The presence of Armenians in Egypt predates the Armenian genocide of 1915. For centuries, Egyptians of Armenian descent lived and flourished in the land of the Pyramids. 

During the Fatimid Caliphate in the 10th century, powerful Armenian statesmen lead armies and pulled the country out of chaos. Their contribution in reconstructing the gates and walls of old Cairo can be seen to this today. 

Here are some notable Egyptian Armenian personalities from the last two centuries that are both remarkable and admirable.

1. Nubar Pasha, the first-ever Egyptian Prime Minister

Nubar Pasha Nubarian was a prominent Egyptian-Armenian politician. He served as Prime Minister of Egypt three times during his career, in 1878, 1884 and 1894. 

2. Alexander Saroukhan, cartoonist

Alexander Saroukhan was a famous Armenian-Egyptian cartoonist and caricaturist, and was considered one of the best in the Arab world. 

Saroukhan was widely renowned for his anti-imperialist and anti-fascist vibrant drawings, which appeared in numerous Arabic and international newspapers and magazines.  

3. Fayrouz, Egyptian child actress

Perouz Artin Kalfayan was a famous Egyptian child actress, better known by her stage name Fayrouz. 

She was born in 1943 in Cairo to parents of Armenian descent. She began acting when she was just 7 years old, starring in more than 10 Egyptian films as an actress, singer, dancer and entertainer. 

Fayrouz, or the miracle-child as we like to call her in Egypt, died in 2016 in Cairo at 72 years of age. 

4. Nelly, actress and singer

Nelly Artin Kalfayan was born in 1949 in Cairo. She was an actress, singer, comedian, dancer, and entertainer. 

Nelly's family migrated to Egypt from Aleppo, Syria. She was the younger sister of Fayrouz. 

Nelly is best known in Egypt and throughout the Arab World for her "Fawazir Ramadan", or Ramadan puzzles - a set of TV comedy shows with numerous songs and dance routines. Over time, Nelly's Fawazir became a staple of Ramadan nights, particularly for those born in the 80s and 90s. 

5. Lebleba, actress, comedian and singer

Ninochka Manoug Kupelian, better known by her stage name Lebleba, was born in 1942 in Cairo.

Lebleba is a film actress, comedian, dancer and singer. She is the cousin of Egyptian Armenian actresses Fayrouz and Nelly. 

Lebleba started acting as a child, going on to star in more than 65 Egyptian movies. 

6. Anoushka, singer and actress

Kartanios Garbis Slim, better known by her stage name Anoushka, is a singer and actress. She was born in Cairo in 1960 to an Egyptian father and an Armenian mother.  

Want to know more?

Released at the end of 2016, this documentary by Waheed Sobhy, Eva Dadrian and Hanan Ezzat narrates life stories of prominent Armenian figures in Egypt’s modern history. 

In the documentary, you hear about Yacoub Arteen, known as “the Great Teacher” due to his reforms to Egypt’s educational system. The documentary also mentions Boghos Bey Yusufian, one of the leading statesmen of Egypt in the early 19th century.