The Cultural Bureau organised a talk by the Historian Dr. Philip Mansel titled (Talk: From Mohammed Ali Pasha to King Farouk: The Rise and Fall of Royal Alexandria) on Tuesday 4th of December 2018;
Using photographs, drawings and film, Dr. Mansel displayed that Alexandria’s role as a royal capital provided the foundations for its prosperity as a cosmopolitan Levantine trading port, once known as ‘the Queen of the Mediterranean’, linking Egypt and Europe.
Dr. Philip mentioned that Mohammed Ali Pasha, founder of modern Egypt and of the Egyptian ruling family, and governor of Egypt for the Ottoman Empire, was also a merchant who accelerated Alexandria’s economic development. Where he invited Greeks, Italians, French and English, as well as Turks and Egyptians, to build houses there, and gave sites for churches.
After 1805 he himself began construction of the enormous Ottoman Italian Ras-el-tine palace, by the port, from which his great-great-grandson king Farouk left Egypt, on his royal yacht, on 26 July 1952. The departure of the King was a symbol of an exodus which had already begun. Alexandria is now a city with almost entirely Egyptian residents.
The talk was well attended by British and Greek nationalities who have lived part of their life in Alexandria and Egypt in addition to Egyptians residing in the United Kingdom.
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