The Sultanate of Egypt is a country in north-east Africa. It borders the Mediterranean to the north, the German-held Suez Canal to the east, Abyssinia to the southeast, Deutsch-Mittelafrika to the south, with National France and Tripolitania to the west.
Following the signing of the Peace with Honour, the Sultanate of Egypt remained a British protectorate with Hussein Kamel as Sultan. In 1917 Kamel would die, and the throne would go to his brother Fuad as Kamel’s son Kamal al-Din Husayn refused to take the throne. Faud I’s reign would start off rocky for as a king having to contend with the British control and the growing nationalist sentiment that opposed the influence of the British.
The Egyptian Revolution of 1925
The nationalist sentiment kept growing, and when the British Revolution occurred, the Egyptians would revolt. However, seeing this as a chance to prove to the Egyptian people that he was no mere puppet of the British and to take advantage of the situation and more than a little fearing that the revolution might turn on him in their nationalistic fervor. Fuad would present himself as a staunch Egyptian nationalist and help lead the uprising against the British.
In the midst of all the chaos going on around the world and in Egypt in particular, the Germans would come in and take control of the canal for global safety and security. While many were wanting to fight the German Empire for the Canal, Fuad would decide against it. He knew only too well that he couldn’t resist the collapsing British Empire and the German empire at the same time.
One of the major things Fuad would do in order to appease his subjects was the creation of a constitution. Despite the tension with the Kaiserreich over the canal zone, the Egyptian Constitution of 1925 would be modeled on the German Empire’s Constitution. The Constitution had the intended effect upon the people of Egypt and helped cement Sultan Fuad as a popular leader throughout Egypt.
The new Sultanate of Egypt
The revolution of 1925 would result in changes throughout Egyptian society. Most obviously was Egyptian Nationalism. Long pushed underground due to Ottomans and the British wanted to control the region, for the first time since Muhammad Ali himself was Egypt allowed to be herself. Another consequence would be the new parties would be created or gain prominence. The Wafd party, one of the leading parties of the revolution of ‘25, would become the dominant party during this time. One consequence of that was the abolition of the title of Pasha. The title Pasha was seen as being un-Egyptian and tied to the Ottomans and was abolished, through their status as nobles among the upper class were not changed.
The twenties would see Egypt engage in industrialization as she tries to catch up with Europe. Fuad and his prime ministers saw that Egypt was still rather backward, the Ottomans and the British did little for her. The Wafd party lead by the charismatic Saad Zaghloul sought a modernization program to help strengthen Egypt.
The Modernization program also combined social reform and secularism. Culturally it also gave rise to feminism, spearheaded by upper-class women like Safiya Zaghloul(wife of Prime Minister Saad Zaghloul) and Huda Sha'arawi. Huda Sha’arawi would create the Egyptian Feminist Union following the revolution, while Safiya became famous for helping to get women out onto the streets in opposition to the British and their puppet Faud. This activism wouldn’t end with the victory of the Egyptian revolution.
However, with the rise in the liberalization of the Wafd government would lead directly to the creation of the Ittihad Party. The Ittihad party marked out a distinctly anti-liberal position and strong support for the religious policies and social conservative policy. However, the Ittihad party gained support from its plans to push in education and welfare policies. While they are reactionary, they do believe in modernization finding a valuable niche in teaching about Islam through cinema.
During this time Fuad would have an increasing number of conflicts with the liberals within his government. The Liberals sought to weaken the power of the monarchy and turn Egypt into a true constitutional monarchy with the Sultan as a figurehead. Fuad, however, preferred the conservative position of the status quo in terms of his position and power. Though there were rumors that he wanted to be an absolute monarch, he would never publicly suggest such sentiments even if he did favor it.
A Chance at Greatness
By the thirties, the liberal golden age was going strong. However internally there were some shakeups. The 1931 election would see the Watani emerge as the winner with Hafiz Ramadan becoming Prime Minister. Party this was helped by the fact that the Wafd Party split in 1928 between those that sought to go even further calling themselves Saadist as they believed in carrying out the legacy of Saad Zaghloul. The new party called the Liberal Constitution Party or Liberal Party for short believed in going further with social reforms then the Wafd.
The Watani did keep a number of the reforms the Wafd brought they did seek to roll back some the changes that tried to make the sultan a mere figurehead. They were however not interested in the Sultan becoming an absolute monarch, however, no matter how much both the Liberals and Wafdist accused them of such.
However, the Watani’s governments opened up a political question that refused to be solved by 1936. How much power should the Sultan have? Some think the status quo is good, while the Wafd and the liberals think he should be more of a figurehead. Then there were those that favored the opposite, notably the Ittihad Party which thought the Sultan should have more power.
It was in the thirties that a plan began to be prepared for going against the Ottoman Empire. The rise in Egyptian nationalism brought back many who sought to restore the glory of Egypt. With the Ottomans in a decline plans began to be drawn up for a grand alliance, the Cario Concordat between the Arabian states and Egypt in order to take down the Ottoman Empire.
The rise of Egyptian Nationalism also saw an uptick in anti-ottoman and anti-Turkish sentiment as the Ottomans were regarded just like the British, an imperialist power keeping Egypt down. As 1936 many are planning on a great conference in Cairo to bring down the Ottoman Goliath and build a new empire from its ashes even though the various political factions may differ as to what this new empire will look like.
