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Sa'ad Zaghlul
Arabic: sa¢du zaghluli basha bni brāhīm

Sa'ad Zaghlul
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Sa'ad Zaghlul

(1857-1927) Egyptian politician and nationalist. Zaghlul was the founder of the Wafd movement.
Zaghlul was considered as too moderate and cooperative by many nationalists until 1913. But from then his politics changed, and he used his position as Vice-president of the Legislative Assembly to criticise the government.
Zaghlul was in his active politics not a great leader, but he proved to be the most effective leader of popular opinions of his time. In many ways, he was the instigator of the process that lead to total independence of Egypt nearly 30 years after his death. Zaghlul was a shrewd politician, who knew well how to deal with both the British opponent and his fellow Egyptian countrymen at the same time. Often he played a double game.
Zaghlul had much of his charisma and success from a combination of intelligence, diplomacy and eloquence, as well as a humble background that most Egyptians could identify with.

1857 July: Born into a middle-class peasant family in Ibaynah in the Nile delta.
Young years: Is educated at the Muslim University of Al-Azhar in Cairo, as well as at the Egyptian School of Law.
1892: Appointed judge at the Court of Appeal
1895: Marries the daughter of the Prime minister of Egypt, Mustafa Pasha Fatmi.
1906: Becomes head of the Ministry of Education.
— Partakes in the establishment of Hizbu l-Ummah, which was a moderate group in a time when more and more Egyptians claimed to reveive their independence from the British.
1910: Zaghlul appointed Minister of justice.
1912: Resigns from the post as Minister of justice after a disagreement with khedive Abbas Hilmi 2.
1912: Is elected to the Legislative Assembly.
1913: Is appointed Vice-president of the Legislative Assembly, a position he uses to criticise the government.
1914-18: During the World War I, Zaghlul and many members from the old Legislative Assembly form activist groups all over Egypt. The World War I leads to much hardship on the Egyptian population, thanks to many British restrictions.
1918 November 13: With the end of the World War I, Zaghlul and two other former members from the Legislative Assembly calls upon the British high commissioner, asking for the abolishment of the protectorate. They also ask to be representatives for Egypt in the peace negotiations after the war. These demands are refused, and Zaghlul's supporters, a group now known as Wafd, instigate disorder all over the country.
1919 March: Zaghlul and three other members of Wafd are deported to Malta. Zaghlul is soon released after that General Edmund Allenby takes over as high commissioner of Egypt. He travels to Paris, France in an attempt to present his version of Egypt's case to representatives of the Allied countries, but without much success.
1920: Zaghlul has several meetings with the British colonial secretary, Lord Milner. They reach an understanding, but Zaghlul is uncertain of how the Egyptians will see him if he forges an agreement with the British, so he withdraws.
— Zaghlul returns to Egypt, and is welcomed as a national hero.
1921: Zaghlul uses his supporters to hinder the establishment of a British-friendly government. Allenby responds by deporting Zaghlul to the Seychelles in the Indian Ocean.
1922 February: Egypt receives limited independence, according to Lord Milner's recommendations, as these were designed through the talks with Zaghlul.
1923: Zaghlul is allowed to return to Egypt.
1924 February: Zaghlul becomes Prime minister after that Wafd wins 90% of the parliament seats in elections.
— Zaghlul experiences that not even he is able to stop demonstrations and riots among Egyptians.
November: After that the British commander in chief over the Egyptian army is killed, Zaghlul is forced to leave office.
1926: Zaghlul becomes president of the parliament, and from this position he is able to control the actions of extreme nationalists.
1927 August 23: Zaghlul dies in Cairo.

By Tore Kjeilen