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 Egypt 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 Politics 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 book " 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 the 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 mother 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 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 🙂