In Photos

In Photos: The Greek Cultural Centre in Cairo Gives Insight into the History of Egypt’s Greek Community

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In Photos: The Greek Cultural Centre in Cairo Gives Insight into the History of Egypt’s Greek Community

Greek politician Eleftherios Venizelos visiting Egypt in 1915. Image via the Greek Cultural Centre in Cairo Facebook page.

Egyptiotes – that is the term that refers to Greeks living in Egypt. When one thinks of how Egypt and Greece are tied, one of the first things that comes to mind would probably be Alexandria; the famous coastal city that was named after the Greek Alexander the Great after conquering Egypt in 332 BC.

Greek communities in Egypt do indeed go as far back as ancient times. With the neighboring countries being in such close proximity to each other, with just the Mediterranean acting as the separator between them, it only makes sense that there has always historically been a large number or Greeks in Egypt and vice versa. In fact, it is believed that the Greeks were the first group of foreigners to ever live in Egypt. 

While Greek communities have always been greatly present in Egypt throughout history, they are not quite as large or felt as they once were. Following the 1952 Egyptian revolution, most foreigners (including Greeks) fled the country and this resulted in a minimization of the once thriving Egyptian Greek (or Egyptiote) community. 

Greek communities in Egypt celebrate 150 years since the Greek revolution of 1821. Part of the image reads ‘the Greeks of Egypt’ in Greek (1971). Image via the Greek Cultural Centre in Cairo Facebook page.

That being said, the two countries still have very close ties and the existing Greek community in Egypt does what it can to keep their historic Egyptian Greek heritage alive. One of the most important entities in helping do so is the Greek Cultural Centre in Cairo. 

Other than hosting events from time to time, the Centre’s Facebook page is very active as they regularly feed their over 11,000 followers interesting archival material documenting the Greek Egyptian community’s various feats throughout history. The following compilation is merely a few of these archival materials gathered here and there from the centre’s Facebook page. 

A photo from the Achillopoulos School of Cairo celebrating Greek Independence Day (1972). Image via the Greek Cultural Centre in Cairo Facebook page. Photo credits: Gambi.

Most of these documents and photographs originate from the 19th and 20th centuries and they offer insight into just how integrated Egyptiotes were in Egyptian society. They offer a rather interesting perspective into just how linked these two countries have always been, almost blurring the lines between Greece and Egypt to the point of perceiving them as one. 

While the number of Greeks living in Egypt is currently at its lowest, the Egyptiote community is a strong and historic one; they are a community that will always take pride in their rich and complex cultural heritage. 

Egypt’s Greek newspaper ‘New Light’ celebrating Greek Independence Day. Image via the Greek Cultural Centre in Cairo Facebook page.
Greek communities in Egypt celebrate 150 years since the Greek revolution of 1821 (1971). Image via the Greek Cultural Centre in Cairo Facebook page.
An Aerial shot of Cairo’s Heliopolis neighborhood in the 1920s. It was called ‘The Neighborhood of theGreek Trigon’ and it was the base of a thriving Greek community. It is also where the Greek Cultural Centre is currently situated. Image via The Greek Cultural Centre in Cairo Facebook page.
Greek politician Eleftherios Venizelos visiting Egypt in 1915. Image via the Greek Cultural Centre in Cairo Facebook page.
A rare 165-year-old document showcasing the first trial of organizing a Greek Egyptian community in Egypt. Image via the Greek Cultural Centre in Cairo Facebook page.
The Greek bookstore ‘Spyros N. Grivas’ in Alexandria, early 20th century, at Boulevard Ramleh str, through a card postal which was publicly posted for the first time. Image via The Greek Cultural Centre in Cairo Facebook page.
A documentation of Heliopolis’ Greek community (1917). Image via The Greek Cultural Centre in Cairo Facebook page.
Greeks in Cairo today, celebrating 200 years since the launch of the Greek Struggle for Independence (1821-2021). Image via The Greek Cultural Centre in Cairo Facebook page.

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A believer in all things art. Loves writing, acting, theatre and pretending to know how to cook.

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