ARMENIANS IN EGYPT HISTORY OF ARMENIAN COLONY
An Armenian cross-stone, or Khachkar, dating from 982 was discovered in Egypt, demonstrating a deep rooted and constant Armenian presence. The Netherlands institute of Archeology conducted excavations in Wadi al-Natrun in 1994, unearthing “buildings of mud covered with domes and vaults,” or manshubiyya. These earliest monastic settlements were identified as the monasteries of Armenians, Abyssinians, or Ethiopians, Nubians and a church dedicated to John the Little, or Anba Yuhanna. The discovery of the Deir al-Arman is another indication of early Armenian presence in Egypt.
The relationship between Armenians and Egyptians goes back to the Pharaonic times while intensifying during the Byzantine rule followed by the Fatimid Caliphate times, and reaching its apogee in the reign of Mohammed Ali. For centuries, Armenians have had a great input towards the development of culture, economy and science in Egypt.
The Armenian Diaspora in Egypt maintained its prominent place until the mid-twentieth century through a number of high-ranking Egyptian-Armenian political and military officials.
From Abbasid Era in the 7th c. to the Ottoman Era of early 19th c.
Among the most prominent Armenians in Egypt between the Abbasid Era in the 7th c. to the Ottoman Era of early 19th c. were:
- Vartan the Standard Bearer, or Wardan al-Rumi al-Armani, who saved the life of Amr Ibn al-‘As, the commander of the Arab army at the battle of Alexandria in 641.
- Al-Amir Ali Ibn Yahya Abu’l Hassan al-Armani – the governor of Egypt in 841 and 849, appointed by the Abbasid Caliph, the spiritual and political guide and leader of Muslims at Baghdad.
- Ahmed Ibn Tulun – the new prefect who in 876 was commissioned by Ibn Khatib Al-Ferghani to construct his mosque in his garrison tow Al-Qata’i.
- Ibn Khatib Al-Ferghani – the master builder of Armenian ancestry who rebuilt the Nilometer on the southern tip of Rawda Island to measure the rise of the water level at the annual inundation of the Nile, a critical factor for the prosperity of Egypt.
- Badr al-Gamali – a manumitted slave of Armenian descent was called by Caliph al-Muntasir in 1073 to assist him during the Fatimid period when Egypt was weakened by inner strife and ravaged by drought, famine and epidemics. Badr’s army, composed of mainly Armenian soldiers, is believed to have been formed after the fall of the Bagratuni capital, Ani (1066) when waves of Armenian refugees sought shelter in other countries. Badr al-Gamali was the first military man to become the Vezir (minister) of the Sword and the Pen, thus setting the trend for a century of mostly Armenian Vezirs with the same monopoly of civilian and military powers. At the height of their power, the Armenian Vezir could count on the personal loyalty of more than 20,000 men.
- Al-Afdal – the son of Badr al-Gamali constructed the Palace of Vezirate, or Dar al Wizarra, besides creating two public parks with exotic gardens, and a recreation area with a man-made lake called Birket al Arman, or Armenian Lake.
- Three brothers – all architects and masons skilled in cutting and dressing stones, who constructed the three monumental gates of Cairo: Bab al-Nasr and Bab al-Futuh in 1087 and Bab Zuwayla in 1092. The gates with their flanking towers still stand today. The ramparts and gates, which have a certain similarity to the fortifications of the Bagratuni Capital Ani, are regarded as masterpieces of military architecture by international standards.
- Bahram al-Armani – who, after restoring order and peace in the country at the request of Caliph al-Hafiz, was appointed by the latter as the Vezir in 1135.
- Baha al-Din Karakush – a eunuch and a Mamluk of the Kurdish general Shirkuh who in 1176 constructed a fortress, the Citadel, on the southeastern ridge of the Muqattam Hills and enclosed the new and old capitals, Cairo and Fustat, within a wall protected by the Citadel. Until the middle of the 19th century, the Citadel built by Karakush served as the seat of government fulfilling dual military and political functions.
- Shagarat Al-Durr (or Tree of Pearls) – a female slave who dazzled everyone with her spectacular display of gold and precious stone ornaments. She was sent to Egypt by the Abbasid Caliph al-Musta’sim as a gift to Sultan Salih Nagm al-Din Ayyub and became his favorite wife during his aging years. This strong-willed former slave wielded absolute power over Egypt during the transition period to Mamluk rule. She is one of the rare women in Islamic history who have ascended the throne and made a difference in the political and cultural spheres.
