History of the Jews in Egypt

Egyptian Jews constitute both one of the oldest and youngest Jewish communities in the world. While no exact census exists, the Jewish population of Egypt was estimated at fewer than a hundred in 2004, down from between 75,000 and 80,000 in 1922. The historic core of the indigenous community consisted mainly of Arabic-speaking Rabbanites and Karaites. After their expulsion from Spain, more Sephardi and Karaite Jews began to emigrate to Egypt, and their numbers increased significantly with the growth of trading prospects after the opening of the Suez Canal, to constitute the commercial and cultural elite of the modern community. The Ashkenazi community, mainly confined to Cairo's Darb al-Barabira quarter, began to arrive in the aftermath of the waves of pogroms that hit Europe in the latter part of the 19th century.


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