The First Mediterranean Games

I don’t know about you but I had never heard of the Mediterranean Games. That was until I found the official booklet for the first ever Games held in Alexandria in October 1951. The games was apparently first proposed by the Egyptian, Mohammed Taher Pasha, who later became assistant president of the I.O.C and was…

American Missionaries in Egypt: Bamba and the Maharajah

The subject of Missionaries in the 19th century Arab world has a habit of coming back to me again and again. I have already written a blog on some copies of the journals of the Society for Promoting Christianity among the Jews. In a Boston bookshop, I recently came across a copy of a history…

Recreating the Exposition du Caire: 1892

In 1891 four artists in Cairo got together to put on the first Art Exhibition in Cairo. The French Paul Philippoteaux, the Greek Theodore Ralli,  the English Felix Moscheles (also a pioneer of Esperanto) and the Russian Mr. Bogdanoff formed a committee and invited artists who were resident in Cairo or just travelling through to…

The Adventures of Mrs Charles: The Lover of Heliopolis

In 1919 Mrs Ruby Dora Charles went through the legals proceedings the British Consular Court in Cairo to divorce her husband. There is a file in the National Archives at Kew which holds a record of the evidence brought in the court-case. The file contains the story of a woman who, from 1917 to 1919…

Turn of the Century Arabic Romance Novels

  Recently, I have been looking at quite a lot at the early 20th century Arabic cultural production in New York. I recently translated a very short speculative-fiction story that satirises the prohibition movement in America. It first appeared in a New York based magazine called al-Akhlaq. About a month ago I came across a…