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AL MAHROUSSA

researched by Samir Raafat

When Tarek Makeen generously gave me these photo in 2008 I didn't know what to make of them. He found them among his father's effects. Makeen senior was a medical practitioner in Port Said a port city which lies at the northern entrance of the Suez Canal. The photos concerned some official departure or arrival ceremony for a high ranking British royal.

It needs no genius to figure out the vessel in question is the khedivial yacht al-Mahroussa and the time frame is during Khedive Abbas Hilmi's reign (1892-1914). In view of the tell-tale uniforms it was probably during the latter part of his reign.

Mahroussa
Al Mahroussa either arriving or laying anchor in Port Said. Two small rowing boats with guards observe the royal vessel at a distance.

Mahroussa
Al Mahroussa getting ready for an upcoming voyage with a variety of Sudanese, Egyptian and British soldiers/officers standing guard.

Mahroussa
In above and below photos we note that next to al-Marhoussa is a VIP enclosure full of officials in military and civilian costume. There is a raised covered platform for the more important officials in full regalia. Beyond the platform is a wooden fence with curious onlookers. A tarbooshed Egyptian official stands on a chair as though making a speech welcoming Khedive Abbas Hilmi. In the photo below the monarch is saluting, most probably while a national anthem is being played by a nearby military band.

Mahroussa

Mahroussa
Al Mahroussa seen at a distance with buntings flying high. Fronting it is another yacht with flying buntings. Seen on mainland are warehouses and cranes underlying the importance of this seaport.

Mahroussa
Guard of honor made up of Egypto-Sudanese troops reviewed by high ranking British official in the company of the khedive, hence the alternating British and Egyptian flags. Warehouse No. 3 seen in backgound.

Mahroussa
Large vehicle waiting for its illustrious passenger. Next to it stands what looks like a tractor. Locals looking on eagerly at a small distance. Above the port authority building are two European-clad couples observing the event.

Mahroussa

Mahroussa
Al Mahroussa departs with the 21-gun salute ceremonial canons still in place. Flying buntings suggest the VIP is Egypt's khedive or an equally important royal guest.


articles posted on egy.com were published in the following books by Samir W Raafat: THE EGYPTIAN BOURSE, Zeitouna, Cairo -- CAIRO THE GLORY YEARS, Harpocrates, Alexandria -- HISTORY & SOCIETY IN A CAIRO SUBURB; MAADI 1904-1962, Palm Press, Cairo -- PRIVILEGED FOR THREE CENTURIES, printed digitally and bound by Elias Printing, Egypt

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