The purpose of this study is to examine the socioeconomic role played by the local foreign minorities in modern Egypt. Who were these local foreign minorities? And what do we mean by their socioeconomic role?
Local foreign minorities were those foreigners like the Greeks, the Armenians, the Italians, and other Europeans, who emigrated to Egypt during the nineteenth and early twentieth centuries and who kept their language and culture and did not get assimilated into Egyptian society. Other local foreign minorities included the Syrians and the Jews. The former were originally Arabic speaking but a large proportion of them tended later to acquire foreign nationalities and a Levantine outlook. A great number of Jews in Egypt were foreign emigrants who settled during the nineteenth century and early twentieth century in Egypt, whereas a section of the indigenous Jewish population acquired foreign protection and foreign nationalities during the same periods.