Skip to main content

Farhi Family


Dynasty of Jewish financiers in Ottoman-controlled Damascus during the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries.

The Farhis were granted the status of sarrafs (bankers) by the authorities in the Ottoman provinces of Damascus and Sidon; they subsequently emerged as the chief financial administrators of these provinces' treasuries.

The most illustrious member of this family was Hayyim Farhi, who in the 1790s entered the service of Ahmad al-Jazzar Pasha, the governor of Sidon. There he became responsible for al-Jazzar's financial affairs until the latter's death in 1804. The following year Farhi was involved in the political succession struggle that led to Sulayman Pasha's ascendance to the governorship of Sidon. Given Farhi's assistance to this development, Suleiman allowed him to manage Sidon's financial administration as al-Jazzar had done previously. It was only during the second decade of the nineteenth century under Abdullah Pasha, Suleiman's successor, that Farhi's position declined, eventually resulting in his execution.

Their financial power in Sidon eliminated, the Farhis nonetheless continued to exercise considerable financial influence in Damascus until the early 1830s. In the wake of the Egyptian occupation of Syria and Palestine (18311840), the family's status declined temporarily in Damascus. Yet once the Ottomans regained authority in the province, the Farhis once again were partially responsible for running its financial affairs.

See also Ahmad al-Jazzar.


Holt, P. M. Egypt and the Fertile Crescent, 15161922: A Political History. Ithaca, NY: Cornell University Press, 1966.

michael m. laskier

Cite this article
Pick a style below, and copy the text for your bibliography.

  • MLA
  • Chicago
  • APA

"Farhi Family." Encyclopedia of the Modern Middle East and North Africa. . 21 Mar. 2019 <>.

"Farhi Family." Encyclopedia of the Modern Middle East and North Africa. . (March 21, 2019).

"Farhi Family." Encyclopedia of the Modern Middle East and North Africa. . Retrieved March 21, 2019 from

Learn more about citation styles

Citation styles gives you the ability to cite reference entries and articles according to common styles from the Modern Language Association (MLA), The Chicago Manual of Style, and the American Psychological Association (APA).

Within the “Cite this article” tool, pick a style to see how all available information looks when formatted according to that style. Then, copy and paste the text into your bibliography or works cited list.

Because each style has its own formatting nuances that evolve over time and not all information is available for every reference entry or article, cannot guarantee each citation it generates. Therefore, it’s best to use citations as a starting point before checking the style against your school or publication’s requirements and the most-recent information available at these sites:

Modern Language Association

The Chicago Manual of Style

American Psychological Association

  • Most online reference entries and articles do not have page numbers. Therefore, that information is unavailable for most content. However, the date of retrieval is often important. Refer to each style’s convention regarding the best way to format page numbers and retrieval dates.
  • In addition to the MLA, Chicago, and APA styles, your school, university, publication, or institution may have its own requirements for citations. Therefore, be sure to refer to those guidelines when editing your bibliography or works cited list.