In-Between Categories: Documenting Greek Children’s Legal Belonging in the Suez Canal Region


  • Eftychia Mylona Author



Greeks, Suez Canal, citizenship, stateless, labor


This paper looks at the complex manner in which children were documented in Ottoman Egypt and their access to citizenship later in postcolonial Egypt. It discusses the making of social and political categories, like citizenship and statelessness, and how Greeks moved through those categories. This paper also analyzes how these categories were imposed, first by the Ottoman Empire and then by the Egyptian nation-state. The end of the Ottoman Empire in 1922, and the declaration of the Egyptian Republic in 1953, the Suez Crisis in 1956, the Arab-Israeli Wars in 1967 and 1973, and the new labor laws of the 1950s and 1960s, among other events, impacted Greeks and others who lived in Egypt at that time. The impact among Greeks in Suez Canal cities was particularly evident in the community’s cohesion, as most evacuated the cities in 1967 with almost everyone else following in 1973. These economic and political factors, and the social processes the community underwent, defined Greek children’s relation with the Egyptian postcolonial state.

Author Biography

  • Eftychia Mylona

    Eftychia Mylona, a social historian of modern Egypt, is a lecturer in the Bachelor Program of International Studies (BAIS) at Leiden University. Her research and teaching interests include the contemporary history of Egypt and Greece; the political economy of the Eastern Mediterranean and the Middle East; Middle East diasporas; and how diasporic communities explore and negotiate their presence, identity, and feelings of belonging in mind and practice.


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