Egyptians in Italy
|90,400 (ISTAT: 2011)|
|Regions with significant populations|
|Milan · Rome|
|Egyptian Arabic · Italian|
|Majority of Sunni Islam · Coptic Christianity|
There is a significant community of Egyptians in Italy. As of 2006[update], Egypt's Ministry of Manpower and Emigration estimated that there were 210,000 Egyptians in Italy, making up roughly 41% of the 510,000 Egyptians in Europe and nearly triple the size of the next-largest community, namely Egyptians in the United Kingdom. However, 2008 OECD data showed just 63,700 Egyptians in Italy.
As early as the 2nd century BC, there is strong evidence for an Egyptian presence in Italy, in various professions including bankers, surgeons, actors, musicians, fortune tellers, soldiers, slaves, and the like. In early modern times, after Napoleon's 1798-1801 Egypt Campaign, the degree of contact between Egypt and Europe began to increase again. In 1813, Egyptian leader Muhammad Ali sent an Egyptian mission to Italy to study printing arts.
However, the United Kingdom and France, rather than Italy, have been the preferred destinations for Egyptian expatriate academics and professionals; Italy, and especially Milan, tended to attract Egyptian businessmen and unskilled workers instead in the latter half of the 20th century. Even the exile to Italy of King Farouk of Egypt following the Egyptian Revolution of 1952 did not have much effect on Egyptian migration to Italy.
Many Egyptians are employed in food-related industries, and in Milan have come to dominate traditionally Italian trades such as pizza and other baked products. Other Egyptian businesses in Milan include coffee shops, restaurants, and halal butchers.
Egyptians in Italy are generally Muslim. Egyptian migrants increasingly prefer their children to maintain religious endogamy, especially in the case of their daughters. More than 27% of Egyptians however are Copic Christian, numbering 25,000 and are heavily concentrated in the Milan metropolitan area.
Notable Egyptians in Italy
- Magdi Allam (1952), journalist and politician
- Adel Smith (1960), founder of the Union of Italian Muslims
- Alessio Sakara (1981), mixed martial artist and boxer
- Stephan El Shaarawy (1992), footballer
- Meyboom, P. G. P. (1995), The Nile mosaic of Palestrina: early evidence of Egyptian religion in Italy, Religions in the Graeco-Roman world 121, Brill, ISBN 978-90-04-10137-1
- Stocchiero, Andrea (May 2004), Fostering Egyptian local development through diasporic networks in Italy, Policy Papers, Rome: The Integrated Migration Information System Project
- Zohry, Ayman (2009), The Migratory Patterns of Egyptians in Italy and France, Research Report 17, Euro-Mediterranean Consortium for Applied Research on International Migration