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An Armenian Artist in Ottoman CairoYuhanna al-Armani and His Coptic Icons$
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Magdi Guirguis

Print publication date: 2008

Print ISBN-13: 9789774161520

Published to Cairo Scholarship Online: January 2012

DOI: 10.5743/cairo/9789774161520.001.0001

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The Armenian Community in Egypt

The Armenian Community in Egypt

(p.49) 4 The Armenian Community in Egypt
An Armenian Artist in Ottoman Cairo

Magdi Guirguis

American University in Cairo Press

This chapter explores the local context of the Armenian community in Egypt in relation to Armenian communities elsewhere in the Ottoman Empire. The Armenian community in Egypt enjoyed considerable autonomy in managing its own affairs, independent of the Armenian Church. Contrary to common assumptions, the Armenian patriarch in Istanbul, who was nominally in charge of all Orthodox churches within the Ottoman Empire, does not seem to have had any significant influence over the Armenian community in Egypt. In addition to its relative autonomy from the Armenian Church, the Armenian Egyptian community was well integrated with Egyptian Copts in both religious and social affairs. Thus, for example, despite the clear iconoclastic stance of the Armenian Church, Armenians did paint icons in Egypt—albeit only for Coptic churches. The Armenian community in Aleppo, on the other hand, did not engage in icon-painting; they specialized in other crafts such as sculpture and frescoes.

Keywords:   Armenian community, Ottoman Empire, Armenian Church, Armenian patriarch, Egyptian Copts

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