- Sinan Pasha – the Ottoman Empire’s chief architect of Armenian descent, who constructed the historic Mosque of Bulaq, as well as Cairo’s grain market, and Bulaq’s public bathroom (Hammam).
- Amir Suleyman Bey al-Armani – held the position of Governor of Munnifeya and Gharbiyya provinces in 1690 and was so wealthy that he had Mamluks at his service.
- Ali al-Armani and Ali Bey al-Armani Abul Azab – served as regional commanders.
- Mustafa Jabarti – a Mamluk of Armenian descent from Tbilsi was a deputy of the agha or chief of ojak, and amassed a great fortune. He bought properties in the Armenian populated al-Zuwayla quarter and made donations to Armenians through his sister. He also built a hospice on the top floor of the quarter’s St. Sarkis Church, to shelter Armenian immigrants, pilgrims and migrant workers, in need of temporary lodgings.
- Muhammad Kehia al-Armani – an incorruptible leader who in 1798 was sent to negotiate with Napoleon Bonaparte in Alexandria to spare the population of Cairo. Napoleon was so impressed by the conciliatory tone, the political astuteness, and the diplomatic skill of the Mamluk of Armenian descent that he later appointed him the Head of Cairo’s Political Affairs Administration.
- Rustam (or Petros) – a native of Karabakh was brought to Egypt as a slave soldier. He accompanied Napoleon to France as his bodyguard, fought with the French army at the famous battle of Austerlitz, and then took part in the conquest of Spain.
- Apraham Karakehia – an eminent money changer was asked for financial help by Mohammed Ali. The Armenian money changer supported Muhammed Ali’s projects and plans and was afterwards appointed the financial representative of the Albanian General. Karakehia would become Egypt’s money changer, with the honorary title of Misser Sarrafi. That position and title would belong to the Karakehia family for generations to come.
- Mahdesi Yeghiazar Amira Bedrossian – another money changer from Agin who was named the Wali’s, or Governor’s, tax collector and special counselor. The Armenian money lender not only regulated the financial services and the taxation system but also initiated safeguards against illegal land seizures. At “various times, Armenian money lenders held the sole rights of exploiting the Cairo bathhouses, the salt mines of Matariya and the fish market of Damietta.” The influence of the Armenian money lenders increased even more during the 1830s, when due to the Russo-Turkish war and open persecution of Armenians, many merchants and financiers settles in Egypt and even succeeded in launching Egypt’s first bank, which operated from 1837 to 1841.
PROMINENT ARMENIANS WHO CONTRIBUTED TO EGYPT’S MODERN STATE BUILDING
Boghos Bey Yusufian (1768 – 1844) Boghos Bey Yusufian was such a successful businessman that he soon became the Governor Mohamed Ali’s partner. Boghos Bey was appointed the Wali’s chief dragoman, or translator, first counselor, official spokesman, Minister of Commerce and Foreign Affairs, and for decades Egypt’s leading statesman. The Wali placed such implicit trust in him that he signed documents even before they were drafted by Boghos Bey. As Afaf Lutfi al-Sayyid Marsot, a historian of modern Egypt, testifies, “Boghos has been given several carte blanches by the Wali, and could draw on the treasury for any sum whenever he needed funds for himself. He was never paid a regular salary but the Wali trusted him to do as he pleased in terms of payment. For a man as suspicious as Mohamed Ali was, this was signal proof of trust and a unique favor allowed to no one else.” In the reign of Mohamed Ali, Boghos was the first Christian to be granted the title of Bey. Nubar Pasha Nubarian (1825 – 1899) – the first Prime Minister of Egypt
A uniquely gifted statesman, Nubar Pasha Nubarian held the highest administrative posts for five decades, achieved international stature, and left his decisive imprint on Egypt’s modernization, especially in the sphere of social justice. Nubar initially served as his uncle’s, Boghos Yusufian’s secretary, then after his death he became dragoman to the Wali and second secretary in the Department of Foreign Affairs. In addition to translating, his work entailed acting as a diplomat and counselor. Later during the reign of Abbas I, Nubar Nubarian was appointed counselor and delegate for special missions. Among his other achievements were also organizing Cairo’s Water Company, which introduced piped water, and led to the creation of the city of Heliopolis in mid desert. During Sa’id, Abbas I’s successor, Nubar Nubarian was appointed the director of health services, then Attorney General, policy coordinator between the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and the embassies as well as the viceroy, and finally, trade representative in Paris. Afterwards, during Ismail’s rule, Nubar became stationed in Paris handling financial and legal matters concerning the Suez Canal, and then in 1865 he was appointed Minister of Public Works, where he prepared a well-studied irrigation plan. The results of his plan were so excellent that Ismail honored him a new canal in the province of Beheira, named after him Nubariyya. Also, as a reward for his encouragement in improving the various types of cotton, Egypt’s single most profitable and prized product at the time, a type of long-staple cotton was named Nubari after him. Moreover, according to some well respected Egyptian political figures, Nubar was the first Egyptian statesman to raise humanitarian issues and the principle of social justice in the 19th century. Nubar’s greatest achievements in Egypt were legal reforms and the establishment of Mixed Courts. Nubar Nubarian was the first Christian to be granted the title of Pasha and the gift of a large plot of fertile land. He also was appointed the first Prime Minister of Egypt in 1878 and reserved the right to head the ministries of Foreign Affairs and Justice. In 1895 Nubar Pasha received Egypt’s highest award, the Nile Medal of Honor, and retired from political work, after having served six viceroys and Khedives (hereditary rulers).
