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Articles > Armenians in Egypt and Africa > Egyptian Armenians Today

Most of current Armenian Egyptians who are permanent residents of Egypt were born in Egypt. Armenian Egyptians are full Egyptians with an extra cultural layer. Their small community numbered around 8,000 (before 1952 there around 60,000 Armenians in Egypt) is in Cairo and Alexandria.

 

Clubs, schools, and sports facilities run by Armenian Egyptians, the Armenian Church and the apolitical structure of the Armenian community have a very important role in unifying Armenians in Egypt.

 

Armenian Egyptians work in the private sector, as successful business men, skilled handicraftsmen (especially as jewelers). Since the beginning of the nineteenth century, Armenians fled to Egypt from the Ottoman Turkey with a range of skills in the field of business, commerce, and finance. In addition they came to Egypt mastering foreign languages. Nowadays, Armenians who master foreign languages work in offices and branches of international organizations as well as foreign embassies in Cairo.

 

The Armenian community operates two benevolent and one cultura associations, the Armenian Red Cross Association, the Armenian General

Benevolent Union and the Houssaper Cultural Association.

 

The community has four social clubs in Cairo and two in Alexandria, in addition

to three sporting clubs in the capital and two in Alexandria. There is one home for the elderly, and many activities for young people, including a dance troupe (Zankezour), a choir (Zevartnots) and a children's choir (Dzaghgasdan).

 

Egyptian Armenians run two daily papers and one weekly publication. Armenian Egyptians are divided into Orthodox and Catholics. There are five Armenian churches in Egypt, one in Alexandria and four in Cairo: The Prelacy of the Armenian 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 most famous Egyptian Armenian is Boghos Nubar Pasha (1825 - 1899), Egyptian statesman, politician and the first Prime Minister of Egypt. He served as Prime Minister of Egypt three times during his career.

 

Source: Armenpress, 5 December 2005

 

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Added: Wednesday, January 25, 2006
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