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Khalil Hamada and Mar’i Al Mallah: Great Pashas and Longtime Friends By Amr Al Mallah

Khalil Hamada and Mar’i Al Mallah Great Pashas and Longtime Friends  By Amr Al Mallah 

The Grand Vizier Hussein Hilmi Pasha who was tasked of forming the second cabinet during the Second Constitutional Era of the Ottoman Empire on February 1, 1909, had summoned Khalil Pasha Hamada to the capital, Istanbul, where he assigned him to the post of Minister (Nazir) of Endowments (Waqf) under the recommendation of the famous former Grand Vizier Kibrisli Mohammed Kamil Pasha. 

Khalil Pasha Hamada was a well-known Egyptian statesman whose family was of Egyptian ancestry but were residents of Beirut.

Hamada Pasha was then Director General of Endowments of Egypt and had formerly served as Director of Customs of Alexandria and was also known for his devotion to his work, competency and efficiency. 

Once he assumed his office, Hamada Pasha began the implementation of his reform programme, relying on experts in legal, administrative and financial affairs to help him reorganize the endowments (Waqf) directorates in the capital and provinces of the Sultanate. 

Hamada Pasha’s close friend the representative of Aleppo in the Ottoman Parliament Mar’i Pasha Al Mallah who already resigned from Parliament in protest against intervention of Committee of Union and Progress (CUP) in the affairs of the state was one of those capable men who had been selected by Hamada Pasha to complement him in his reform programme, thus, he assigned him to the post of Director of Endowments of the Province of Aleppo in August 1909.

The two long-time friends Khalil Pasha Hamada and Mar’i Pasha Al Mallah were enjoying the favor of famous Ottoman Grand Vizier Kibrisli Mohammed Kamil Pasha who was opposed to CUP’s heavy-handed rule and Turkification policies. 

PHOTO: From left to right, Mar’i Pasha Al Mallah (1853-1930), Ottoman Grand Vizier Kibrisli Mohammed Kamil Pasha (1833-1913), Khalil Pasha Hamada (-1910).

Therefore, the pro-CUP daily, Tanin, launched a relentless campaign against Khalil Pasha Hamada, the Arab Minister of Endowments, for his appointment of only a handful of senior officials of Arab descend out of hundreds of officials and employees of pure Turkish ancestry in the Ministry of Endowments.

The daily went on to say that the Ministry of Endowments has become an “Arab colony,” in reference to the appointment of leading Arab personalities, including Mar’i Pasha Al Mallah, Mohammed Pasha Al Makhzoumi and Hakki Bey Al Azem, who were not affiliated with the CUP, in key positions in the Ministry.

Moreover, a number of CUP lawmakers called on Parliament Speaker to hold a public hearing to question Hamada Pasha about the reason for his appointment of what they called “puppets of Ahmad Izzet Pasha Al Abid, former Secretary of deposed Sultan Abdul Hamid” in the Ministry, a charge often leveled by the CUP against those who were critical of their policies. However, the majority of parliament refused to hold that hearing.

The CUP finally succeeded in forcing the Grand Vizier Hussein Hilmi Pasha, known for his moderation, to submit his resignation towards the end of 1909.

However, Hamada Pasha did not retain his ministerial post in the new cabinet against the backdrop of accusations made by CUP against him, which I have already referred to.

Hamada Pasha was subsequently appointed a member of the Ottoman Senate. Hamada Pasha soon passed away after that in 1910.

It is worth mentioning that the late Fayza Sammakia daughter of Egyptian industrialist Mostafa Kamil Sammakia the grandson of Mar’i Pasha Al Mallah was married to Eng. Ahmed Hamada son of Prof. Dr. Jawad Hamada the son of Khalil Hamada Pasha.

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