The BA Releases The History of the British in Alexandria

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The BA Alexandria and Mediterranean Research Center (Alex Med) has released its latest book The History of the British in Alexandria, by Dr. Carole Escoffey.

The presence of British people in Alexandria can be traced back to Elizabethan times, with merchants and pilgrims making the long, perilous journey to a city which, despite its vibrant trading port, was but a ruined vestige of its ancient, legendary past. However, the battle of Aboukir in 1798, near Alexandria, would set in motion a series of events resulting in the modernization of the portal city under Muhammad Ali’s rule. This would bring an influx of foreigners, including British, gradually forming veritable communities in a fast-growing, cosmopolitan city. Thus, to this day the city bears the mark of the vibrant British community that once lived there through the institutions it founded such as schools, clubs, churches, hospitals, cemeteries, the railway and tramline.

This publication also retraces the events which took place in Alexandria, surrounding the British occupation of Egypt in 1882, in addition to the dramatic events of World War I and World War II, when the Mediterranean Expeditionary Force and the Allied Fleet were based there, transforming life in the city in numerous ways. Above all, using not only original archive material, but also correspondence, memoirs, travel writing and diaries, the author has woven a vivid tapestry of the daily lives of the individual British men and women who once lived in the city.

The book is available at the Cairo International Book Fair, from 24 January to 6 February 2024 (Pavillion 1 - Hall A1), in addition to all BA bookshops.