SAYYIDA AL-HURRA

All About History - - THE BARBARY COAST -

MOROC­CAN 1485-1561

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

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