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Lecture | Seminar

“Beyond departure: The labour practices of Greeks in Egypt, 1961-1976”

14 December 2018
Lipsius Building
Cleveringaplaats 1
2311 BD Leiden

Abstract: This paper examines the economic and social status of the Greek community in Egypt from the implementation of Gamal Abdel Nasser’s Nationalization Laws in 1961 until the introduction of the infitah policies by Anwar Sadat in 1976.

Both Greek and Egyptian historiographies fail to include and explore the activities of the Greek community of Egypt after its en masse departure in 1961. They focus instead on the narrative of a cosmopolitan past, which emphasizes the economic vigor of the community, the loss of privileges and the economic decline that came with the end of Capitulations, and as a result the community’s departure that reached its peak after the 1961 Nationalization Laws. This paper goes beyond this narrative, exploring the dynamics and mobilities of labour practices within the Greek community that remained in Egypt after its demographic decline. When the “big capital” departed, in which type of labour practices were the Greek inhabitants involved, and what type of social and economic mobility did they experience through the opportunities they grasped?

This paper will discuss the labour practices of the Greek inhabitants in Cairo, Alexandria and the Suez canal zone through the analysis of Greek and Arabic archival material collated from the community’s archives in Egypt and Greece.

Registration: Please register in advance at l-peg@hum.leidenuniv.nl to receive a copy of the paper.

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