suggests following articles

Several of my articles on Garden City were plagiarized word for word by novelist MEKKAWI SAID (winner of the Egyptian State price for literature!!!!) and re-published under his own name in a three-part series in El-Masry El-Youm daily in September 2015.

Cheers to our "talented" literature prize awardee. Your pain his gain !!!



by Samir Raafat
Cairo Times, 6 April 2000

Samir Raafat
former Egyptian Gazette columnist Samir W Raafat

If all the new English-language glossies, broadsheets, weeklies and monthlies were to agree on something, it would be that the granddaddy of them all is the Egyptian Gazette. A quintessential paper that for totally different set of reasons, brings much joy to its loyal readers and to the foreign correspondents stationed in Egypt. They have a point. For the first group the paper is the only English-language daily in Um El Dunya, home to 66 million and some. For the second, where else can they find such delectable textbites?

The Egyptian Gazette first appeared on 26 January 1880 smack in the middle of an Egyptian financial crisis. Its five founders: Messrs. Edmund Carver, Charles Frederick Moberly Bell, John Ross, Andrew Victor Philip and Charles Royle were respectively a cotton trader, the London Times manager, a shipping magnate, an editor and a barrister.

Out of this financial crisis came a 72-year British military occupation with three decades of strident economic and agricultural reforms. The era of the Anglo-Egyptian had arrived-that cadre of self-important civil servants who oiled the bureaucratic wheels that ran the growing British-run Egyptian administration. Consequently, the Egyptian Gazette became the principle vehicle for discussion of business and economic matters, and the dissemination of British policy in Egypt.

First printed on Alexandria's Rue Valetta, inside an old building housing the Russian consulate, the Egyptian Gazette appeared in English and French on a weekly basis. Until he died in 1899, Andrew Philip was the paper's sole editor. Of Jewish descent, Andrew's father Hermann had converted to the United Presbyterian Church of Scotland. Which is perhaps why the paper was described as having "a distinctly Scottish character both its management and its inclination for thrift and frugality which kept it going during its early years" reported a latter journalist.

The Gazette's next editor was Oxford graduate Rowland Snelling. It was during his tenure that the paper was sold by Philip's widow for 5,300 English pounds to Back & Manson. The London merchant bank remained in control up until the 1930s. By then the paper had become the leading English daily in Egypt outliving its three English-language competitors: Egyptian Morning News founded in 1902; Egyptian Daily Post founded 1908 and the Egyptian Standard. The latter was in fact the English edition of the Arabic-language al-Lewa founded by Moustafa Kamel, leader of the Egyptian Nationalist Party. The real competition came however from the French newspaper Le Phare Egyptien and later from La Bourse Egyptienne.

The Gazette's head offices remained in Alexandria until after WW2. From Rue Valetta the paper moved to Rue Debanné and in 1900 relocated to the legendary Old Bourse Building on Rue Télégraphe des Anglais until 1913 before moving to Rue Sesostris. In 1923, a year after Snelling retired to Villefranche, France, and two years after the paper had been suspended for two days for anti-British government reporting, the Gazette moved once more, this time to Rue Hammam al-Dahab.

Since its founding and up until 1956 the paper's editors were all British. Among those who flittered in and out of the pressroom were statesman-diplomat Sir Ronald Storrs and author Lawrence Durrell. Another Gazette luminary was Captain Gordon Waterfield. A sub-editor at the paper during the seven years leading up to WW2, he later joined the London Times before expanding the BBC Arabic Service.

During the 1940s the Gazette was acquired by the SOP (Société Orientale de Publicité), owner of several other publications. Founded by Oswald J. Finney, after whom a Dokki square was named following his death in 1942. Just before he died, Finney re-launched the Progrès Egyptien that the SOP had acquired in 1914 from a Mr. Kyriacopoulo, but which had been left to slumber for the next 27 years.

In 1956, following the tripartite invasion and the Suez War, the SOP was nationalized and its foreign staff asked to leave. The Sphinx, a weekly supplement catering mainly to the dwindling number of Anglo-Egyptians, was discontinued. For the next thirty odd years, the Egyptian Gazette chugged along secure in the knowledge it had little or no competition to contend with. It would take another financial crisis and a new set of economic reforms to change things around. But even as the granddaddy of Egypt's prolific English-language publications enters its third century of existence, it continues to be a source of diversion and unique entertainment like only the Egyptian Gazette knows how.

The current publisher of the "Egyptian Gazette" "Progres Egyptien" and "Al-Gmohouriya" is Samir Ragab (not to be confused with Samir Raafat or this website).

Reader Comments
Subject: miss my paper
Date: Thu, 13 Apr 2000 19:42:28 -0400
From: "Sandra"

Greetings, just a quick hello..I'm an American living part/time in Heliopolis..everyday I must hurry to the corner to get the E.G. news b/4 its all bought up.. While here in the usa I miss reading about the daily life and events in my favorite country MISR... So just a pat on the back saying I'll return again in a few months to my flat and look forward to the paper once again...shukran.

SUBJECT: Old stories in the news.
Date: Thu, 27 Apr 2000 21:45:11 EDT

The Egyptian Gazette was always a staple at my childhood home in Cairo. At one time, back in 1935-36 or '37, my English mother's divorce and remarriage to a sheikh at Al Azhar made all the papers. I wonder if there is a record of it somewhere?

articles posted on were published in the following books by Samir W Raafat: THE EGYPTIAN BOURSE, Zeitouna, Cairo -- CAIRO THE GLORY YEARS, Harpocrates, Alexandria -- HISTORY & SOCIETY IN A CAIRO SUBURB; MAADI 1904-1962, Palm Press, Cairo -- PRIVILEGED FOR THREE CENTURIES, printed digitally and bound by Elias Printing, Egypt

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