Ahmad Pasha al-Jazzar (Arabic: أحمد الجزار; Turkish:Cezzar Ahmet Paşa; ca. 1720–30s–7 May 1804) was the Acre-based Ottoman governor of Sidon from 1776 until his death in 1804. During this period, he also simultaneously served four terms as the governor of Damascus,a total of nine years.
Al-Jazzar was a Bosniak🇧🇦 of obscure origins. Al-Jazzar was born in Stolac, Bosnia Eyalet. One source lists the year of his birth as 1720, but historian Thomas Philipp believes it is more likely he was born in the 1730s. At the age of 20, or in his late adolescent years, around 1755, he moved to Istanbul. In al-Jazzar’s biography by Volney in Voyage, al-Jazzar’s motive for leaving Bosnia at the age of 16 was that he had to flee because he raped his sister-in-law, while in Olivier’s account, al-Jazzar fled at age 17 after stabbing a woman who did not accede to his desires. According to Olivier, he then began work as a sailor and drifted throughout Anatolia before selling himself to a Turkish slave trader. Al-Jazzar subsequently converted to Islam in Egypt. Fearing for his life in lieu of his betrayal of loyalty to Ali Bey, al-Jazzar fled Cairo dressed as a Maghrebi. Before leaving his home, he instructed his family to tell anyone who sought to inquire about him that he was ill and could not see visitors. Ali Bey’s men sought to arrest al-Jazzar and learned of his escape to the port of Alexandria,pursuing him there. However, al-Jazzar managed to board a ship heading to Istanbul hours before the arrival of Ali Bey’s men to the portHe began his military career in Egypt in the service of various Mamluk officials, eventually becoming a chief enforcer and assassin working for Ali Bey al-Kabir,Egypt’s effective ruler. He gained the epithet of al-Jazzar (the Butcher) for his deadly ambush on a group of Bedouin tribesmen in retaliation for the death of his master in a Bedouin raid. Al-Jazzar fell out with Ali Bey in 1768 after refusing to take part in the assassination of one of his former masters. He ultimately fled to Syria, where he was tasked with defending Beirut from a joint assault by the Russian Navy and the forces of Zahir al-Umar. He eventually surrendered and entered into