Monday, October 1, 2012

More on the Armenians of Alexandria, Egypt

IN March of 2011, Marash Girl posted blogs on her 1960's trip to Egypt, (including Alexandria) where she met NO Armenians.  Kid from Alex was dismayed to find nothing about his community on her blog, as there is a large Armenian community in Alexandria, Egypt, he being a part of it. Therefore, he submitted a series of blogs (ALEXANDRIA, EGYPT, through the eyes of an Egyptian Armenian) beginning in March of 2011 on the life of Armenians in Alexandria, Egypt.  Following up on those posts, Kid from Alex herewith writes,
"Homenetmen Gamk of AlexandriaEgypt,  is celebrating its 100th Anniversary this year. The following is a brief history of its establishment."
1912-Gamk first committee members with athletes & football players (front row) during establishment period.  Front row sitting, 3rd person from right:  Ghevont Emmian.  Source: Gamk Archive.       Note:  Marash Girl's father Peter was born in Marash in 1912.
(from the the Gamk website )

During the period of 1910/1912, Boghossian Armenian School in Alexandria organized the first Sports Day in the Armenian community of Alexandria. The Sports Day was organized by Stepan Khandjian with the presence of Parsegh Ohanian. Even with such a pioneer activity, Boghossian ArmenianSchool was unable to provide the sufficient needed sports activities to the Armenian youth and community in Alexandria. The interest for sports activity was growing vastly and a yearly Sports Day was not sufficient
A patriotic Parsegh Ohanian who had a charismatic character and was popular figure in the Armenian community in Alexandria ,together with 28 young Armenians who had the same ideas and beliefs that an Armenian sports club has to be established, applied to the Armenian Patriarchate of Alexandria an agenda to establish an Armenian sports club. The Executive Council members of the Armenian Patriarchate of Alexandria collectively approved the idea and agenda ,and supported the Armenian youth by giving them the land next to the Armenian church.
After six months of persistent work ,the founding members established the club and had the first general meeting on the 1st of August 1912.
The first general meeting was under the auspices of Dr.Missak Jamgochian,who was the chairman of the Executive Council of the Armenian Patriarchate of Alexandria ,and by his recommendation the first Gamk club executive committee members were chosen to establish an agenda and membership applications.
First Gamk committee members were:
Berj Ohanian (chairman)
Parsegh Ohanian (sports Director)
MihranTelian (treasurer)
After considerable efforts by this young members, Gamk sports Club was inaugurated .The name " Gamk " which means " Will " in Armenian was recommended by Shavarsh Krisian, after witnessing the sacrifices and efforts of the founders. The first general members meeting was held later in 1912 with the participation of 50 young members , during this meeting Gamk's Policy, Procedure, and By-Law Manual was asserted.
On the 18th of May 1915 ,the dream came true and the Armenian Boy Scouts movement (hay hedazodichnerou engeragtzoutioun) was established.
Gamk has given Armenians living in Alexandria and Egypt a place to get together, create memories, and practice different kinds of sports, including basketball, soccer, tennis, boxing, cycling, ping-pong, swimming, gymnastics and track and field. Some of Gamk athletes played for the Egyptian national team in international competitions .It is important to note that Gamk individual sports athletes and team sports athletes, all participated in the Alexandria and Egyptian federation games for many years .In addition to the athletic nature of Gamk club, it is also important to note its Scouting activities assisting Armenian youth develop valor, pride and strong values.


  1. Many of us Egyptians wish that Alexandria returns to be a cosmopolitan city on the Mediterranean as it used to be until the sad departure of its foreign communities in the mid sixties.