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Shepheard's Hotel


British gathering place in Cairo from 1841 to 1952.

In 1841 a British farmer's son named Samuel Shep-heard built Shepheard's Hotel in Cairo. As Britain became more involved with the finances of khedival Egypt and especially after the establishment of an informal British protectorate in 1882, Shepheard's became the center of British social life in Cairo. Renovated in 1891, 1899, 1904, 1909, and 1927, the hotel was famous for its opulence.

British officers and administrators often retired to the bar at Shepheard's at the end of the day, and the Moorish Hall attracted tourists from Europe and America. After World War II, the relationship between Britain and Egypt deteriorated and, on Saturday, 26 January 1952, riots erupted in Cairo, which led to the destruction of numerous British and foreign establishments. Singled out by the crowd for particular attention was Shepheard's Hotel. The hotel was destroyed in an explosion, and although rebuilt on another site in 1957, it never regained its former stature.


Hopwood, Derek. Egypt: Politics and Society, 19451990, 3d edition. London and New York: Routledge, 1987.

zachary karabell

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