Sunday, April 6, 2008

The King's Sticky Fingers: Farouk of Egypt

From Wikipedia:
Farouk I of Egypt ‎ (February 11, 1920March 18, 1965), was the tenth ruler from the Muhammad Ali Dynasty and the penultimate King of Egypt and Sudan, succeeding his father, Fuad I, in 1936. His sister Fawzia was Queen of Iran for 8 years. His full title was "His Majesty Farouk I, by the grace of God, King of Egypt and of Sudan, Sovereign of Nubia, of Kordofan and of Darfur." He was overthrown in the Egyptian Revolution of 1952, and was forced to abdicate in favor of his infant son Ahmed Fuad. He remained loyal to his country even after his exile. He died in Italy.
From Madmonarchs:
Farouk was undeniably a very charming man, but he was also capricious and irresponsible. He was immensely rich and loved to gamble, but Farouk was also a miser and a cleptomaniac. If he wanted something, he took it. He not only stole from his subjects, but also from Winston Churchill and the Shah of Persia’s coffin. Even with women, he seemed to prefer other men’s fiancĂ©es or wives, and he didn’t take no for an answer. If there were seven deadly sins, it was said, Farouk would find an eight.
Farouk used to go to nightclubs, and then sleep the whole morning. He had caviar for breakfast, eating it directly from a can. Large quantities of boiled eggs, toast, lobster, steak, lamb, chicken, and pigeon usually followed. He liked fizzy drinks and drank at least 30 bottles a day. After having a series of nightmares about lions, Farouk went to Cairo Zoo, and shot its lions in their cage. The nightmares, however, continued.
Farouk owned several villa’s, yachts and airplanes, and more than 100 cars. He had all his cars sprayed red and forbade his subjects to own a red vehicle. That way he could drive recklessly without being stopped by the police. When Farouk raced by in one of his red cars, people ran for their lives. When another car tried to pass him, Farouk shot at its tires. Supposedly, an ambulance followed him to pick up casualties.

Although he was immensely rich, Farouk was a cleptomaniac. He stole everything he fancied. He had even taken pickpocket lessons from a professional thief. At official receptions and parties, Farouk pick-pocketed watches, wallets and cigarette lighters. He even stole Winston Churchill’s pocket watch. When, in 1944, the Shah of Persia had died, and his coffin landed in Cairo, Farouk stole the ceremonial sword, belt and medals from the corpse, thus straining the relations between Egypt and Persia. After Farouk’s deposition, they were finally returned to Persia. When Farouk visited people, they put away their precious items, because the next morning a truck would come from the palace to collect the things Farouk fancied. He was especially font of weapons, coins and stamps.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

great post. very awesomely weird.