Question of Identity
Since the revolution in 1925, questions about Egyptian Identity started to become asked by intellectuals of all stripes. Questions about what exactly was an Egyptian, what did it mean to be Egyptian, and when was Egypt great were asked by all people throughout Egypt. By 1936 two competing movements have emerged to answer these questions.
Pharaonism: They look to the pre-Islamic past to well the days of the Pharaohs for a time when Egypt was truly great and powerful. They argue that Egypt is a Mediterranean civilization and stress the role of the Mediterranean sea within Egyptian Culture, though they do not neglect the Nile. Largely it aligns with the Liberal parties though strictly speaking it is not liberal, and even some of the Watani support it, though admittedly not that many. It is the movement that is currently in vogue and the most influential.
Islamism: The Second cultural movement is the Islamist movement that arose as a counter to the more mainstream Pharaonism. They answer the question as to when was Egypt great by looking to the Fatimid Caliphate and the Ayyubid dynasty. Instead of the Pharaohs, whom they decry as pagan and absolute tyrants. They look back to the time when Egypt was the center of the Islamic world. When a multi-ethnic and tolerant Egypt was the dominant Islamic power. This cultural movement is more of a conservative counter to the more mainstream Pharaonism and is largely tied to the Conservative movements, particularly the Ittihad Party.
It should be noted that both camps support a multi-ethnic Egypt, both Pharaonists and Islamist believe that Egypt has always been a multi-ethnic state. Both concepts are largely romantic nationalist in nature and have an impact on culture and the arts.
The 1925 Revolution transformed Egypt in tremendously. From the decision to abolish the title of Pasha as being imposed upon the Egyptians by the Turks to the German Inspired constitution, Egypt was no longer the same. Overnight a number of new political parties came into being. Most fell into either the camp of Liberal or Conservative. By 1936 there out of the many new parties four had emerged to dominate politics.
- Hizb al-Ahrar al-Dusturiyyin: The Liberal Constitutional Party is the youngest mainstream party, breaking off from the Wafd Party in 1928. Profoundly supportive of social liberal reforms and the biggest supporters of a secular, liberal, Egyptian monarchy. They are sometimes called Saadist since they strongly identify with the policies of Saad Zaghloul.
- Hizb al-Wafd: Despite the split that formed the Liberal Constitution Party the Wafd Party remains the largest and most popular Liberal Party. The party is strongest among the urban middle class. Similar to the Liberal Constitutional Party, they also believe in a secular and liberal Egyptian monarchy with the sultan with reduced power.
- Hizb al-Watani: The leading conservative party in Egypt. They believe in keeping the Egyptian monarchy’s power as it is. Their main power base is among the rural farmers. While they do support the general secular ideals of the constitution of ‘25, they believe that there should be greater emphasis on the role of religious values in both Muslims and Christians within Egyptian society.
- Hizb al-Ittihad: They are the second newest party. The Ittihad is staunchly loyal to the royal family though they do not believe it should be an absolute monarchy. They think that the government should actively support social and religiously conservative values for the stability of the country as well as governmental control of the Awqaf, distribution of public and private endowments.
There are of course other parties in the Sultanate such as the Hizb al-Masri al-Dimuqrati al-Ijtma'i or Egyptian Social Democratic Party which looked to the German SPD as inspiration. They are though a distinct minority within the Egyptian political System.
Sultan of Egypt: H.R.H. Fuad I
Prime minister: Aly Maher
Minister of Foreign Affairs: Hussein Serry
Minister of Finance: Hassan Allam
Minister of Security: Abdelfattah Amr
Royal Egyptian Army
The Egyptian army is still training to become the military force it dreams itself to be. Centuries of being under the thumb of the Ottomans and the Decades under the British prevented the Egyptian Army from becoming a modern military force upon independence. Despite this, plans are in the work to reform the army and make it a formidable force, one that shall take the Ottomans down.
When the Egyptian Revolution began in 1925, a few of the British ships docked in Alexandria, and Port Said was taken over by the Egyptian revolutionaries. While these ships are old and mostly Weltkrieg era models, plans have also been put in place to import newer ships or build them herself.
Egyptian Army Air Force
The Egyptian Army Air Force is the youngest section of the armed forces and technically part of the Army. This has caused some friction in the EAAF, as the pilots wish for the Airforce to be an independent branch. That said, the pilots do what they can to patrol the skies of the vast land that is the Sultanate of Egypt.
Egypt has hostile relations with the Ottoman Empire and many see the next few years as the beginning of a new era for the Region with Egypt as the dominant power. Of course, such an ambition will require planning to bring into being.
When it comes to Tripolitania, the relationship is rather complicated. King Idris of Tripolitania is in exile in Cairo and seeks to reclaim his throne. The government supports such an endeavor to reclaim the throne if such a thing were to occur Tripolitania would fastly become friends with Egypt. As it stands now though, Egypt regards the country as a puppet of the Ottomans.
There is still tension between the Germans over their control of the Suez Canal Zone. Despite that area of tension, in recent years more and more investment from Germany has been coming to Egypt. Not to mention Egypt is a top destination for tourists from Germany. A popular trend for these tourists has been to travel via Zeppelin in recent years.
Egypt has good relations with the various Arab countries such as Jabal Shammar, Yemen, and Najd. Though mostly Egypt keeps the realm to an arm's length, many have begun to wonder if the Arabs were to unite, they could be a good ally.