Today marks 219th anniversary of departure of French Campaign in Egypt

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Sun, 18 Oct 2020 - 04:01 GMT

Napoleon Bonaparte - Pintrest

Napoleon Bonaparte - Pintrest

CAIRO – 18 October 2020: Today marks the 219th anniversary of the departure of the French campaign in Egypt led by General Jacques Francois Meno, where he left the Egyptian lands on October 18, 1801. The French Campaign in Egypt had set out  3 years earlier under the command of the famous French General Napoleon Bonaparte.

 

What caused the French Campaign to leave Egypt?

French General Napoleon Bonaparte had to travel to France at the time of the French Revolution to lead his country, and his successor, General Kleber, was unwilling to continue in Egypt. That was a major reason for the exit of the campaign, especially after a battle had occurred between the French and English forces and ended in the defeat of the French, who were driven out of Cairo and forced into a humiliating surrender. Another British force was preparing to attack and conquer India via the Red Sea.

 

What were the reasons that drove Napoleon to leave Egypt?

Napoleon realized that the political situation in France was about to change in his favor, believing that he alone was able to save the situation, and indeed he led his country and became emperor of the French state after the revolution.

 

Did General Kleber ever intend to leave Egypt?

Before his departure, the French general intended a safe exit from Egypt. He refused to stay for several reasons, including Egypt's poor economic conditions at the time, the low morale of the campaign soldiers, the British blockade of Egypt's northern shores, the frequent revolutions of Egyptians against the campaign, and the alliance of England and Russia and the Ottoman Caliphate against France. 

 

What was the position of General Meno on the continuation of the campaign after the killing of Kleber and assuming command?

Jacques Francois Meno, the third leader of the French campaign in Egypt, was enthusiastic about the French colonialism and the integration of Egypt into the French Empire. He even married the Egyptian Zubaida, the daughter of Mohammad al-Bawab, after he declared his conversion to Islam. 

Meno loved Egypt, and was planning to stay in the North African country. However, after his defeat at the hands of the British forces, Meno was forced to leave.

 

How did the Egyptians receive the news of his marriage to an Egyptian woman?

The people felt these moves were nothing but attempts of a false Muslim to uproot all their traditions, and considered him a charlatan, who only wanted to make Egypt a French territory, a desire they did not share with him.

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