The Mad Egyptian Pickpocket King

 | Grace Higgins
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King Farouk the last ruler of Egypt had an embarrassing and strange problem: he could not stop pickpocketing people. A bit of a bizarre trait for someone who had unlimited wealth, no?

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In fact, he was he caused so many problems during his monarchy that some people believe he is the reason Egypt decided to remove the monarchy completely. Throughout his early reign, he was known for the aristocrat who loved to party and gamble. His sister once commented that he would guzzle down 30 bottles of soda per day and eat caviar right out of a can. Unexpectedly he gained over 300 pounds and if you would ask the common Egyptian to describe their king? Well, they were quoted to say a “stomach with a head.”

One time he woke up after a nightmare of being eaten by lions. What would the regular person do in this situation? Probably just shake themselves and say don’t worry it was just a dream. King Farouk had over plans and he went straight down to the zoo to shoot lions.

Farouk had a seemingly undying appetite and was head over heels into a path of gluttony. But the trait that really caused problems was even though he could buy anything he would pickpocket anyone! No matter who the target was. Even stealing a watch from Winston Churchill’s pocket, of course, he claimed to have found the watch just lying on the floor.

And the madness does not stop there. During World War II when Hitler’s army prepared to invade Egypt, Farouk sent Hitler a telegram with thanks for coming to crush his country. Apparently, he did not especially like the British forces and thought the Nazis would be a much better option for him. As you can imagine, this was not a very popular decision with his people.

Egyptians in general at the time were very anti-Nazi and supported the British. So in 1952 he was overthrown, ending Egypt’s last monarchy. And as the revolutionaries stormed his palace another strange discovery was made: King Farouk had the world’s largest collection of pornography.