Dikran Pasha D’abro (1846 – 1904)
Dikran Pasha D’abro started his career by becoming a secretary to Nubar Pasha. Within a year Dikran became the recording secretary of the International Conference on the Mixed Courts, and then in 1873–1876, he was appointed the secretary of the Committee for Judicial Reform. Dikran was granted the title of Bey in 1873. In 1881, Dikran was appointed Foreign Minister. After the Urabi revolt of 1882, Dikran was selected by Khedive Taufique, along with another Armenian, Yervant (a counselor of the Minister of War), to negotiate with the British, and find a formula to satisfy the parties involved. The two negotiaters were able to save the lives of Urabi and his aides, were able to prevent the radical dissolution of the Egyptian army, and asserted Egypt’s sovereignty. Pleased with the outcome of the negotiations, the Khedive granted the title of Pasha to his Foreign Minister and lavished gifts on the counselor of his Minister of War. Refusing to tolerate the constraints imposed by the British Consul-General, Dikran Pasha tendered his resignation, and in 1884 acceded to Nubar Pasha’s request and left to London to observe the proceedings of the International London Conference on Egyptian finances.
Ya’cub Artin Pasha Cherakian (1842-1919)
Ya’cub Artin Pasha was known as al Ustaz al Kabir, or the Great Teacher, for his landmark reforms in Egyptian education. After beginning his longtime service in the Ministry of Education, Ya’cub Artin Pasha was able to complete the work initiated by his father, Artin Bey, and his father’s brother-in-law, Yusuf Bey Hekekian, who stressed the need to adopt progressive ideas and instituted a secular program of public education, which would benefit the children of the elite and the commoners alike. Artin Bey and Yusuf Bey collaborated in establishing the Arts and Crafts School of Alexandria, founded the Engineering School of Bulaq, and played an important role in creating the Department of Antiquities within the Ministry of Education to list the classified monuments. Artin Bey organized the Book keeping and Accounting School, and in 1835 the School of Administration and Translation in the Citadel. Once in office, Ya’cub Artin Pasha oversaw the establishment of a vast network of schools and encouraged urban and rural parents to send their children to the public schools, where food, clothing, school equipment, and in some instances pocket money were provided for the students. He also founded Cairo’s Teachers’ Training Institute in 1872, to ensure qualified teachers, and tightened the standards of the teaching profession by instituting mandatory entrance examination for elementary school teachers. Furthermore, in 1873 Ya’cub Pasha established the Siyufiyyah School for Girls, the first state run institution of its kind. With financial aid from Ya’cub Artin Pasha, the Immaculate Conception School was founded in 1897 to care for orphan girls, to educate and to teach them skills to support themselves. He also encouraged the formation of the Yeghiayan Educational Fund for the higher learning needs of orphans and poor.
