It is now a year since the Pacha of Egypt formed at Paris a school intended to prepare pupils for entering schools of engineering, artillery, and the staff. There are more than sixty pupils in this nursery of young persons intended to become the teachers and leaders of the Egyptian army. Among them are two sons of Mehemet Ali, two of Ibrahim Pacha, ten of Beys or grand dignitaries of the Government of Egypt. The others have been chosen among the youngest in the Egyptian schools who showed a strong disposition to receive the benefits of European education. Most of them spoke French before leaving home, and some were even far advanced in knowledge of that language, so that they could, at once, comprehend the lessons of their new teachers.
The Principal of the school the officers charged with the police and military instruction, the professors and masters of study are all French. Stephen Effendi, director of the Egyptian Mission, and governor of the princes, is the only foreigner engaged in the care of the school, and he has no part either in its instruction of discipline.
The school is placed under the patronage of the Duke of Damatia, President of the Council. A colonel of the staff directs it. Eleven professors, some of whom belong to the army, are attached to it.
All the expenses are sustained by Mehemet Ali, and in a style of luxury so truly royal, that the director and officers have been inclined to propose their reduction. Each pupil has sixty francs per month for pocket money.
A council on studies, of the principal professors of the school, over which the director presides, regulates all the instruction, gives notes to the pupils, &c. Mehemet Ali pays the most serious attention to the reports on these subjects which are transmitted to him.
Besides those who are in this establishment, Mehemet Ali maintains pupils at the Veterinary school of Alfort, and the School of Commerce and in the principal workshops of Paris. Others, also destined to different branches of industry, but still too young to profit by practical teaching, are placed in private schools. The whole number of young Egyptians, maintained at Paris by the Pacha, is about eighty. But he is not the only Mussulman prince, who has comprehended the necessity of sending into France young persons to acquire the knowledge needed by the East. Lately the Sultan Abdul Medjid had several in the schools of Paris, and and one of these has been raised to the dignity of first Physician of the Empire, an office heretofore confided to functionaries unacquainted with medicine. But, still more astonishing!—the Shah of Persia has here his school also. In the Institution of M. Gasc, five young Persians, from fourteen to twenty years of age, are studying the French language and literature, mathematics, chemistry, physics, thus acquiring the elements of knowledge which will enable them to comprehend our laws, manners, politics, and borrow from us the secrets which have made us a great Nation.
Algiers has only four pupils at Paris, who are in the School of M. Moyencourt; two are prisoners of war; a third is the son of one of our most bitter enemies, Ben-Salem, Khalifer of Abd-el-Kader; one alone is from the ranks of those who rally around the French banner. All four are from Algiers and its neighborhood. The province of Constantine, and the subdivision of Bone, regions now completely French, have not yet sent us a single pupil.*
“Mussulmen Schools at Paris,” New-York Daily Tribune, 8 January 1846, p. 1.