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A clan of mountaineers and their qaid (In Morocco (1920) by Edith Wharton)

Qaid (Arabic: قائدqāʾid, "commander"; pl. qaada), also spelled kaid or caïd, is a word meaning "commander" or "leader." It was a title in the Norman kingdom of Sicily, applied to palatine officials and members of the curia, usually to those who were Muslims or converts from Islam. The word entered the Latin language as Latin: gaitus or Latin: gaytus. Later the word was used in North Africa for the governor of a fortress or the warden of a prison, also in Spain and Portugal in the form with the definite article "alcayde" (Spanish) "alcaide" (Portuguese).[1] It is also used as a male Arabic given name.

Notable qaids[edit]

  • Thomas Brun (active 1137-1154), Englishman who served Roger II of Sicily
  • Ahmed es-Sikeli, known as Caid Peter (active 1160s), eunuch in the court of Sicily, confidant of Margaret of Navarre
  • Caïd Richard (died 1187) Great Chamberlain under William I of Sicily and Margaret of Navarre
  • Murat Reis the younger 17th Century Dutch renegado appointed Caid over the region including the kasbah of El-Oualidia, the port of Saffia, and Maladia (Muladie) by the Sultan of Morocco
  • Sir Harry MacLean (1848–1920), Scottish soldier, and instructor to the Moroccan Army
  • Quaid-e-Azam, meaning great leader, title of Muhammad Ali Jinnah (1876–1948), founder of Pakistan
  • Grands caids, Berber feudal rulers of southern quarter of Morocco under the French Protectorate

People with the given name[edit]

Alcaide as surname[edit]


Other uses[edit]


  1. ^ "Alcayde". The Shorter Oxford English Dictionary. Oxford UP. 1974.