The Armenian Community in Egypt

Magdi Guirguis

in An Armenian Artist in Ottoman Cairo

Published by American University in Cairo Press

Published in print April 2008 | ISBN: 9789774161520
Published online January 2012 | e-ISBN: 9781617971013 | DOI:
The Armenian Community in Egypt

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This chapter explores the local context of the Armenian community in Egypt in relation to Armenian communities elsewhere in the Ottoman Empire. The Armenian community in Egypt enjoyed considerable autonomy in managing its own affairs, independent of the Armenian Church. Contrary to common assumptions, the Armenian patriarch in Istanbul, who was nominally in charge of all Orthodox churches within the Ottoman Empire, does not seem to have had any significant influence over the Armenian community in Egypt. In addition to its relative autonomy from the Armenian Church, the Armenian Egyptian community was well integrated with Egyptian Copts in both religious and social affairs. Thus, for example, despite the clear iconoclastic stance of the Armenian Church, Armenians did paint icons in Egypt—albeit only for Coptic churches. The Armenian community in Aleppo, on the other hand, did not engage in icon-painting; they specialized in other crafts such as sculpture and frescoes.

Keywords: Armenian community; Ottoman Empire; Armenian Church; Armenian patriarch; Egyptian Copts

Chapter.  4539 words. 

Subjects: Society and Culture

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