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5 Piastres 1918, Egypt

in Krause book Number: 162
Years of issue: 01.06.1918
Edition: 9 900 000
Signatures: Minister of finance: Youssef Wahba Pasha (in office from 15.04.1914 till 05.1920)
Serie: Egyptian Government
Specimen of: 01.06.1918
Material: Cotton fiber
Size (mm): 100 x 60
Printer: Bradbury, Wilkinson & Company Limited Engravers, London

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5 Piastres 1918




5 Piastres 1918

Sahara Sahara SaharaCentered, lower, is the caravan of Dromedary camels in Sahara desert.

Dromedaries have several adaptations for their desert habitat. The bushy eyebrows and the double row of eyelashes prevent sand and dust from entering the eyes, even in a sandstorm. The ability to close the nostrils assist in water conservation. Dromedaries can conserve water by fluctuating their body temperature throughout the day from 34.0 to 41.7 °C, which saves water by avoiding perspiration at the rise of the external temperature. The kidneys are specialized so that not much water is excreted. Groups of camels also avoid excess heat from the environment by pressing against each other. The dromedary can tolerate greater than 30% water loss, which is impossible for other mammals. In temperatures of 30-40 °C (86-104 °F), they need water every 10 to 15 days, and only in the hottest temperatures do they take water every four to seven days. They have a very fast rate of rehydration and can drink at the speed of 10-20 l. (2.6-5.3 US gal.) per minute. Maintaining the brain temperature within certain limits is critical for animals; to assist this, dromedaries have a rete mirabile, a complex of arteries and veins lying very close to each other which uses countercurrent blood flow to cool blood flowing to the brain.

The hump stores up to 80 lb. (36 kg.) of fat, which a camel can break down into water and energy when sustenance is not available. If the hump is small, the animal can show signs of starvation. In a 2005 study, the mean volume of adipose tissues (in the external part of the hump that have cells to store lipids) is related to the dromedary's unique mechanism of food and water storage. In case of starvation, they can even eat fish and bones, and drink brackish and salty water. The hair is longer at the throat, hump and shoulders. The pads widen under its weight when it steps on the ground. This prevents the dromedary from sinking much into the sand. When the dromedary walks, it moves both the feet on the same side of the body at the same time. This way of walking makes the dromedary's body swing from side to side as it walks, hence its nickname: "the ship of the desert". Its thick lips help in eating coarse and thorny plants.

They can adapt their body temperature from 34°C to 41.7°C, to conserve water. They have an average lifespan of 40 years, which may increase to 50 years under captivity.

SaharaThe dromedary (/ˈdrɒmədɛri/ or /-ədri/), also called the Arabian camel (Camelus dromedarius), is a large, even-toed ungulate with one hump on its back. Greek philosopher Aristotle (IV century BCE) was the first to describe the species, and the animal was given its current binomial name by Carl Linnaeus, a Swedish zoologist. The dromedary is the largest camel after the Bactrian camel. Adult male dromedaries stand 1.8-2 m. (5.9-6.6 ft.) at the shoulder, while females are 1.7-1.9 m. (5.6-6.2 ft.) tall. The weight typically ranges from 400-600 kg. (880-1,320 lb.) in males and 300-540 kg. (660-1,190 lb.) in females. The distinctive features of this camel are its long curved neck, narrow chest and only one hump (compared to the two on the Bactrian camel), thick double-layered eyelashes and bushy eyebrows.The coat is generally a shade of brown, but can range from black to nearly white.The hump, which can be 20 cm. (7.9 in.) tall or more, is made up of fat bound together by fibrous tissue.

Their diet includes foliage and desert vegetation, like thorny plants which their extremely tough mouths allow them to eat. These camels are active in the day, and rest together in groups. Led by a dominant male, each herd consists of about 20 individuals. Some males form bachelor groups. Dromedaries show no signs of territoriality, as herds often merge during calamities. Predators in the wild include wolves and lions; and tigers in the past. Dromedaries use a wide set of vocalizations to communicate with each other. They have various adaptations to help them exist in their desert habitat. Dromedaries have bushy eyebrows and two rows of long eyelashes to protect their eyes, and can close their nostrils to face sandstorms. Their ears are also lined with protective hair. When water-deprived, they can fluctuate their body temperature by 6 °C, changing from a morning minimum of 34° to a maximum of 40° or so in the afternoon. This reduces heat flow from the environment to the body and thereby water loss through perspiration is minimised. They have specialized kidneys, which make them able to tolerate water loss of more than 30% of their body mass; a loss of 15% would prove fatal in most other animals. Mating usually occurs in winter, often overlapping the rainy season. One calf is born after the gestational period of 15 months, and is nurtured for about two years.

SaharaOn right and left sides are stylized flowers of Blue lotus (or blue Egyptian lotus).

Nymphaea caerulea, known primarily as blue lotus (or blue Egyptian lotus), but also blue water lily (or blue Egyptian water lily), and sacred blue lily (or sacred narcotic lily of the nile), is a water-lily in the genus Nymphaea. Like other species in the genus, the plant contains the psychoactive alkaloid apomorphine. It was known to the Mayan and Ancient Egyptian civilisations.

