Fig. 138. Mohamed Aly first Palace
The re-builder of modern Alexandria, was not an Egyptian, but a Turkish-Albanian, born in Kavala of Macedonia in northern Greece. Before Alexandria, Mohamed Aly was initially the ruler of Kavala’s province. His birth house, palace (Imaret) as well as the rest of Kavala’s Ottoman town is still well preserved (Fig. 140-143). As Alexander the Great, he travelled from Greece to Egypt and he converted the small village of Iskandarieh (Ottoman Alexandria) to a great metropolis, recovering its cosmopolitan character and role as major harbor in the Mediterranean. Nonetheless, he succeeded with the assistance of his friends, most of them Greeks, such as G. Averof (Fig, 144) and E. Tossitsas (Fig. 145), who also contributed considerably in the commercial, agricultural and commercial revival of Alexandria. This was the beginning of the cosmopolitan period for Alexandria, which reached its climax in the second half of the 19th century, until the revolution of 1952. This period is also called period of the “rebirth”, since Alexandria became once more a major international harbor, with a multiethnic society.