The king of Morocco, no doubt impressed by the British victories against Spain, sent this ambassador to propose a joint invasion against Spain.
These plans never came to pass, as both Queen Elizabeth and the King died within the next two years.
It is hard to think that Shakespeare would not know of this man, and his visit to the Queen. It is probable, what with Shakespeare and the Lord Chamberlain's Men's performances for the Queen and her court, that Shakespeare may have even performed for him, and perhaps even met the man.
Shakespeare's Othello play is believed to have been written about 4 years after Messaoud's visit.
So, is Messaoud the inspiration for Othello?
Shakespeare only referred to Othello as a Moor. The Moorish people were North African Muslims.
Shakespeare begins the play in Venice. Messaoud communicated with the Queen in Italian, through an interpreter.
London at the time was a bustling city, with visitors from far-flung places, and the sight of different "alien" races was not uncommon.
London was changing rapidly and the change must have been unsettling, to say the least, for many people.