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Ali Bey

Ali Bey (b. in Abkhazia, Georgia, died 8 May, 1773) established virtually independent rule in Egypt. He was a Mamluk of Georgian origin who was purchased in Cairo in 1743 and gradually rose in influence, winning the top office of sheikh al-balad (chief of the country) in 1760. In 1768 he deposed the Ottoman governor and assumed the post of acting governor. He stopped the annual tribute to Istanbul and in an unprecedented usurpation of the Ottoman sultan's privileges had his name struck on local coins in 1769 (alongside the sultan's emblem). In 1770 he gained control of the Hijaz and a year later temporarily occupied Syria, thereby reconstituting the Mamluk state that had disappeared in 1517. But he lost power in 1772, and died the following year.