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EGY.COM  -  VICTORIA COLLEGE

SOME VC CELEBRITIES

From: Raad bin Zeid
Subject: Aside from Hussein of Jordan and Omar Sharif there were other CELEBRITIES at VC. Meet Some of them:

Aged 9, King Simeon II of Bulgaria (of the House of Saxe-Cobourg) arrived at VC Alexandria where he spent the schoolyears 1946-51.

The Syrian Edward Atiyah ("An Arab Tells His Story: A Study in Loyalties"), and his sons Sir Michael, mathematician (the Atiyah-Singer Index Theorem) and Patrick. All three attended VC Alexandria, the father during WW-1 and the sons during and after WW-II.

The Jerusalem-born Edward Saiid of Columbia University N.Y. writes in 1998: "The moment one became a student at Victoria College one was given the school handbook, a series of regulations governing every aspect of school life - the kind of uniform we were to wear, what equipment was needed for sports, the dates of school holidays, bus schedules and so on. But the school's first rule, emblazoned on the opening page of the handbook, read: 'English is the language of the school; students caught speaking any other language will be punished.' Yet there were no native English-speakers among the students. Whereas the masters were all British, we were a motley crew of Arabs of various kinds, Arenians, Greeks, Italians, Jews and Turks, each of whom had a native language that the school had explicitly outlawed. Yet all, or nearly all, of us spoke Arabic - many spoke Arabic and French - and so we were able to take refuge in a common language in defiance of what we perceived as an unjust colonial stricture. British imperial power was nearing its end immediately after World War Two, and this fact was not lost on us, although I cannot recall any student of my generation who would have been able to put anything as definite as that into words.

In the spring of 1951 I was expelled from Victoria College, thrown out for being a troublemaker, which meant that I was more visible and more easily caught than the other boys in the daily skirmishes between Mr Griffith, Mr Hill, Mr Lowe, Mr Brown, Mr Maundrell, Mr Gatley and all the other British teachers, on the one hand, and us, the boys of the school, on the other. We were all subliminally aware, too, that the old Arab order was crumbling."

Professor Arat Wolde-Yes veteran surgeon, former dean of faculty of medicine at the Addis Ababa University (AAU), and president of AAPO. Upon completion of his secondary education, Professor Asrat was among the few Ethiopians who were chosen to go abroad for higher education. In mid 1940s he left Ethiopia for Alexandria, Egypt and enrolled at Victoria College where he stayed for five years. Upon graduation from Victoria College, Professor Asrat was awarded a scholarship to study medicine at the Prestigious Edinburgh University in Scotland.
Caught in the endless power struggle in Ethiopia, professor Asrat, aged almost 70 years old, was imprisoned in 1992 for five years on false and fabricated charges.

Abdulla F. Alnafisi of Kuwait (b. 1945). In 1961 received his G.C.E. from Victoria College in Cairo, Egypt and later, received his B.A. in Politics from the American University in Beirut in 1967. Dr. Alnafisi continued on in this field and received his Ph.D. in Politics in 1972 from Cambridge University, UK, Churchill College. At one point he served as a member of the Parliament of Kuwait, and from 1972-78 he acted as chairman of the Department of Politics at the University of Kuwait. Currently Dr. Alnafisi serves as a professor at the University of Kuwait.

Charles Issawi of Bayard Dodge Professor of Near Eastern Studies, Emeritus. Issawi was educated at Victoria College, Alexandria and Magdalen College, Oxford. For five years, served in the Ministry of Finance, Cairo, and at the National Bank of Egypt. Later, worked for seven years in the Department of Economic Affairs at the United Nations, in New York. Joined the Near Eastern Studies Department at Princeton in 1975 and retired in 1986, but uaas given freshman seminars since then. Before that taught at Columbia, the American University of Beirut, Harvard and the School for Advanced International Studies in Washington. Since retirement, has taught a graduate course on "The Economic Organization and Development of the Middle East" at New York University.

Judge Eugene Cotran is the first Arab High Court Judge in the UK. He attended Victoria College, Alexandria from 1948 to 1955 and then went on to Britain to study Law at Leeds, Cambridge and Lincolnís Inn. By the time he qualified and became a Banister in 1960, his family had moved from Egypt to the Sudan where his father was a Judge. Cotran was stateless and traveled on an Egyptian Laissez Passe. Trained in the English common law system, he could not practice law in an Arab country. Although the Sudan with its common law system was a possibility, his father was leaving there about that time to become a Judge in Nigeria and later Chief Justice of West Cameroon. Eventually, Cotran was appointed as a Research Officer in African Law at the School of Oriental and African Studies, University of London and later a Lecturer specializing in the laws of East Africa and Kenya where he spent some time as a Law Commissioner. He combined academic work at SOAS with practice as a Barrister at Dingle Footís Chambers (a great Palestinian Arab supporter) then became a High Court Judge in Kenya and since 1992 a Circuit Judge in England.

Egypt's leading contemporary painter Mahmoud Saiid (son of prime minister Mohammed Saiid Pasha) received his primary education in his familyís house at Anfoushi district in Alexandria, near Al-Moursi Aboul-Abbass Mosque. He joined Victoria College, then left it to pursue his primary education at home by Egyptian teachers including Sheik Muhammad Al-Kadari and Ahmad Amin. He spent a few months in Jesuit school, then he completed his study at home until he wrapped up his education in public schools (Al-Sayda, and Abasia in Cairo).

Raad bin Zeid, current head of the Royal family of Irak. Educated at Victoria College, Alexandria, BA Christ College Cambridge University 1960.


articles posted on egy.com 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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