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Muhammad Sharif Pasha

Muhammad Sharif
محمد شريف
Prime Minister of Egypt
In office
7 April 1879 – 18 August 1879
Monarch Isma'il Pasha
Preceded by Muhammad Tawfiq Pasha
Succeeded by Muhammad Tawfiq Pasha
Prime Minister of Egypt (second term)
In office
14 September 1881 – 4 February 1882
Monarch Tewfik Pasha
Preceded by Riyad Pasha
Succeeded by Mahmoud Sami el-Baroudi
Prime Minister of Egypt (third term)
In office
21 August 1882 – 7 January 1884
Monarch Tawfik Pasha
Preceded by Isma'il Raghib Pasha
Succeeded by Nubar Pasha
Personal details
Born February 1826
Kavala, Greece
Died 20 April 1887 (aged 61)
Graz, Austria-Hungary

Muhammad Sharif Pasha GCSI[1] (1826–1887) (Arabic: محمد شريف باشا‎) was an Egyptian statesman of Turkish origin.[2] 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.

Sharif, who was from Kavala in northern Greece, 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.

As minister of foreign affairs he was useful to Ismail, who used Sharif'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.

Sharif'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.

Upon the military insurrection of September 1881 under Urabi Pasha, Sharif 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.

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 Sudan. 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 Mahdi) a good thrashing). Hicks Pasha's expedition was at the time preparing to march on El Obeid.

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


  1. ^ Royal Ark
  2. ^ Goldschmidt, Arthur (2000). Biographical dictionary of modern Egypt. Lynne Rienner Publishers. p. 191.  
Political offices
Preceded by
Muhammad Tawfiq Pasha
Prime Minister of Egypt
Succeeded by
Riyad Pasha
Preceded by
Riyad Pasha
Prime Minister of Egypt
Succeeded by
Mahmoud Sami al-Baroudi
Preceded by
Raghib Pasha
Prime Minister of Egypt
Succeeded by
Nubar Pasha
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