District 2450
Introduction to Philately in Egypt
Egyptian Postal history
Egypt at the geographic conjunction of East and West and combining the exoticism of the one and the sophistication of the other stands at the heart of the Middle East and is in many ways the most important country on the African continent.

The ancient land has always held an almost mystical fascination for the outside world. One reason for that fascination is how in a manner unique to its particular conditions. The history and tradition of millennia are preserved and remain visible both in the land and its people. The culture of the West has been shaped to a large degree by Egypt: not without good reason is the land of the pharaohs referred to as the cradle of civilization.

One must travel back in time some fifty centuries to span the history of the land of the Nile which encompasses the rise of settled peoples, the splendours of the pharaohs the earliest achievements of Christianity and the glories of Islam. Something of the glamour and mystery of Egypt pervades even its postal history and postage stamps.

This study illustrates the development of Egyptian postal history spanning the various historical periods up to the beginning of the twentieth century and depicts the changing patterns of Egypt's postal character. It covers the majority of Egyptian philatelie elements whose designs remained traditional throughout the periods in question.

This cover from Venice, addressed to: Spectabilj et Egregion viro domino, Blasio Dolphino honorando Ventorum, Consul Alesandrie vel frater carissimo " The Venician Consul of Alexndira" where it was received on October 11, 1419. ex. Gilbert.

The postal history of Egypt is long and complex, like its general history, and it impinges on the postal history of a large number of other countries owing to geographical location at a nexus of world trade routes. In the nineteenth century, six different countries (Austria, France, Great Britain, Greece, Italy, and Russia) operated extra-territorial post offices in Egypt, while at the same time Egypt had its own post offices in the Ottoman Empire at places that today are in nine different countries (Eritrea, Greece, Israel, Lebanon, Saudi Arabia, Somalia, Sudan, Syria, and Turkey).

Egypt had the first handstamped postal markings of Africa and was the first non-colonial African country to issue stamps as well as the first to print its own stamps. It was a pioneer in the issue of stamp booklets, the use of air mail, and the use of photogravure for stamp production.

The military postal history of Egypt is especially involved starting with the Napoleonic occupation and followed by the British campaigns on Egyptian soil in 1882 and 1884-1885. The last is notable for including Canadian, Indian, and New South Wales contingents, with interesting but very rare philatelic consequences. The two World Wars involved Egypt intensively and the presence of troops of many different countries, many of which had their own army postal services, produced exceptionally complex military postal history. In more recent times, wars with Israel over Palestine, the defense of the Suez Canal, military involvement in Yemen, and participation in the United Nations peace-keeping forces have produced many facets to the subject.

It is fair to say that the philately of Egypt is among the richest of all the world's countries. This gives it great fascination for those collectors who are not daunted by it; most collectors, however, devote their attentions to manageable sections, such as a period or reign, an issue are subject such as air mails or military posts.

Only 8 letters recorded with Bonapart's signature in Egypt.
This letter signed by Napoleon Bonaparat General en Chef at the Heaquarters in Cairo on 18.6.1799, the 30th prairal year 7, to General Administrator Pousseilgue asking him to put aside the 20 best pelts from Emir Hadj and give instead 4 ordinary ones to Subgeneral Reynier to clothe the Sheikhs of Scharkie, Napoleon made his triumphal re-entry into Cairo on June 14th and defeted the Turks at Abou Kir on July 25th the same year 1799.

Rotary Club of Geziret El Roda is willing to help, encourage and promote the Egyptian Philately among Rotarians and others
© Copyright Samir Amin Fikry