Friday, June 16, 2017

Port Said, The Queen Victoria Monument

There's no way in hell that I'm going to try and make out what's on the back of this card, so I'm breaking protocol and posting it.  Besides, I like the Arabic lettering. .

This is the last of my Egyptian postcards, at least until I find some more. This one was published by Lichtenstern & Harari.  Joseph Max Lichtenstern was an Austrian photographer who moved from Vienna to Cairo in 1893.  Starting in 1899, he began publishing postcards of his photographs as The Cairo Postcard Trust.  Two years latter, in 1901, he partnered with David Harari.  They expanded into general publishing and also import and export.  In 1912, the partnership dissolved after Harari decided to move on.  The company was sold to Max Rudman. Lichtenstern stayed on in Cairo.  He returned to Austria for a vacation in 1914, was trapped in the country by World War 1, and served in the Austro-Hungarian Army for the duration.

Just a quick, and vastly simplified, historical note.  In the mid nineteenth century, Egypt was part of the Ottoman Empire.  After the construction of the Suez Canal, the British more or less manufactured an incident (And this is the simplified part.  There are a a lot of very good books out there for people who wish to follow up.  And no, Wikipedia isn't a good source.)  that allowed them to seize Egypt and control the canal.  When the Ottomans tried to take it back in World War 1, the British allied themselves with the Arab revolt. Lawrence of Arabia, anyone?  After the war, they betrayed their Arab allies by making a secret deal with the French, The Sykes Picot Agreement,  that divided Arab lands from the Mediterranean to modern day Iraq between them.  So no, Virginia, it's less about religion and more about the legacy of imperialism.  The gift that keeps on giving.

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