Nobody had more reason to despise the Spanish than the pirate queen of the Barbary Coast, Sayyida al-hurra. Originally from Granada, Sayyida and her family were forced to flee following the Reconquista in 1492. She married the governor of Tétouan, a family friend, and through him assumed a position of power. After his death, Sayyida inherited the position of governor and allied with Oruç Barbarossa to attack the Spanish and Portuguese – together they controlled the Mediterranean Sea. Sayyida remarried to the sultan of Morocco, Ahmed al-wattasi, but famously refused to travel to Fez to marry him, instead insisting he come to her.
Sayyida was last woman in Islamic history to legitimately hold the title of ‘alhurra’, or queen
Sayyida was ultimately overthrown by her sonin-law