Boghos Nubar Pasha Nubarian (1851-1930) After completing engineering studies in France, the son on Nubar Pasha, Boghos Nubar Pasha Nubarian, returned to Egypt in 1878 and became director of the Railway Administration. He expanded the railway system and carried out administrative reforms with the collaboration of Takvor Pasha Hagopian. He also participated in the formation of the Agricultural Company and in 1986 organized an association for the development of the Ramle Tramways in Alexandria as well as the Menzele Estates. For the Water Company, he prepared extensive irrigation plans for Cairo and an all-inclusive plan for Sudan, which was then under Egyptian rule. He was awarded many gold medals for his invention of an automated plow, which broke up even the driest soil. Boghos Nubar was director of the Railway Administration when the massacre of Constantinople took place. He used his high position to provide employment for many Armenian immigrants from Turkey. In 1899 Boghos Nubar Pasha formed the Oasis corporate Enterprise with Belgian businessman Baron Edouard Louis Joseph Empain and others, and transformed 5952 feddans of desert land into the beautiful suburb of Heliopolis, with the help of a mostly Armenian workforce. Boghos Nubar Pasha and his associates built public housing for the disadvantaged, started a train or a “metro” service that linked Heliopolis to Cairo, and provided an ambulance operation. In 1906, Boghos Nubar Pasha prepared the blueprint and supplied most of the funds for the construction of the Kalousdian Community School in the Bulaq district of Cairo, and later on, for a new school to replace the old Shavarshan School. During Boghos Nubar Pasha’s lifetime, crucial events shaped the fate of the Ottoman Armenians: the first periodic massacres and forced deportations culminating in Genocide, and then waves of refugees. The unswerving dedication of Boghos Nubar Pasha and his close collaborators who founded the Armenian General Benevolent Union (AGBU) inspired hope in the uprooted masses and strengthened their will to survive and preserve their national identity. Today, AGBU has its centers, schools, chapters and offices in many countries, including the USA, Canada, Australia, a number of European countries, Ethiopia, Iraq, Syria, Uruguay, Egypt and others. The Organization celebrated its Centennial in 2006.
ENGAGEMENT OF EGYPTIAN ARMENIANS INTO VARIOUS INDUSTRIES LIGHT INDUSTRY
Armenians in Egypt contributed to the development of many industries including ship building, textile production with spinning and weaving, carpentry and blacksmithing, stone masonry, shoemaking, jewelry, agriculture, and tobacco production.
Egypt’s largest tobacco factory was founded by the Matossian brothers of Tokat. Some 70,000 Armenians worked at the Matossian Tobacco factories. Between 1895-1896, 90% of Egypt’s cigarette production bore the trademark of Armenian owned factories. In the first quarter of the 20th century, the Armenian tobacco industry expanded to such an extent that it dominated the markets of Egypt and Sudan, becoming the chief supplier of Ethiopia’s capital, Adis-Ababa, and other cities. Another area of industry dominated by the Armenians was shoemaking famous for its state-of-the-art workmanship and designs. Krikor Papazian was the shoemaker serving the royal family and elite circles. The Sukiassian Company specialized in tanning, leather treatment and shoe manufacturing for the wholesale market.
Tailoring and shirt-making were also a common occupation among Armenians. Muhammed Ali’s tailor was Hadji Garabed. During the reign of King Fuad I, Arsen Sarafian served as the palace tailor.
PUBLISHING AND PRINTING
The Egyptian Armenian community established printing presses in Cairo and Alexandria, publishing newspapers, periodicals, literary, artistic, and specialized works, as well as textbooks, stimulating its cultural life to new heights. In Cairo, Sarkis Tarpinian founded Ararat Press in 1895, and Marie Beylerian started Ardemis Publishing House and a women’s journal of the same name in 1902. The publisher Pakraduni and then Yervant messerlian operated Vosguedar or Golden Letter press in 1914. The Nubar Printing Press, a family enterprise founded at the turn of the century, and still operates up till today. In Alexandria, K. Nazaretian established the Nazaretian Press in 1899, S. Tufenguian started Petag or Beehive House, in 1903, and the poet Vahan Tekeyan formed Tekeyan and Company Publishers in 1905. COMMERCE
In the 17th century, Armenians in India held the monopoly of the indigo trade. In the 19th century, the Armenians of India grew the best indigo plants and were the principal merchants of its particular dye in the state of Bihar. In 1824 Boghos Bey Yusufian, Egypt’s Minister of Commerce, brought into the country 40 Armenian families with indigo producing skills to teach Egyptians. In less than two years, the indigo due became the most important Egyptian export.
In 1824 Armenians from Izmir expanded the cultivation of the opium poppy. In 1883 the annual yield ensured one million French Francs for Egypt. However, after 1845, the export of opium was no longer lucrative.
