The life of European immigrant communities: Egypt and Tunisia
Before the establishment of French and British protectorates over Tunisia and Egypt respectively, some European countries had negotiated with the local governments the right to run their own state institutions, such as schools and hospitals. Many of these institutions survived even under the protectorates. In part, thus, immigrants associated with their compatriots in the context of institutions that were extensions of their home countries.
At the same time, immigrants generated a variety of organisations that developed from the bottom up, such as workers’ friendly societies, trade unions or cultural associations. Moreover, immigrants also gave life to a vibrant press, enriching the cultural life of Tunisia and Egypt. Religious institutions and organisations also contributed in shaping the collective life of immigrants.
The Court Martial at the Palace of Justice
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The military court set up by British authorities in Alexandria (Egypt) in 1882
Vallicelliana Library, Rome, Italy
Following anti-foreigner rioting, the British fleet bombed Alexandria on 11 July 1882, and two days later British troops occupied the city. Fearing for the security of the Suez Canal, the British government sent 30,000 soldiers and 40 warships to Egypt. Although formally independent, Egypt effectively became a British protectorate.