Mohamed Sherif Pasha

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Mohamed Sherif
محمد شريف
Sherif in 1850
3rd Prime Minister of Egypt
In office
7 April 1879 – 18 August 1879
MonarchsIsma'il Pasha
Tewfik Pasha
Preceded byTewfik Pasha
Succeeded byTewfik Pasha
In office
14 September 1881 – 4 February 1882
MonarchTewfik Pasha
Preceded byRiaz Pasha
Succeeded byMahmoud Samy el-Baroudy
In office
21 August 1882 – 7 January 1884
MonarchTewfik Pasha
Preceded byIsma'il Raghib Pasha
Succeeded byNubar Pasha
Personal details
BornFebruary 1826
Kavala, Ottoman Empire
Died20 April 1887 (aged 61)
Graz, Austria-Hungary
Parent(s)Muhammad Said, Kadi of Mecca

Mohamed Sherif Pasha GCSI[citation needed] (1826–1887) (Arabic: محمد شريف باشا) was an Egyptian statesman.[1] He served as Prime Minister of Egypt three times during his career. His first term was between April 7, 1879 and August 18, 1879. His second term was served from September 14, 1881 to February 4, 1882. His final term was served between August 21, 1882 and January 7, 1884.


Sherif, who was from Kavala in the Ottoman Empire (now in northern Greece),[1] filled numerous administrative posts under Sa'id Pasha and Isma'il Pasha. He was better educated than most of his contemporaries, and had married a daughter of Colonel Sèves, the French non-commissioned officer who became Suleiman Pasha under Mehmet Ali.[2] They were the maternal grandparents of Queen consort Nazli of Egypt and Regent Sherif Sabri Pasha.[3]

As minister of foreign affairs he was useful to Ismail, who used Sherif's bluff bonhomie to veil many of his most insidious proposals. Of singularly lazy disposition, he yet possessed considerable tact; he was in fact an Egyptian Lord Melbourne, whose policy was to leave everything alone.[2]

Sherif's favorite argument against any reform was to appeal to the Pyramids as an immutable proof of the solidity of Egypt financially and politically. His fatal optimism rendered him largely responsible for the collapse of Egyptian credit which brought about the fall of Ismail.[2]

Upon the military insurrection of September 1881 under Urabi Pasha, Sherif was summoned by the khedive Tawfiq to form a new ministry. The impossibility of reconciling the financial requirements of the national party with the demands of the British and French controllers of the public debt, compelled him to resign in the following February.[2]

After the suppression of the Urabi Revolt he was again installed in office (August 1882) by Tawfiq, but in January 1884 he resigned rather than sanction the evacuation of the Sudanese regions of the Khedivate of Egypt. As to the strength of the Mahdist movement he had then no conception. When urged by Sir Evelyn Baring (Lord Cromer) early in 1883 to abandon some of the more distant parts of the Sudan, he replied with characteristic light-heartedness: "Nous en causerons plus tard ; d'abord nous allons donner une bonne raclée à ce monsieur" (We'll talk about that later, first we're going to give this gentleman (i.e. the self declared Mahdi, Muhammad Ahmad) a good thrashing). Hicks Pasha's expedition was at the time preparing to march on El Obeid.[2]

Sherif died in Graz, Austria-Hungary, on April 20, 1887.


  1. ^ a b Goldschmidt, Arthur (2000). Biographical dictionary of modern Egypt. Lynne Rienner Publishers. p. 191. ISBN 1-55587-229-8.
  2. ^ a b c d e  One or more of the preceding sentences incorporates text from a publication now in the public domainChisholm, Hugh, ed. (1911). "Sherif Pasha". Encyclopædia Britannica. Vol. 24 (11th ed.). Cambridge University Press. p. 850.
  3. ^ Mostyn, Trevor (2006). Egypt's Belle Epoque: Cairo and the Age of the Hedonists. Tauris Parke Paperbacks. pp. 27–28. ISBN 9781845112400. Sulaiman Pasha made an eccentric figure ... Born in Lyon in 1788, he lived to the age of seventy-two with his favourite Greek mistress, dying in Cairo on 12 March 1860. His daughter, Nazli Hanem, married Muhammad Sherif Pasha, who was to become an important prime minister under Ismail. Their granddaughter, the beautiful, domineering Nazli Sabri, was to marry King Fouad and give birth to the last of the dynasty, King Farouk.
Political offices
Preceded by Prime Minister of Egypt
Succeeded by
Preceded by Prime Minister of Egypt
Succeeded by
Preceded by Prime Minister of Egypt
Succeeded by