American Cemetery, Old Cairo, Egypt

Old Cairo, Cairo Governorate, Egypt

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Description

The American Cemetery is located in Old Cairo at the end of a street of several other cemeteries: the meticulously maintained Commonwealth Cemetery, the German Cemetery, the Evangelical (Egyptian Presbyterian) Cemetery and finally, the American Cemetery immediately before the Abu Sefein Convent. It can be reached easily by metro (subway) going in the direction of Helwan and taking the El Malak El Saleh exit. If one walks out of the exit and heads to the right, one can walk past all of the cemeteries to reach it. The American Cemetery was established by the Egyptian Mission of the United Presbyterian Church of North America – usually referred to as the American Mission in Egypt – during the second half of the 19th Century. It was the pioneer educational missionary Andrew Watson (1860-1916) who petitioned his Highness Ishmael Pasha (Egypt’s ruler from 1863-1879) “begging him to give us a free grant of a piece of desert land in the region of Old Cairo . . . .” In Watson’s book “The American Mission in Egypt”, published in 1904, he wrote, “Many at the date of writing, have been buried in it, Americans, Germans, French missionaries, Egyptians, Armenians and others. In the center rest the ashes of Dr. and Mrs. Lansing, Mrs. John Giffen and other members of the mission families.” In the late 1960s, The American Cemetery, (as well as other American Mission properties) was turned over to the Evangelical Church of Egypt (Synod of the Nile), an autonomous Protestant church that started under the American Mission. The Synod maintains the cemetery today, which continues to be the final place of rest for many Americans (and persons of other nationalities) from all walks of life who pass away in Egypt and wish to be interred there. In May, 2011, a group of friends of the late Dr. Martha A. Roy (teacher, musician, ethnomusicologist) went to see her grave and were very disturbed at the condition of the cemetery. A committee was formed with the purpose of repairing broken grave stones, clearing away brush and undergrowth, taking pictures of all the graves in order to share these with interested family members, and making the American Cemetery the lovely resting place it should be to honor all who worked all their lives or many years of their lives for the good of Egypt: missionaries, researchers, artists and educators and others. A fund raising project has now been started to help the Synod of the Nile with repairs and upkeep of the cemetery and to document the graves and monuments. For more information about the American Cemetery in Old Cairo, please write to Jean Isteero (jeanwist1@yahoo.com, retired missionary teacher and wife of Rev. Dr. Albert Isteero, Past President of the Cairo Theological Seminary.
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American Cemetery, Old Cairo, Egypt, BillionGraves Cemetery 179296 Created By Will, Old Cairo, Cairo Governorate, Egypt