Ahmed Bey ben Mohamed Chérif

Ahmed Bey ben Mohamed Sherif, also known as Ahmed Bey or Hadj Ahmed Bey (Arabic: الحاج أحمد باي‎) (c. 1784 - c. 1850) was the last Bey of Constantine, in the Regency of Algiers, ruling from 1826 to 1848.[1] He was the successor of Mohamed Menamenni Bey ben Khan. As head of state, he led the local population in a fierce resistance to the French occupation forces.[2] In 1837 the territory was conquered by the French, who reinstated the Bey as ruler of the region. He remained in this position until 1848, when the region became a part of the colony of Algiers and the Bey was deposed.

Ahmed ben Mohamed Chérif
الحاج أحمد باي بن محمد شريف
Hadj Ahmed Bey el kolli.jpg
Bey of Constantine
Appointed byHussein Dey
MonarchHussein Dey
First MinisterAli ben Aissa
Preceded byMohamed Bey ben Khan
Succeeded byTitle abolished
Personal details
Ahmed ben Mohamed Chérif

around 1784
Constantine, Algeria
Diedc. 1850
ChildrenMohammed Chérif (died 1832) 2 daughters
ParentsMohamed ben Ahmed Chérif (father) El Hadja Rékia (Mother)
Military service
Battles/warsFrench conquest of Algeria

Early life and careerEdit

Ahmed Bey was born to a Kouloughli father called Mohamed ben Ahmed Chérif, and a Kabyle mother called El Hadja Rékia. He was the grandson of Ahmed Bey el Kolli.[3] Barely eighteen years old, the bey Abd Allah gave him the title of Caïd of the El Aouassi (Chief of Harakta tribes). Following the earthquake in the Blida region the dey controlled, he appointed him to Hunah el Kadous, around Algiers, and gives him the enjoyment of haouch Ouled Baba. Ahmed Bey engaged in many pastimes, such as hunting and horse riding. From time to time he took part in expeditions to protect Ottoman troops, who were engaged against hostile Kabyle tribes such as the Beni Menad and the Beni Djenad. During his pilgrimage to Mecca, which lasted fifteen months, in Egypt he met several famous people, including Muhammad Ali Pasha, his son Ibrahim Pasha and Tusun Pasha.

Bey of Constantine and French invasionEdit

Appointed Bey of Constantine in 1826, he modernized the country focusing on the army. He led the Algerian resistance against the French occupation forces in the eastern Algeria with the aid of Hussein Pasha and, after the capture of Algiers, he retired in his province to Constantine. In 1832 he entrusted his lieutenant Ben Aïssa the care for the population of Bône. He continued to organize the defence of Constantine, Algeria, and lead several battles against the French army.

In January 1834, the Bey of Constantine Hadj Ahmed Bey and the chiefs of many tribes around Constantine sent a petition to the British Parliament to seek the help of Britain against French forces.

He won his first success in 1836 against maréchal Clauzel. When Constantine was besieged by the French in 1837, Ahmed Bey managed to escape and to organize resistance in the Aurès Mountains. In 1842, he rallies the tribe of Ouled Nasser, hoping to provide support with the Kabyles, and approached the camp of Ain Roumel. On 25 August 1842, French General Jean-René Sillègue enters the land of the Amouchas, namely a village north of Sétif, and met a gathering of two to three thousand Kabyles who failed to stop him. On September 10, the General defeated the Cavalry of Hadj Ahmed Bey at the foot of Djbel Bou Taleb, and manages to destroy his influence on the tribes of the Tell.


Ahmed died on August 30, 1850, 65 years old. According to his wishes, he is buried in Algiers in the Thaalibia Cemetery near the mosque of Sidi Abder Rahman of Algiers in the Casbah of Algiers. His marble mausoleum is surmounted by a turban.

See alsoEdit


  1. ^ A History of the Maghrib in the Islamic Period [1] Jamil M. Abun-Nasr
  2. ^ Henache, Delila. "Algerian director Ali Aissaoui awarded 'Golden screen 2008' for 'Hello Constantine'" Archived 2011-07-24 at the Wayback Machine Echorouk Online. November 18, 2008. Accessed December 22, 2008
  3. ^ Guyon, Jean-Louis (1852). Voyage d'Alger aux Ziban, l'ancienne Zebe, en 1847: avec atlas où figurent les principales oasis de cette contrée [...] (in French). Imprimerie du Gouvernement.


  • Tocqueville, Alexis de (2006), "Second Letter on Algeria (August 22, 1837)", in Bronner, Stephen Eric; Thompson, Michael (eds.), The Logos Reader: Rational Radicalism and the Future of Politics, University Press of Kentucky, ISBN 0813191483.