Thursday, 12 September 2013

A portrait of a Sultan

In 1905 the Swedish popular magazine "Allers Familj-Journal" published this portrait of Sultan Abdul Azis (also known as Abdelaziz and Mulai Abd al-Aziz IV) of Morocco. The caption accompanying the photo was not very flattering for the ruler:

"He has been sultan since 1894, but his rule has not been beneficial to the country. The sultan represents a mix between a wild mother and a Parisian bon vivant, and maybe that is the reason why he does not have the capacity to satisfy neither the foreigners, neither the locals."

Wikipedia has this to say about Azis, who succeeded his father Hassan I :

"Urged by his Georgian or Circassian mother, the sultan sought advice and counsel from Europe and endeavored to act on it, but advice not motivated by a conflict of interest was difficult to obtain, and in spite of the unquestionable desire of the young ruler to do the best for the country, wild extravagance both in action and expenditure resulted, leaving the sultan with depleted exchequer and the confidence of his people impaired. His intimacy with foreigners and his imitation of their ways were sufficient to rouse fanaticism and create dissatisfaction."

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