Joachim Martillo on Tue, 4 May 1999 23:16:04 +0200 (CEST)

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<nettime> Fwd: [EN] The Egyptian community in Kosvo!


Date: Tue, 4 May 1999 11:29:26 EDT
Subject: Fwd: [EN] The Egyptian community in Kosvo!

Date: Mon, 03 May 1999 21:09:51 -0000
Subject: [EN] The Egyptian community in Kosvo!

once upon a time in ... there was an Egyptian community!


SabaaH al-khayr ya 'akh Ahmed,

I guess you are referring to the interview conducted by KHOU News
Military Analyst, Dr. Ron Hatchett with Slobodan Milosevic. In which
the following two passages must have caught your attention:

# 1
"On one side, you have delegation of Serbia composed of everybody who
was living in Kosovo and who lives in Kosovo. Representatives of all
national communities. Serbs, Albanians, three Albanian parties were
represented in Serbian delegation. They are citizens of this country of
course and that's so normal. Serbs, Albanians, Turks, and Muslims,
Gypsy, *Egyptians*, (unintelligible), All seven of different national
communities were represented in the delegation."

# 2
"That is ancient Serbian territory with thousands of Serbian monasteries
and monuments and so on. But so a quarter million of Serbs, 200,000 of
Muslims, *150,000 of Egyptians*, about 50,000 of Turks."  Slobodan


First, we have to understand that "al-walaa" Slobodan Milosevic is
quoting  demographical statistics, eschewed to the lower scale, with
the intention to buttress Serbian propaganda. The actual number is
much higher than those quoted above. I am including the URL of the
interview for your edification and not as a promotion.

Having said that, now a brief account about the story behind this
surprising news - that of a forgotten Egyptian community in the

In the year 1821, the Ottoman provinces of the Balkan (including
Greece) were engulfed in an uprising. The Ottoman sulTaan solicited
help from MuHammad `Aliy Pasha who dispatched an Egyptian
expeditionary force under the command of his son Ibraahiym Pasha, with
the promise of Syria and the island of Crete as Pashaliyks under
MuHammad `Aliy's authority.

Under Ibraahiym's command, an Egyptian navy, composed of a squadron of
sixteen vessels, and an Army of 12,000 Egyptian (Fallahiyn) soldiers,
mainly conscripted from the 'Ariyaaf, subdued Morea in Greece and then
conquered the island of Crete in 1825.

This Egyptian military presence in the Balkans alarmed the great
powers, who decided to intervene to put an end to MuHammad `Aliy's
rising power.  In 1827, the combined fleets of France, Britain and
Russia destroyed the Turco-Egyptian Navy in the battle of Navarino.

Despite this set back, the Egyptian forces remained in the Balkans to
bolster the local chiefs of al-Ruwmaliyah, such as `Aliy pasha of
Yanina, against the Ottoman SulTann MaHmuwd of Turkey.  Many of the
Egyptian soldiers eventually settled in the area and intermarried with
the local Muslim inhabitants.

This is basically a cursory account regarding this forgotten Egyptian
Community in Kosovo. It is not surprising to spot these Egyptian
descendants among the refugees of the war in Kosovo. The men wear the
Egyptian white Taqiyah, the women the white "TarHah".

We can see them on the nightly news as the TV news cameras capture
their distinctive fallaHiy Egyptian faces, which stand out in the
crowd of refugees.

So, if you feel your heart throbbing at the sight of these fleeting
faces of despair, it is only normal.  As we say  _al-damm_  ya Hinn!  Think
of it one step further and try to help *All* refugees - in deed,  not
in word only.  You really don't know if one of them is directly
related to you six generation ago.

Allahu 'Akbar!

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