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Imperial Ottoman and Egyptian Khedivial seals

Sultan Hussein arms togra

Sultan Hussein

1915 marks the beginning of a new regime in Egypt, one that is no longer part of the now ailing Ottoman Empire waging war against Germany and France. In December 1914 the Khedivate is replaced with a Sultanate.

By the same token Sultan Hussein Kamel (r. 1914-17) replaces his nephew Khedive Abbas Hilmi on Egypt's novel British-made throne.

New civil ranks under the new regime are announced in the "Journal Officiel" of April 1915. These are:

The Journal goes on to define the ranks. For starters the rank of Imtiaz can only be conferred on Ministers or persons having the rank of Minister, whether exercising their functions of not. This rank may however be conferred upon high officials with a salary of not less that LE 1,750 per annum, for particularly important services or special merit, and to high personages, on condition that their never be more than eight of this category of rank holders at a time. This rank bears with it the tittle of pasha.

Ri'asset is a dignity conferred to persons attaining the rank of Prime Minister. This honor bears with it the title of Hadret Sahib al-Dawla. The holder has the right to keep this order even after he has quitted office. The first prime minister to enjoy this order was Hussein Rouchdi Pasha on 20 June 1915.

The first to enjoy the title of Imtiaz were the members of Hussein Rouchdi's June 1915 government: Ismail Sirry Pasha (Public Works), Ahmed Hilmi Pasha (Agriculture), Youssef Wahba Pasha (Finance), Adly YeKen Pasha (Education), Abdelkhalek Sarwat Pasha (Justice), Ibrahim Fathi Pasha (Awqaff).

The rank of Pasha can only be conferred upon high officials with a salary of not less that LE 1,200 and upon Egyptian notabilities who distinguish themselves by their services to the country.

The rank of Bey first class can only be conferred upon officials whose salary is not less thant LE 564 and the rank of Bey second class upon officials whose salary is not less that LE 420. Both ranks can be conferred on Egyptian notabilities who have rendered services to the country.

The right of conferring grades belongs to the Sultan. Recommendations therefore must be made to the Council of Ministers by no less than a Minister. No rank can be conferred upon an official who has not at least three years' service, and no promotion in grade may be effected until after three years after the first appointment. This does not however apply to officials who are retiring. The above three restrictions do not apply to officials appointed by decree or to officials of the Sultanic court with the exception of those regarding the Imtiaz rank.

Holders of the above ranks will wear regulation uniform at official ceremonies.

By the same token the older Ottoman titles and ranks will no longer be conferred. These were:

certificate Hassan Raafat Pasha
above: example of pasha credential-certificate bestowed at Abdine Palace on 18 June 1923 during King Fouad's reign; military Pasha in full regalia

an example of a 6 May 1948 pasha cerificate during the reign of King Farouk

Bey certificate
a pre-1915 example of an Ottoman Bey certificate

Between April 1915 and January 1952 about 600 persons were honored with the title of Pasha. Broken down into categories most were civil servants followed by notables most of them wealthy landowners.

There were also those army officers who reached the rank of General--Lewa which carried with it the honorary title of Pasha.

Below are some statistics regarding the number of titles conferred. These are based on a census conducted in 1937 and another one conducted in 1952, just before titles were abolished.

Both the above census DO NOT include persons who had already died when these were conducted. Hence we do not find Prime Ministers Saad Zaghloul Pasha who died in 1926 or Abdelkhalek Sarwat Pasha who died in 1928 or Adly Yeken Pasha who died in 1933. Similarly Prime Minister Ahmed Maher is not mentioned in the census of 1952 since he had already died (assassinated) in 1945. Ditto for Counselor Fouad Anwar Pasha who died sometime between receiving the honor in 1946 and the publication of the 1952 census.

The census also gives the job description/position of the title-holder on the day he received it. Hence Ahmed Abdelwahab Pasha is listed as an undersecretary rather than cabinet minister a post he would occupy a few years later.

Army Generals who automatically carry the honorary title of pasha with their military rank are not included in either census.


Out of a total 347 listed in the census of 1937 and 1951 the breakdown was as follows:


1910    1
1947    1
1917    2
1916    3
1918    3
1952    3
1943    4
1920    5
1922    5
1940    5
1950    5
1924    6
1926    7
1931    7
1938    8
1942    8
1915    9
1919    9
1930    9
1921    10
1923    13
1948    13
1945    15
1941    17
1944    17
1925    23
1936    23
1949    23
1946    25
1937    32
1951    36

Population in Egypt in 1899 estimated at 9.75 million
Population in Egypt in 1915 estimated at 11.2 million
Population in Egypt in 1947 estimated at 19 million

detailed list of pashas source: Takweem Asmaa wa Alkaab wa Rotab al-Madania al-Hadeetha; Matabea al-Amiria 1952


Order of Mohammed Ali Order of Mohammed Ali
Order Of Mohammed Ali

Order of the Nile Order of the Nile
Order of the Nile
Order of Agriculture Order of Ismail
Order Of Agriculture and Order of Ismail
Order of Kamal
Order of Kamal (virtue)

articles posted on were published in the following books by Samir W Raafat: THE EGYPTIAN BOURSE, Zeitouna, Cairo -- CAIRO THE GLORY YEARS, Harpocrates, Alexandria -- HISTORY & SOCIETY IN A CAIRO SUBURB; MAADI 1904-1962, Palm Press, Cairo -- PRIVILEGED FOR THREE CENTURIES, printed digitally and bound by Elias Printing, Egypt

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