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Wednesday, 18 January 2017

The lives of Alexandria’s once-thriving Greek community

Nothing in Egypt can make us feel as nostalgic as listening to stories of how cosmopolitan and beautiful Alexandria was up until just two generations ago. Al Jazeera World reminded us of a poignant tale of Egypt’s once-thriving Greek community, told through interviews with those returning to find their old homes, neighborhoods, businesses, and friends, when it uploaded a clip from a 2012 documentary (runtime: 02:15). Until the mid-1900s, more than 200,000 Greeks lived in Egypt, and a large number of them called Alexandria home, but today it is estimated that there are only around 500 Greeks still living in the coastal city. “It was a great city … Alexandria was fabulous, it was often compared to Paris and London … It was a melting pot. This is what I miss today,” Alexandra Papadimitriou, who grew up in Alexandria, says. Alexandria-born archaeologist Harry Tzalas says “what makes us Alexandrians cry is not for the city, the city is still there, the buildings are still there, it’s the youth we lived. This is nostalgia.” The documentary, Egypt: The Other Homeland, can be watched here in full (runtime: 47:32).

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