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© Bibliotheca Alexandrina© IMARET – Institute Mohammed Ali for the Research of the Eastern Tradition

Muhammad 'Ali Pasha
19th century
Bibliotheca Alexandrina, Alexandria, Egypt

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House of Mohammed Ali
Mohammed Ali Museum
Construction: between 1750 and 1770; restoration: 2001–2004

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Revolutions and wars

During the modern era, Egypt witnessed several wars in which Egyptians were ordered to battle by the Ottoman Sultan. Egyptians fought in the Wahhabi Wars (1811–18) and in the Greek War of Independence (1821–32). In addition, Egyptians fought at the request of the Khedive of Egypt Muhammad ‘Ali, whose expansionist ambitions provoked wars in Sudan and the Levant. Egyptian forces also participated in wars during the reigns of Muhammad ‘Ali’s successors, some of which were fought in order to support the Ottoman Sultans at the Topkapı Palace, or to put down revolts that took place in other areas under Ottoman rule. Other wars were fought to support France in Mexico and to support expansion into Sudan, the latter of which resulted in tense relations between Egypt and Abyssinia, leading to a war between them, and the expansion of Egypt into East Africa.

Egyptian forces also supported Palestine and Arabism, by participating with Arab forces in an attempt to bring down the Zionists in 1948. The Egyptian Army continued to defend Egyptian lands during the wars of 1956, 1967 and 1973.