Wednesday, August 29, 2012

The Bombardment of #Alexandria in 1882 in photos

The Rare Books and Special collections Digital library of The American University in Cairo has published a very rare collection of photos showing Alexandria after its bombardment in 1882 by the British Navy.
In  1882 Ahmed Orabi and the army revolted against Khedive Tawfik , that failed revolution unfortunately could not stand against the British forces and its modern arms in Egypt. UK invaded Egypt by the request of Tawfik whom history will not forgive easily in 1882.
Anyhow this magnificent collection of photos shot by Italian photographer Luigi Fiorillo whose photo collections depicting the Middle East from the 19th century are considered a very good source to know how life was used to be like.
Here was Alexandria after its bombardment by British Navy , the Alexandrian cannons could not keep the British invaders away.
The Fort of Citadel of Qatibay , badly destroyed

Maguid Mosque in Alex !!!? "Can not find a mosque
with that name now !!"
The Max fort in the famous Max area
it is known as the fishermen´s Venice in Egypt now 
It had a famous lighthouse

Those were Ras El Tin palace cannons
You can see someone killed there. 
Ras El Tin Palace cannons destroyed 
Al Max  fort´s cannons destroyed
You can see the rest of the photos here. I wonder how many Egyptians were killed in that invasion.
Interestingly the army and the people were truly hand in hand and because of international geopolitics and interests this revolution was not only destroyed but squashed , it was the true Egyptian popular revolution against regime in Egypt and it was failure. Khedive Tawfik is from the most hated rulers I can not stand in our history , seriously.
My great great great grandfather fought in Orabi´s army according to my grandfather May Allah bless his soul." I do not remember if he were a solider or officer or just a volunteer" . He told me that he had fought till the defeat of Orabi. After knowing about the defeat he took the Egyptian flag his unit kept it with him so it would not fall in the hand of the British. That red flag was kept in the family till the departure of the last British solider form Suez canal in 1953 , when the father of my granddad went and presented it to the Military museum then . I thought of sharing this little family tale.
Now I wish that they did not return that Orabi army red flag and kept it so I can have. 


  1. Nice topic and that reminds me of " Wa7at El Ghrob " or " Sunset Oasis " Novel by Bahaa Taher in which he told about that bombardment and the issues during that time and how there was betray and plots resulted in about 70 years GBR's invasion to Egypt


  2. It's amazing how different the city of Alexandria looks today, so modern, compared to 100 yrs ago. Lots of repairs, lots of rebuilding took place. I wish they'd put this money into repairs in Cairo too. Starting with the sidewalks, in bad need of repairing.


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