The fortunes of the Egyptian Greek community need to be seen in their political context. During the first half of the nineteenth century Egypt had maintained a resolutely independent policy but by the 1870s its freedom of action was increasingly curbed by debt problems and growing Western influence. Following the ‘Urabi Revolt and the perceived threat to the interests of European bondholders, British forces occupied Egypt in 1882 and administered it under a succession of legal regimes, first as part of the Ottoman Empire and then as a formal British protectorate, until it was granted self-government in 1922. However, the British government reserved important formal powers for itself, among them the protection of foreign minorities living in Egypt, and continued to exercise considerable informal influence. The 1936 Anglo-Egyptian Treaty signalled some political compromise: Britain secured its position in the country for 20 years while agreeing to support Egyptian nationalist demands for abolition of the Capitulations, the regime of legal and economic privileges that favoured foreign nationals, at the Conference of Montreux the following year. The last vestiges of a legal system associated with colonialism were swept away with the dissolution of the Mixed

Courts in 1949. While there are differing views on how complicit Egyptian Greeks were in the colonial order, whether by choice or circumstance, the fortunes of the community were undeniably affected by it.