Along with the white lotus Nymphaea lotus, also native to Egypt, the plant and flower is very frequently depicted in Egyptian art. It has been depicted in numerous stone carvings and paintings, including the walls of the famous temple of Karnak. It is frequently depicted in connection with "party scenes", dancing or in significant spiritual/magical rites such as the rite of passage into the afterlife. N. caerulea was considered extremely significant in Egyptian mythology, regarded as a symbol of the sun, since the flowers are closed at night and open again in the morning. At Heliopolis, the origin of the world was taught to have been when the sun-god Ra emerged from a lotus flower growing in "primordial waters". At night he was believed to retreat into the flower again. Due to its colour, it was identified, in some beliefs, as having been the original container, in a similar manner to an egg, of Atum, and in similar beliefs Ra, both solar deities. As such, its properties form the origin of the lotus variant of the Ogdoad cosmogeny. It was the symbol of the Egyptian deity Nefertem.

Denominations in numerals are in all corners, in words centered.


5 Piastres 1918

Sahara SaharaOn banknote are two sphinxes, depicted facing each other under certain angle.

In fact, in Egypt, is no place where the sphinges would be settled in this way. The Engravers made the image of sphinges located at the entrance to the Egyptian Museum in Cairo - they just changed the angle of rotation of the monuments, as in front of the museum they staying parallel to each other.

Sphinx - one of the main mythical creatures of ancient Egypt. Sphinx depicted as a lion with a human head (mainly the ruling Pharaoh). The face of the Sphinx located in the museum courtyard, has a clearly feminine traits. Rather, it belongs to Queen Hatshepsut, who ruled Egypt in the XV century BC.

Egyptian Museum is the largest museum not only in Cairo, but across Africa. At present, it houses more than 120 thousand exhibits all the historical periods of Egypt. The most beautiful of them are: the mummies of pharaohs, gold funerary mask of Tutankhamen, Queen Hatshepsut decorations, various sarcophagi and statues, a large collection of coins and papyri.

In order to put an end to the uncontrolled looting of ancient tombs and temples, the Egyptian government decided to create a museum in Egypt. The first museum in Cairo was opened in 1835, but it quickly filled up, that already in 1858 moved to a new building in the Cairo suburb of Boulaq. Once in 1878 as a result of severe flooding of the Nile, part of the collection, it was decided to build a large new museum was damaged.

The new building of the Egyptian Museum, designed by French architect Marcel Dourgnon, dug in 1902 in the heart of Cairo, in Tahrir Square.

On right and left sides are, again, stylized flowers of blue Egyptian lotus.

Denominations in numerals are on right and left sides, in words centered, on top.


The signature on banknote belongs to:

SaharaYoussef Wahba Pasha (1852-1934) (يوسف باشا وهبة) Egyptian Prime Minister and jurist.

Youssef Wahba was born in Cairo, Egypt in 1852 of a prominent Coptic family. His father, Wahba Bey had been a founder of the first Coptic charitable society that included Muslim scholars such as Abdallah Nadim and Sheikh Muhammed Abduh. He translated the Code Napoleon into Arabic while at the Ministry of Justice between 1875 and 1882 and participated in setting the modern judicial system in Egypt becoming one of the first Egyptian judges in the Mixed Court of Appeals in 1894.

He later became Minister of Foreign Affairs in 1912 then Minister of Finance in 1914, a post he held until May 1920. As Minister of Finance, he introduced the first bank notes in Egypt backed by the full faith and credit of the Egyptian Sultanate which bore his signature as Minister of Finance. He became Prime Minister of Egypt in 1919 during a difficult period in Egypt's political life. Many members of the Coptic Christian community to which he belonged, objected to his accepting the premiership on the grounds that it would antagonize the relationship between Muslims and Christians when both were united under the Wafd Party to fight against the British occupation. Youssef always maintained the view that it was critical that a government nominated by the Sultan of Egypt lead the country rather than have the British fully annex it (especially as the victorious powers were carving up the old Ottoman Empire at the Versailles conference). During his premiership, Youssef Wahba introduced several economic reforms including the removal of price controls on agricultural products, probably a first in the history of Egypt, as well as the creation of the Banque Misr by Talaat Harb Pasha, the first national bank.

He joined the first independent Senate when he was elected from a district in Alexandria in 1924. During his tenure in the Egyptian Senate, he supported various legislation relating to strengthening the independence of the Egyptian judicial system. He also resisted the introduction of any special privileges for minorities in Egypt whether based on ethnicity or religion (including the Christian Copts) first suggested by the Brunyate Commission for Judicial reform in 1917. He retired from the Senate in 1930.

He has two publications on the Commercial Code in Egypt, the first co-authored with Shafik Mansour Bey "Sharh Al Qanun Al Madani" (An Analysis of the Egyptian Civil Code) and the second, co-authored with a fellow Judge from the Mixed Court Abdel Aziz Kahil Bey "Sharh Al Qanun Al Toujari Al Masri (An Analysis of The Egyptican Commercial Code). Youssef Wahba also drafted the constitution of the Majllis Milli, the first Coptic Christian council to manage the affairs of the Coptic community in Egypt in 1882 outside of the control of the Coptic Orthodox Church.

He died in 1934 and was married to Doudou, daughter of Mikhail Bey El Nakkadi and had eight children. Two of his sons Mourad Wahba Pasha (1879-1972) and Sadek Wahba Pasha (1885-1971) had prominent careers in the Egyptian judicial system and the diplomatic service respectively. Youssef Wahba's grandson, Sadek Wahba, is a notable New York City-based managing partner of a private equity firm I Squared Capital and member of the board of trustees of the American University in Cairo.