Alexandria’s Greek Graves Form a Moving Monument to the Diaspora

 

The Greeks who lived in Alexandria, Egypt were buried in a cemetery located in nearby El Shatby, with their splendid graves acting as monuments to the diaspora.

Many Greeks fled or moved to Alexandria in the 19th and early 20th century. Some to escape wars and poverty; others moved to start new, prosperous lives.

According to Egypt today, the tombs of the Greek community in Alexandria were founded on a large piece of land given by Muhammad Ali Pasha. Several of them are decorated with statues and elaborate sculptures.

George Averof was buried in the first tomb, which is now empty as his remains were transferred to a cemetery in Athens. He spent a lot of his fortune on philanthropy work in Greece and Egypt. He is the founder of the Athens Military School, the Athens Conservatory and co-founder of the National Technical University of Athens.

There is also the family cemetery of the famous Greek poet Konstantinos Petrou Kavafis, one of the greatest poets of modern Greece.

Next to the Kavafis tomb is that of George Antoniadis, who donated his home and his garden of rare flowers and plants to the Alexandria governorate.

The cemetery is also the burial ground of the most prominent individuals of the Greek Society of Alexandria, such as Dr. Anastasi, Salvagon, Zerfozaki, Kazoli, Rali, Ridoknakki and Kaszali, among others. There are also tombs containing the remains of about 100  Greek air force soldiers who died in the Middle East during World War II.