Al Jazeera World

Egypt: The Other Homeland

Revealing a bygone era, we tell the story of Egypt’s once-thriving Greek community.

Greeks and Egyptians are connected by ancient history. Both peoples are descendants of two of the world’s oldest known civilisations.

I feel lucky. Everyone has a homeland. But we, the Greeks of Egypt, have two homelands. Sometimes I am asked: 'How did you feel in Egypt?' I felt at home. I was never a stranger.

by Popi Deligiorgi

At the start of the 20th century there were about 200,000 Greeks in Egypt. Today, the Greek community there has approximately 1,000 members.

It was a community that once controlled 80 percent of Egypt’s financial life, founded the first bank, established the country’s first theatres and cinemas, and produced the first wines and cigarettes.

But this thriving community departed with the rise to power of Gamal Abdel Nasser and pan-Arab nationalism.

This film follows several Greek citizens who undertake a return visit to Egypt, the land where they were born and raised.

They visit their old homes and neighbourhoods as well as former family businesses, and they search for the Egyptian friends they left behind.