Alexandria’s Greek Graves Are Eternal Monuments to the Diaspora

The Greek people who lived in Alexandria, Egypt were buried in a cemetery located in nearby El Shatby. Their splendid gravestones, many of them remarkable works of art in themselves, act as monuments to the Greek diaspora.

Many Greeks fled or moved to Alexandria in the nineteenth and early twentieth centuries. Some came to escape wars and poverty; others moved in the hopes of beginning new, more prosperous lives.

According to the magazine Egypt Today, the cemetery of the Greek community in Alexandria is on a large piece of land given to the Greek community by Muhammad Ali Pasha. Several of the graves are decorated with statues and elaborate sculptures.

The businessman George Averof was buried in the first tomb, which is now actually empty as his remains were transferred to a cemetery in Athens. Averof spent a great deal of his fortune on philanthropic work in Greece and Egypt.

Averof was the founder of the Athens Military School and the Athens Conservatory and was co-founder of the National Technical University of Athens.

The famous Greek poet Konstantinos Petrou Kavafis, one of the greatest poets of modern Greece, is buried in his family’s tomb.

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

The Greek cemetery is also the burial place of the most prominent individuals of Greek society in Alexandria, such as Dr. Anastasi, and the Salvagon, Zerfozaki, Kazoli, Rali, Ridoknakki and Kaszali families, among others.

Sadly, the cemetery also has tombs containing the remains of about one hundred Greek Air Force soldiers who died in the Middle East during World War II.