Queen Narriman  

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Queen Narriman
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          Nariman the beautiful child was the sole child of her parents.  Her name in the Turkish language means (the beautiful fascinating of vivacious spirit).  She did not imagine that one day she would become the queen of Egypt.

          She was born in Cairo on 31 October 1933.  Her father is Husain Fahmy Sadek, Deputy Minister of Transportation.  He is the son of Ali Bek Sadek, one of the famous honorable personalities of Egypt at that time.  The last position he occupied before his death was the Secretary General of the Ministry of Transportation.  Her mother was Asila Hanem, daughter of Kamel Mahmoud, one of the famous honorable personalities of Menia Governorate.

          Nariman lived a happy childhood.  She is the sole daughter who was born to her parents after several futile efforts for getting children.  Her parents did not have further children.  That is why her parents were giving her extra care. Her father preferred not to put her in language schools that were far from the house and enrolled her in a normal Egyptian school directly adjacent to the villa where she was living.  Her education ended at the Secondary School level.  In this age, she was beautiful, tender and calm.  Her parents dedicated all their efforts to give her happiness.  She was known of her great politeness.  Proposals of engagement started knocking at her door very early until the bridegroom who was approved by herself and her parents came.  She was engaged to Dr. Mohamed Zaki Hashim, the famous lawyer.  Date of marriage was determined.  The day came when they went to choose the marriage ring from one of the largest jewelries.

Her Meeting with the King

          There are many stories and gossips weaved about the conditions and events of commitments pf King Farouk, Ex King of Egypt to the beautiful bourgeois young lady Nariman.  Non of these stories was compliant with the other about the details.  Each story had a different scenario.  However, most or even all these stories agree that the first meeting of the King with Nariman was in the shop of Ahmed Pasha Naguib, the jewelry at Queen Farida Street that is known now as Abdel Khalik Tharwat Street.

Stories about the Meeting

          Many gossips were said about the story of the meeting of the King with Nariman.  It was said that when the jewelry saw Nariman he found her the most suitable bride and that he told the King about the selected bride.  It was also said that he contacted the King and determined an appointment after several days for the bride to come to him once again.  He told her that he will bring to her a scarce ring.  King Farouk sat in an interior room in the shop and saw her while she was walking and moving and showed his approval of her.  The jewelry opened his safe and got from it a diamond ring.  He said to her father, "Congratulations your daughter will become the queen of Egypt"

          Another story says that the jewelry got from his safe a ring and asked Nariman to see it outside the shop in the natural light, in order to give the chance to King Farouk to view her from the window of a flat opposite the shop.  When the King admired her, he gave a signal of approval to the jewelry. Although the two stories are not logical, it was said that the jewelry was the mediator or the person who nominated Nariman to marry the King.

          However, there is a story said by an eye witness a few years before his death.  He is Youssif Naguib the son of Ahmed Naguib Pasha Brother.  He heard from his uncle repeatedly that this is the real story under his oath.  Other stories cannot be trusted because they do not fit the King of Egypt or his decisions.

          The story given by Youssif Naguib the jewelry says that the King was on that date in a visit to the jewelry shop owned by his uncle.  When the King arrived as usual his uncle used to shut the door and prevent entrance of the customers for the respect of the dignified King, because the relationship between the King and his uncle was very strong.  Farouk used to visit the shop without guards and drives his small car for himself.  The shop was guarded by two men and in the entrance the private secretary of his uncle used to sit.  When the King entered, the two guards left their location, one of them went to Groppy to bring lemon juice and the other to bring some golden articles that were specifically fabricated for the King in the workshop of the jewelry.  At the same time the secretary left his office to bring bags of golden pounds that were ordered by the King.  At this time coincidence played its role, by the arrival of Nariman accompanied by her fiancé and entered the door of the shop without being interrupted by any person.  When my uncle felt the tread of their feet, he asked them in a decisive method to stop proceeding forwards.  Very quickly the King moved to the room of safes attached to the shop.  His uncle then permitted the lady and the man to enter the shop.  The fiancé told that they needed a diamond stone to be used as engagement gift.  Nariman sat on a chair opposite to the safe room that was separated from the shop with a curtain.  The King saw her and admired her.  He signaled to the uncle and requested him to acquaint him with them and that he wanted to sell a solitaire diamond on the assumption that she will admire it.  For this reason the uncle got telephone numbers of Nariman.  Thereafter a representative of the Royal Palace contacted her family.  Mrs. Asila, her mother answered and gave him the business telephone number of Norman's father. On the contrary of the rumors, my uncle was opposing this marriage.  He said to the King that the girl is young and unqualified to become the queen of Egypt.

