Wed, May 17, 2023 10:00 AM
“Al-Mahrousa” took off from the port of Alexandria, carrying Khedive Ismail, surrounded by six military armored vehicles from the Egyptian navy, and the cannons sounded from the city’s castles to salute the royal convoy, which was heading to Europe to personally invite its greats and those sitting on its thrones to open the Suez Canal on November 17, 1869. And so as not to leave the Ottoman sultan with the opportunity to send this invitation and take advantage of this unique occasion for his own account, according to Dr. Mustafa Al-Hefnawi in the first part of his book “The Suez Canal and Its Contemporary Problems.”
Nubar Pasha was the most important overseer of Khedive Ismail and his head of government from 1878-1897 in Europe at the time, and he mentions in his memoirs that his mind was preoccupied with a telegraph he received from Ismail informing him of his soon arrival in “Venice”, and suggested that he accompany him in order to make a European tour to invite the masters and kings of Europe to attend a party The opening of the Suez Canal, and he adds: «Ismail prepared his travel program himself and telegraphed me in detail telegraphically, traveling from Alexandria on such and such day, arriving in Venice on such and such day, staying two days in the city, the third day leaving at such and such an hour, arriving in Florence on such and such an hour, staying Three days, the fourth day, the departure of such and such an hour, the arrival in Vienna on such and such a day, then Paris, everything was known in advance, calculated by the day and the hour.
The convoy proceeded from Alexandria, and “Al-Hafnawi” mentions that on its way it stopped on the island of Korovo in order for Ismail to visit King George II of Greece, and he invited him. Al-Hafnawi says: “The high honors offered one hundred thousand francs to the immigrants from the island of Crete, and that was a manifestation of defiance against Turkey.” The war is about to break out between it and Greece because of that island, and from there the rides marched to Italy.” Nubar mentions that Ismail arrived in Venice, where he received the reception of kings, and the next day a large vigil party was held in his honor on the banks of the Grand Canal, and it was an imaginary party. Where the picturesque atmosphere amidst the sparkle of lights that were emanating from the fountains and lamps of Venice, while the sounds of music and melodies swayed and harmonized with St. Mark’s Square.
In Florence, and according to Nubar’s narration: Ismail consulted him on two issues that he was considering, the first, his intention to marry his son and heir apparent Tawfiq to a European princess, and the second, that after he had arranged everything in Egypt, he would relinquish power to him, and he would nevertheless follow up on everything Something, and if everything goes well, he will be applauded from afar, and if things do not go well, he will return to power and take his place. Nubar asserts: “The truth is that he never spoke on these two issues, and I never heard from anyone that he hinted at him or He spoke to him about them, which made me think that the governor did not speak to anyone but me.
Ismail went to Vienna, then to Berlin, the capital of Germany, and Nubar mentions: “In Berlin, I was amazed by the spirit, greatness, and behavior of the Crown Prince of Germany at that time, Count Bismarck.” He adds: “The governor, Ismail, was happy with the royal receptions that were held for him everywhere. Then he finally finished his trip to Paris on June 12, and there were also receptions that were no less impressive than their predecessors.
Egypt was affiliated with the Ottoman states, and according to “Al-Hafnawi”, Ismail’s movements agitated “Ali Pasha”, her greatest vizier, so in mid-June he sent a circular to all the Ottoman ambassadors, ordering them to protest against Ismail’s work, and consider it outside the limits of decency, and the publication claimed that the invitation to attend The opening ceremonies of the Suez Canal must be directed in the name of the Ottoman Sultan, not in the name of the Khedive, and the Sublime Porte rented some cheap newspapers and pens to attack the monarch of Egypt, but Ismail found pens and newspapers like heavy weights, and Al-Hafnawi adds that the Sublime Porte sent a strongly worded letter to Ismail about What he did, but he sent an answer with an ambassador who kissed him with a whiff of his whiffs.
Al-Hafnawi mentions: “He answered the Khedive invitation, Empress Eugenie of France, Franz Joseph, Emperor of Austria, Frederick Wilhelm, Crown Prince of the Prussian Crown and his wife, daughter of Queen Victoria, Henry, Prince of the Netherlands, Princess his wife, Louis, Prince of Hesse, and the others sent their ambassadors and senior men of their states, and as for the Sultan He was not invited to the Ottoman Empire, and he did not want to be invited, and he did not delegate any of his men to represent him. Rather, the ambassador of England, in addition to his presence on behalf of his country, announced his deputation for the Sultan at the opening ceremony of the canal. Great trade, international newspaper writers and correspondents, and it was said that the number of invitees reached six thousand people.