- What’s On
The Levantine Heritage Foundation presents a talk by Dr Philip Mansel at the Egyptian Cultural Centre and Education Bureau.
Using photographs, drawings and film, Philip Mansel shows 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.
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. 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 Rase-el-tine palace, by the port, from which his great-great-grandson King Farouk would leave 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 an almost entirely Egyptian city.