Another profitable development was the cultivation and large scale export of the mandarin, a fruit introduced by Yusuf al-Armani. Yusuf Effendi al-Armani, bought and brought with him mandarin saplings from the Island of Malta, and planted it in Muhammed Ali’s orchard. The fruit became popular and its production was so lucrative that it was named Yusuf Effendi after the enterprising Armenian who introduced it.
Other Armenians who gave impetus to Egyptian trade were the money lenders. One of them is Mahdesi Yeghiazar Amira Bedrossyan, a native of Agin who became Muhammad Ali’s business consultant and the overseer of his personal accounts. After his death, his nephews were brought from Agin, based on the Wali’s request, and they initiated money lending and commercial enterprises in Musqi, and later were granted the right to develop the salt mines of Matariyya. After 1837, when the Balta Liman Treaty gave foreigners unlimited rights to conduct business in Egypt, money lending became irrelevant.
In 1816, Boghos Bey Yusufian was instrumental in establishing Egypt’s first school at the Citadel for the sons of the ruling family and high-ranking officials. Consequently, a number of the citadel graduates were Armenians.
In 1834, Artin Cherakian, who had studied civil administration, organized the School of Engineering, or Madrasat al-Handasah, at Bulaq, with the help of Yusuf Bey Hekekian, who had studied engineering in England. In September of the same year, he started the Bookkeeping and Accounting School, or Madrasat al-Idara. In 1835, he joined with Sdepan Demirdjian, who had studied diplomacy, in organizing the School of Civil Administration and Translation at the Citadel. In his turn, Yusuf Hekekian organized the School of Mines, which later became a division of the School of Engineering.
Ya’cub Artin Pasha, Egypt’s Education Minister and son of Artin Bey Cherakian, inaugurated Egypt’s first school for girls in 1873. Armenians also took the initiative of opening Egypt’s first kindergarten in 1890.
In 1937, upon the request of the Armenian Catholic Patriarchate, three Armenian Catholic Sisters came to Egypt to inaugurate a preparatory school for the Armenian girls in Cairo. The school was limited to the Armenian girls until 1967, however, due to bad financial circumstances, the school later opened its doors to accept female students from all races.
You can read about the Armenian schools and their history in the Institutions page.
Community activism of Armenians also flourished giving impetus for the formation of diverse organizations. Among these were the Fund for the Defense of National Interests, or Azkayin Shaheru Bashdbanutian Himnatram; the AGBU, or Hai Parekordzagan Enthanour Miyutiun; the Women’s Red Cross, or Hayuhiats Garmir Khach; the Aidzemnig Society; the Social Welfare Association, or Aghkadakhnam Engeragtsutiun; the Educational Society of Cairo, Kahireyi Usumnasirats Engerutyun; Armenian Students Association, or Kahireyi Hai Ousanoghagan Miutiun; Hamazkayin Association, or Hai Gertagan yev Hradaragchagan Hamazkayin Engeragtzutiun, the Housaper Cultural Association, or Housaper Mshagouytayin Engeragtsutiun; Friends of the Promotion of Fine Arts, or Hai Kegharvesdasirats Miyutiun; the Intellectual Service of Cairo, or Kahireyi Mdavoragan Esbasargutiun; and the Armenian Home, or Hai Dun. Among the community organizations of Alexandria, there were the Bibliophile Group, or Entertsasirats Miyutiun; the Progressive Cultural Association, or Harachtimasser Mshaguytayin Engeragtsutiun; and the Dikran Yergat Cultural Society, or Dikran Yergat Mshaguytayin Miyutiun.
You can read about the current community organizations in the Institutions page.
MIGRATION OF ARMENIANS TO AND FROM EGYPT
One of the oldest and most prosperous communities of the Armenian Diaspora, the Armenian community in Egypt has gone through major changes and transformation in the last five decades. As we know, before the beginning of the 20th century, the migration of Armenians to Egypt was primarily voluntary. However, a forced migration occurred due to the Armenian Genocide in Turkey in 1915. Egypt hosted a large number of the refugees and survivors of the massacres. The migrations increased the number of the Armenians in Egypt to reach 40,000 at its peak in the 1940s.
