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Lecture by Professor Khaled Fahmy - The külliyye of Mehmed Ali Pasha

Below is a link to an important lecture by Professor Khaled Fahmy, a member of the Mohamed Ali Foundation Fellowship advisory panel and a leading historian. It is part of the Islamic Art Circle lecture series organised at SOAS. 

The külliyye of Mehmed Ali Pasha (r. 1805-1848) in Kavala, Greece


This talk tells the story of the külliyye (pious endowment complex) that Muhammad Ali Pasha (r. 1805-1848) built in his home town of Kavala in modern-day Greece over  a period of thirteen years, 1808 -1821. It traces the story of this complex of interconnected buildings that includes a medrese (theological seminary), a sıbyan mekteb (primary school), a kütüphane (library), a dershane (lecture hall) which also served as a mosque, a Mühandeshane-i Hayriyye (Charitable College of Engineering), sixty rooms to house the students, and an imaret (soup kitchen to feed the students and the teachers. The talk relies on documents culled from the Egyptian National Archives that shed light on the political, economic and religious background to this huge complex of buildings, as well as on recent scholarship that analysed the original vakfiyes / wafiyyāt and the dedicatory inscriptions on the complex. The talk ends with a description of the restoration effort done on the complex in 2001-2004.

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