          This is another story about how the King was married to Nariman.  Even if we presume hat the last story is the nearest to the truth, since the author thereof was the nephew of the main hero of the story, it essentially does not differ greatly from many of the other stories.  The assured matter is that Farouk planned to kidnap Nariman from her fiancé and then marry her.

Conditions of the King for the Prospected Queen

          The strange coincidence was that the conditions set forth by Farouk as specifications of the queen of Egypt and his prospective wife as successor to the Queen Farida from whom he separated were quite compliant with Nariman.    The conditions decided that the wife should be the sole daughter of her parents and that these parents are too old to get another child.  The second condition was that no Syrian, Turkish or foreign blood is running in her veins.  She should be all pure Egyptian one hundred percent.  The third condition was that she should be of the middle class and not of the category of Pashas.  The fourth and last condition was that she should be sixteen years old and physically and healthily fit to bring forth a son for him.  All conditions were strictly compliant with Nariman.  She is the sole daughter of her parents, from a bourgeois family, having Egyptian blood, Moslem and virgin.  Actually, she accepted conveniently to be engaged to the King, since she was actually a pretty girl.

Her Father Refuses the Marriage

          The second step after the King gave his approval of Nariman was that her father should break the engagement.  The father became disturbed and scared for fear of finding the King's proposal one of his sallies.  The father found that the only thing he can do is to frankly speak to the fiancé of his daughter who received the matter quite consciously.  The engagement was broken and the father plunged in his fears.  Therefore, he consulted his friend Dosoki Abaza Pasha who told him that Farouk was not a man of marriage.  He advised the father to take his daughter and fly away outside Egypt with her.  The condition of the father worsened.  He stopped working because he felt that pain will accompany his daughter afterwards, since he linked her fate to the fate of the previous queen, Farida that was known to be suffering inside the palace.  Such suffering resulted in her divorce.  The father preferred that Nariman would be tied to the young man Zaki Hashim Ali to see her connected to the King.

          Father of Nariman was following up the tragedy of the queen Farida, her suffering from the life of palaces and the unsuccessful end of her marriage.  In order to avoid marriage of his daughter to the King, he diligently thought of flying away with her.  He prepared a plan for this action.  But the faithful people warned him and so he refrained.

          Pressure on the father so increased that he died with heart attack.  The King attended the funeral with the high rank personalities of the state.

Nariman's Opinion about the King

          Nariman was fond of King Farouk.  She keeps with her personal photos of the King, which show a great deal of handsomeness and manhood.  At that time feelings of Nariman were natural.  Who is she to refuse marriage to a king?  It may be possible that her personal conditions and her engagement to Dr. Zaki Hashim Ahmed were part of the reasons that made the story of her meeting with the King strange and illogical.  She was engaged and she determined with her fiancé the time of engagement and she even distributed 500 invitations for the ceremony.  But words of Kings cannot be revoked; the life of palaces is irresistible and sitting on the throne is an honor that can be realized to only few.  Definitely all this came into her mind while reviewing the new life with the King.  She imagined her first steps inside the amazing Abidin Palace while smiling to the cameras of the photographers   arm in arm with the King of Egypt and Sudan.  The farthest thing the girl dreams of is her marriage to the dream cavalier and not to turn the dream to reality and she becomes married to a King who has the volume and weight of King Farouk.  It is all luck.  This way Nariman lived the instances preceding the marriage.  Undoubtfully she was waiting the days and computing the hours until she reaches the title.  Farouk used always to nourish and uphold this hope.  He used to relay his longing in billets-doux and phone her with beautiful words, high royal language and manhood she was waiting for.

          The only obstacle that was standing in her way was her father whom her heart loved greatly and who was opposing that marriage, in a way that made some people link between his early death and his uncovered sadness for the prospective marriage to the King.  At that time she could not comprehend why the father rejects this honor and refuses the marriage.  The father's impetus and point of view were different from those of Nariman.

          In the few times she spoke about her meeting with the King, queen Nariman said," I found myself speaking with the King as if I knew him all my life.  He had a special method of hearing what I told him, as if I was saying wise or smart thing.  He used to encourage me to speak.  He made me feel that everything I said was useful for him and has meaning.  I was fascinated with his shoulders and his two arms and wrests that were covered with black hair.  He has a well-built body with large bone structure.  I could not prevent myself from thinking of Zaki Hashim who appeared to be a teacher in a trifling school."

