The Patriarchal See of Alexandria

Linked with Youssef Chahine alias yousef shaheen – Egypt (1926 – 2008).

Published on Melkite, the Greek Catholic Church, (reprinted from Sophia, Volume 31, Number 1, Jan.-Feb. 2001), by Fr. Peter Boutros, April 05, 2001.

… It all started in 1724, when the first Syrian and Palestinian immigrants went to Egypt to escape the persecution inflicted on them by the Greek Orthodox Patriarch Sylvester. In the seventeenth century the number of immigrants, reaching the friendly shores of Egypt, grew tremendously, and in 1838, Pope Gregory XVI gave Patriarch Maximos III Mazloom the title of “Patriarch of Antioch and All the East, of Alexandria and of Jerusalem”.

These immigrants were faced with either persecution or latinization to survive in their original countries. Their refusal to accept either of the choices offered to them is an indication of their strong belief, courage, and tenacity. Many families settled in the port of Damietta, Egypt’s main port at that time, and brought with them their trades and their artistic abilities. Some of the most noticeable trades were: merchants, goldsmiths, diamond-cutters, and tailors. Once settled, their friends and relatives joined them and in the following years many additional families followed their example. From that point on the Greek-Melkite Catholic Church started to expand and prosper in Egypt …

… The growth of the Melkite Church in Egypt produced some of the leaders of the Egyptian society in newspaper journalism, poetry, movies, and music:

  • Philip Takla (1849-1892) and Bishara Takla (1852-1901), the founders of “El-Ahram” the first and to this date a major newspaper.
  • George (Gorgy) Zedan (1861-1906) who founded “Dar El-Helal”.
  • The poets Adel El-Ghadban (1892-1972) and Khalil Moutran.
  • The famous journalist Khalil Sabat.
  • The movie producers Fatouh Nashaty, Yousef Maalouf, and the famous Henry Barakat (1914-1977), who left an awesome mark on the movie industry.
  • We find in the movie industry, Yousef Shaheen, Simone Saleh, and the movie industry historian, Farid El-Mazawi (1913-1988), and the movie critic, Marie Ghadban.
  • In the music industry we find, Fouad El-Zahery (1916-1988), and Angele Ratl, teacher at the Conservatory.
  • In the financial field, the name like Habib El-Sakakiny (Pacha) will never be forgotten. An entire city within the city of Daher was named after him as well as “Hakr El-Sakakiny” in Sharabieh. Another unforgettable name is “Sednawi”. Selim and Semaan Sednawi started with their first store in Cairo in 1896, to see it mushroom and booming to this date, unfortunately, under a different name.

… (full text).

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