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Wall painting of Jezzar Pasha, in Acre, Israel
Entrance to Al-Jezzar Mosque, Acre, Israel

Ahmed al-Jazzar (Arabic أحمد الجزار, born 1720 (or in 1708) in Stolac in Bosnia, died 1804 in Acre, Damascus Wiliyah) was the ruler of Acre and the Galilee from 1775 till his death.

Contents

Biography

Jezzar Pasha, a Mamluk of Ali Bey, obtained the pashalik of Sidon and set up his capital in Acre. He earned the nickname "the Butcher" for his cruelty and extortion of his subjects. [1]He is reputed to have walked around with a mobile gallows in case anyone displeased him.[2]

Defense of Acre

Jezzar Pasha is best known for defending Acre against Napoleon Bonaparte during the siege of Acre in 1799. [3]After Napoleon's capture of Egypt, then an Ottoman territory, the French army attempted to invade Syria and Palestine. Although the French captured El Arish and Jaffa, and won every battle they fought against the Ottomans on an open field, they were unable to breach the fortifications of Acre. Their army was weakened by disease and cut off from resupply. Though both Napoleon and Jezzar requested assistance from the Shihab leader, Bashir, ruler of much of present-day Lebanon, Bashir remained neutral. After several months of attacks, Napoleon was forced to withdraw and his bid to conquer Egypt and the East failed.

Building activity

With the help of his chief financial adviser, Haim Farhi, a Damascus Jew, Jezzar Pasha embarked on a major building program in Acre that included fortifying the city walls, refurbishing the aqueduct that brought spring water from nearby Kabri, and building a large Turkish bath. One of the most important landmarks built by Jezzar Pasha was the mosque that bears his name, a massive building in the Turkish style. Built over a Crusader church, the al-Jezzar Mosque incorporates columns brought from Roman and Byzantine ruins in Caesarea and Tyre, and included a school for Islamic religious studies, later used as a religious court. Al-Jezzar and his adopted son and successor Suleiman Pasha, were buried in the courtyard.[4]

References

External links

Preceded by
Dhaher al-Omar
ruler of Galilee
1775—1804
Succeeded by
Suleiman Pasha
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