Sayyida al-Hurra

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 Sayyida al Hurra

Sayyida al-Hurra (Arabic: السيدة الحرة‎), real name Lalla Aicha bint Ali ibn Rashid al-Alami, Hakimat Titwan (Arabic: عائشة بنت علي بن رشيد العلمي‎) (1485 – 14 July 1561) was a pirate queen.[1][2]

Biography[change | change source]

Al-Hurra lived in the early 1500’s.[3][1] She managed to control the Western half of the Mediterranean for well over 30 years.[1] She was born into a wealthy Muslim family.[1] Her birth name was believed to be Aicha.[4] Her family was chased out of Granada to Morocco during the Spanish Reconquista.[1][4][2] She and her family then settled in Tetouán.[4][2] Her first husband was the Sultan Al-Mandri.[1][4] [2] She had herself immediately named governer of Tetouán, after he died.[1] She was bestowed the title Al-Hurra.[1][4] This was a symbol of respect and power.[1][4] She then married the King of Morocco.[1] This was the only time in Islamic history a king traveled outside his country for his wedding. Spain and Portugal were worried about this. It seemed like a threat, as this alliance would be extremely strong. Iberians attacked Al-Hurra’s land.[4] She became a pirate to defend her country and stop them.[1][4] She made an alliance with the dreaded pirate Barabarossa, or Red Beard.[4][2] He used his fleet to ferry refugees away from the fighting.[4] [2] Al-Hurra terrorized Spanish and Portuguese ships.[1] She became known and feared across the Mediterranean.[1] She was known for taking hostages and being extremely merciless.[4] The Spanish feared her and prayed for a miracle. The Portuguese “prayed for God to allow them to see her hanged from a ship’s mast”.[3] She was categorized as aggressive and bad-tempered.[2] Al-Hurra became one of the richer pirates of her time. She still managed to maintain a consistent alliance with Red Beard.[4][2] Her demise came after over 30 years of sailing.[1][4] Her son-in-law usurped her power and throne.[1][4] He also stole her wealth.[1] She lived in her childhood home in Morocco until her death.[4] She died at age 75.[4] Sayyida Al-Hurra’s legacy lives on today. In European writing she is known as the fearsome Pirate Queen of the Mediterranean.[4] [2]

References[change | change source]

  1. 1.00 1.01 1.02 1.03 1.04 1.05 1.06 1.07 1.08 1.09 1.10 1.11 1.12 1.13 1.14 1.15 "Sayyida al-Hurra". WISE Muslim Women. 2010-01-12. Retrieved 2021-12-16.
  2. 2.0 2.1 2.2 2.3 2.4 2.5 2.6 2.7 2.8 "Malika VI: Sayyida Al-Hurra". AramcoWorld. Retrieved 29 January 2018.
  3. 3.0 3.1 Foster, S. (2020, Mar). Brave and bold? believe it! New Moon Girls, 27, 16-17.
  4. 4.00 4.01 4.02 4.03 4.04 4.05 4.06 4.07 4.08 4.09 4.10 4.11 4.12 4.13 4.14 4.15 4.16 "Pirate Profile: Sayyida al Hurra | Queen Anne's Revenge Project". Retrieved 2021-12-18.