          Nariman was five foot tall.  She was attached to contradictory things.  It seems that the largest problem that faced her with the man her father promised her with was that he was not sufficiently of large body.  She always referred to him as the small Zaki Hashim.  She was not interested in his qualifications from Harvard University as she was affected with him as very slim and very small, since he was taller than her with a very small difference.
Nariman was fond of the King and she was fond more of the pictures where he appeared putting the military uniform, those where he appeared carrying a sword and the mask of the warriors and his picture with a beard, which she admits she found very romantic.

          On the date of the King's visit to her house she went with her mother to the patisserie Groppi for buying a very expensive variety of sweets.  They decorated the house with plants and flowers.  She purchased a new dress.  Appointment of the King's visit was at three o'clock, but he did not show up before ten.  A red Cadillac car stopped in front of the house.  Farouk was dressed in a black soiree suit.  He asked Nariman to prepare a cup of coffee for him.  He stayed in the house only 30 minutes.  After his departure Nariman took the Havana Cigar he extinguished in the ash tray as a memorial she wanted to show to her friends at Princess Ferial secondary school.  But her father prevented her from doing this action.

Preparation of Nariman to be the Queen of Egypt

After the visit of King Farouk to the house of Nariman, the king disappeared from her.  Nariman was about to lose her self-confidence.  After a long absence of the King, the telephone rang in her house.  This was the first time he talked to her over the phone.  He asked her to travel to Europe with her uncle before the official engagement.  He said that he decided everything to travel with her uncle.  Her uncle, Mustafa Sadek was invited to Abidin Palace upon instructions of the King.  The trip was planned.  Nariman traveled to Italy for training on the royal protocol rules.  Nariman the young lady has just finished her period of childhood.  At that time she was seventeen years old, looking at life with the simplicity of the young lady of her age.  The King decided to send her to Italy under an assumed name as the cousin of the wife of Ali Bek Sadek.  Her name was assumed to be Souad Sadek .  Farouk told her not to be afraid, since she will be besieged with a wall of protection that cannot be penetrated.  Nariman lived in Rome at the Egyptian embassy in villa Savoya, which was the previous house of the Italian Royal family that was living at that time in Alexandria.

          Nariman was happy because she lived in the bedroom of the previous Italian queen.  Countess Layla Martly, one of the most cultured and experienced ladies in Europe, accompanied Nariman to teach her history, the general behavior and etiquette of the Royal cortege.  Layla used to give Nariman every day puzzles.  For instance, she asked Nariman about the place of sitting in an official banquet and who would take the precedence the second secretary of an embassy who owns a rank or the ambassador of another embassy who does not hold a rank.

          Nariman also had a tact teacher for training her on the organization and culture of the body.  She had also an opera music teacher, an Italian lady and the wife of an Egyptian Diplomatic Official for teaching her the protocol of Abidin Palace.Nariman learned four languages, Italian, German, English and French.  She used to study seriously and carefully.  Ambassador Abdel Aziz Badr Pasha trained her on the Egyptian protocol.

          English people used to closely monitor the future queen of Egypt.  An English spy was a woman selected to give Nariman a series of twenty lessons in English.  Her impression about her student was that she considered herself a traditional native and national.  She expressed her hatred to the communism thought and to Russia.  She believed that the rich Egyptians should speak Arabic and not the normal mixture of French and Arabic.  She recognizes the big gap between the rich and the poor in Egypt.  She was eager to travel, but she did not want to live abroad.  She expressed her interest in music and history.  She used to draw.  She loved movies, clothes, jewels and walking.  She showed great interest in the Royal Family of Britain.  She searched in the magazines and newspapers for articles about them.  It is clear that she is Moslem and pious and feels sorry for many of the people of the high class who neglect their religion.  She admired the King and said about him that he loved his people and exerted much effort for building his country, for building many schools and for building a new university.

          The English teacher noticed that Nariman considers Paris her ideal capital and not London nor Rome.After six months Nariman got back o marry Farouk.  It was planned for her to stay in Italy a whole year for training on the protocol rites and on the new life that was waiting for her as the queen of Egypt.  But Farouk for a reason or other requested reducing the period and requested getting her back after only six months.

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