involved the internal and external transport of different products and commodities”.38The port continued its role to the late Roman period and early Arab period until the arrival of the Turkish when, and for defense reasons, hundreds of granite columns for all over the city were thrown away into the port to block the Turkish ships. This did not prevent the Turkish from occupying the city but led to the total abandon of real naval movements into the port. The town lost its importance and the main port of Egypt moved to Rosetta and Damietta. In the 19th century and early 20th century we have evidence of the usage of the port for small ships until the British arrival. New organization of the port was created and plans for renovating the ancient port of Dekhila were made. The port of Alexandria was renovated west of the city and today it is again the major port of Egypt on the Mediterranean.
ALEXANDRIA: BEACON OF UNIVERSAL KNOWLEDGE
THE LIBRARY AND MUSEUM (Figs. 46-49) There is no doubt that the greatest intellectual achievement of Hellenistic Alexandria and her Hellenistic Kings was the Great Library and the Museum. These two pioneering institutions, related to each other, were founded during the reign of the first Hellenistic ruler of Egypt, Ptolemy Soter, and met great flourishing as the most important research center as well as the largest repository of world’s culture.
Indeed humanity owes a lot to the first Ptolemies, since the Library and the
Museum is considered as the predecessor of today’s libraries and universities, not only in terms of activities within a research institution, but also in terms of general objectives and ethics. The Library and the Museum were the first institutions to deal with knowledge and understanding the “other” from a universal point of view. At the same time their role (usage) was not limited to a specific group of people, but was involved to all spheres of life. The Alexandrian library became the hub of such universal knowledge, introducing its products to a much wider cycle of people and in this way brought in contact different worlds, such as Jewish traditions with classics, Egyptian religion and sciences with Greek philosophy etc.
Khalil, 2011, 33-48.