the text is great! u do have great research skills and it is quite informative... lolz bt i dnt get wut the horescopes have to do with anything :Pim a picses... does that mean i cant do the cool things hassanain allayer7amo did? :P salamz!

  12. Dear Manar , I do not joke about My religion and any reader to my blog knows this very well , I do not joke and do not tolerate any joke from this kind, the incident I mentioned is based on Mr. Adel Thabet book "Farouk and those who betrayed him , its English Versionis in my book store"
    Mr Adel Thabet mentioned this incident and he did not use any Metaphor what so ,because he mentioned in other instances the relations between Nazli and the British Officers in Jerusalem frankly
    Mr Adel Thabet is a relative to Queen Nazli by the way and his father was the Ambassador of Egypt in Iraq who managed to return back Empress Fawzia
    in fact this important incident shows that Nazli had no religious bases , already she was welcoming the suggestion of having an affair with Husseinein who declined for his religious believes
    about the horoscope
    Scorpios are known to be very adventurous and enigmatic personalities just like Husseinein and this is why I choose this title

  13. @Impossible Girle,
    well I love it too but this is from our modern history which is not less interesting than our ancient history too ;)

  14. He is my great grandfather... my name is Medhat Seifallah Hisham ahmed Hassanein

  15. fascinating stuff..Also, his looks does not fit with the western mold of ladies-man (for example, the young King Farouk)..he is handsome in a way like Sadat was to many of us!

  16. @Medhat , wow this is great , tell me did you parents speak you about him !!??

    @Mostafa , well he was attractive and so smart , I think that is why many women attracted to him

  17. Dear Zenobia ,
    Ahmad Pasha Hassanein is Medhat great grd father YESSSSSSSS.
    But be careful of some peole who have composed names and pretend they a related to Hassanein .
    Hassanein's grand daughter :
    Atteya Mahmoud.


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