Boutros Ghali

This article is about the Egyptian politician. For his grandson, the former Secretary-General of the United Nations, see Boutros Boutros-Ghali.
Boutros Ghali
Prime Minister of Egypt
In office
Preceded by Mustafa Fahmi Pasha
Succeeded by Muhammad Said Pasha
Personal details
Born 1846
Kiman-al-‘Arus, Beni Suef, Egypt
Died 21 February 1910 (aged 64-65)
Religion Coptic Christianity

Boutros Ghali (1846 – 21 February 1910; Arabic: بطرس غالى; styled Boutros Ghali Pasha or Boutros Pasha Ghali) was the prime minister of Egypt from 1908 to 1910.

Early life

Boutros Ghali was born to a Coptic Christian family in Kiman-al-‘Arus, a village of Beni Suef, Egypt, in 1846.[1] His father was Ghali Nayruz, the steward of Prince Mustafa Fadil.[1] Boutros Ghali studied Arabic, Turkish, Persian, English and French.[1]


After graduation, Ghali became a teacher at the patriarchal school.[1] Ghali's public career began in 1875 with this appointment to the post of clerk in the newly constituted Mixed Court by Sharif Pasha.[2] Next he became the representative of the Egyptian government on the Commission of the Public Debt.[2] Ghali began to work in the justice ministry in 1879 and was appointed secretary general of the ministry with the title of Bey. His following post was as first secretary of the council of ministers to which he was appointed in September 1881.[2] However, in October 1881 he again began to work in the justice ministry. Upon the request of Mahmoud Sami al-Barudi, Ghali was awarded the rank of Pasha, being the first Coptic recipient of such an honour in Egypt.[2] In 1886, he was appointed head of a commission for the selection of Sharia court judges, which was an unusual appointment due to his religious background, leading to protests by Muslims.[2]

Ghali's first ministerial portfolio was the minister of finance in 1893.[3] Then he was made foreign minister in 1894.[3] He was appointed prime minister on 8 November 1908, replacing Mustafa Fahmi Pasha.[4] He also retained the post of foreign minister during his premiership.[3] Ghali remained in office until 21 February 1910 and was replaced by Muhammad Said Pasha.[4]


Ghali was accused of favouring the British in the Denshawai incident. On 20 February 1910, Ghali was shot by Ibrahim Nassif al-Wardani, a twenty-three-year-old pharmacology graduate,[5] who had just returned from Britain.[6] Ghali was leaving the ministry of foreign affairs when Wardani fired five shots, three of which lodged the premier's body.[7] Ghali died a day later, on 21 February.[7]

The assassin, who confessed to the killing of Ghali, was educated in Lausanne, Paris and London and was a member of Mustafa Kamil Pasha's Watani Party.[5] His father was a governor and his uncle was a pasha.[5] Wardani was executed on 28 June 1910.[7]

The assassination of Ghali was the first of a series of assassinations that continued until 1915.[5] It was also the first public assassination of a senior statesman in Egypt in more than a century.[5]


Ghali had "many sons",[8] the most notable being:

Boutros Ghali's brother Amin Ghali (1865–1933) was a public prosecutor; Amin's son Ibrahim Amin Ghali was a diplomat who worked to rehabilitate his uncle's reputation.[8]

See also




  1. 1 2 3 4 "B. Ghali". The Coptic Encyclopedia. Retrieved 19 January 2013.
  2. 1 2 3 4 5 Seikaly, Samir (January 1977). "Prime Minister and Assassin: Buṭrus Ghālī and Wardānī". Middle Eastern Studies. 13 (1): 112–123. doi:10.1080/00263207708700338. JSTOR 4282624.
  3. 1 2 3 Arthur Goldschmidt Jr. (1999). Biographical Dictionary of Modern Egypt. Boulder, CO: L. Reinner. p. 61. Retrieved 4 September 2013.   via Questia (subscription required)
  4. 1 2 "Egypt Prime Ministers". World Statesmen. Retrieved 19 January 2013.
  5. 1 2 3 4 5 Reid, Donald M. (1982). "Political Assassination in Egypt, 1910-1954". The International Journal of African Historical Studies. 15 (4): 625–651. doi:10.2307/217848. JSTOR 217848.
  6. The Modern Middle East and North Africa by Aroian and Mitchell
  7. 1 2 3 "Egyptian assassin hanged". The Day. Cairo. 28 June 1910. Retrieved 19 January 2013.
  8. 1 2 3 4 Goldschmidt 1993, p.187
  9. Schmeman, Serge (20 July 2000). "A Separate Peace". The New York Times. Retrieved 19 January 2013.
  10. Goldschmidt 1993, pp.183,188
  11. "Correction". The New York Times. 19 September 1999. Retrieved 17 February 2016.
  12. Quinn, Ben (9 January 2012). "Anger over appearance of ex-Egyptian finance minister at LSE lecture". The Guardian. London. Retrieved 17 February 2016.
  13. Goldschmidt 1993, p.188
Political offices
Preceded by
Mustafa Fahmi Pasha
Prime Minister of Egypt
Succeeded by
Muhammad Said Pasha
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