In the 1960s an exodus of Egyptian Armenians occurred due to changing political and economic conditions. Nasser’s newly introduced “Socialist Laws” and nationalization of many basic economic firms led to reverse migration of Armenians primarily to the USA, Canada and Australia. This happened because Armenians were mostly engaged in the private sector and monopolizing basic professions and trade markets affected them more than those who worked in the governmental sector.
Today, there is only about 8,000 Armenians living in Egypt. Many of them have a relatively stable and prosperous life thanks, on the one hand, to the community institutions built by a host of 18th to 20th century Armenian Pasha’s and Bey’s, and the entrepreneurial spirit of Egyptian Armenians on the other.
THE COMMUNITY TODAY
Most of the current Egyptian Armenians were born in Egypt and now reside primarily in Cairo or Alexandria. Structures like clubs, schools, and sports facilities reinforce communications among Armenian Egyptians and revive the heritage of their forefathers.
Once every 8 years, the community elects 24 members to the community council. In turn, the 24 legislators elect an executive body of 7 for a 2-year period to run the institutions of the Armenian Patriarchate, including the schools, churches, cemeteries and endowments.
The Armenian Church and the apolitical structure of the Armenian community have a very important role in unifying Armenians in Egypt. There are 6 operating churches in Egypt: the Armenian Patriarchate and St. Gregory the Illuminator Armenian Apostolic Church (Cairo), the Armenian Catholic Patriarchate and the Church of Assumption (Cairo), St. Therese Armenian Catholic Church (Heliopolis), the Armenian Patriarchate and St. Peter and Paul Armenian Apostolic Church (Alexandria), Immaculate Conception of Virgin Mary, Armenian Catholic Church (Alexandria) and Armenian Evangelical Church of Alexandria. The Diocese of the Armenian Apostolic Church in Egypt, which is under the jurisdiction of Holy Etchmiadzin, is the primary guardian of community assets such as endowments, real estate in the form of agricultural land and other property bequeathed by generations of philanthropists.
The Heliopolis district in Cairo is considered the recent base of Armenians in Egypt. The district has a number of Armenian clubs, the Nubarian school, and some sport facilities. Downtown Cairo also hosts a number of Armenian institutions, Kalousdian school and clubs, although the number of Armenians residing in the center of town has been decreasing as people prefer to move to more quiet areas of Cairo. Finally, clubs, and sport facilities are also present in Alexandria, along with the Boghossian school.
Armenian schools play an instrumental role in maintaining the Armenian language among the Armenian community in Egypt. It is the language that is used within many Armenian families and communities. The schools integrated a secondary education program and students who have graduated can immediately enter the Egyptian university system, after passing the official Thanawiya ‘Amma exams.
In total, the Armenian community has four cultural clubs in Cairo and two in Alexandria where there are activities for young people like dance troupes and choirs. There are three sporting clubs in Cairo and two in Alexandria where the main activity is basketball.
The AGBU is the main benevolent organization and involved in cultural activities as well. The other benevolent organizations are; The Armenian Red Cross, The Orthodox Armenian Charity Committee and The Catholic Armenian Charity Committee. There is also a home for the elderly “Aidzemnig”.
The first Armenian Newspaper published in 1865 in Egypt was “Armaveni.” Many more followed throughout the years reaching 140 in total, although some of them were short lived.
Today there are two daily newspapers: “Houssaper” founded in 1913 and belonging to the Dashnak Party and “Arev” founded in 1915 belonging to the Ramkavar Party. A bi-weekly, “Tchahagir” founded in 1948 and belonging to the Henchak Party, a monthly supplement of “Arev” in Arabic, a musical quarterly supplement of “Tchahagir”; “Dzidzernag” , and “Teghekatu” the quarterly of AGBU.
In 2006, the Embassy of Armenia launched its quarterly publication in Arabic, Akhbar Armenia, which mostly provides news on cooperation between Egypt and Armenia.
Community members also get their daily dose of Armenian culture through the one-hour long Armenian Radio broadcast.
Certainly those who decided to stay in Egypt, mostly skilled artisans and some visionary industrialists, developed survival techniques, especially after Nasser’s 1952 revolution. The most vigorous ones saw the fruits of their patience under a free-market oriented President Anwar Sadat.
Today, Egyptian Armenians are mostly engaged in the private sector as successful businessmen, skilled handicraftsmen, especially as jewelers and dentists. There also prominent Armenian businessmen involved in metal industry, furniture making, printing, tourism, and chemical industries.
More details on the Armenian church, schools, media, social and sports clubs are available in the Institutions page.