Representative of the Abkhaz-Abaza Diaspora of Egypt, Raouf Abaza (Maan), told the WAC web information portal about the characteristics and life of the Abaza family, which is the Egyptian Diaspora of the Abkhaz and the Abaza.

The Abkhaz-Abaza Diaspora in Egypt is a large, strong and interconnected family, said one of the most prominent representatives of the Abkhaz-Abaza Diaspora of Egypt, Raouf Abaza (Maan), consultant for public relations at Ain-Shams University to the WAC web information portal. It should be recalled that all ethnic Abkhaz and Abaza of Egypt belong to the same Abaza genus and officially bear the surname Abaza.  Some families have retained their historical surnames, and some have not.

Population, domicile and religion

According to Raouf Abaza (Maan), the exact number of representatives of the Abkhaz-Abaza  Diaspora in Egypt is difficult to determine, however, according to some information, more than a thousand descendants of Abkhaz and Abaza live in the country today.

“Most of us are concentrated in three major provinces of Egypt: in Ash-Sharqiyah, in Cairo and in Alexandria,” said Abaza (Maan).

He said that all members of the Abaza genus in Egypt are Muslims.

Abaza in politics and in state bodies

At different times, many members of the Abaza genus were members of the Egyptian Parliament, municipal councils, various authorities and state administrations.

 “Currently there are three deputies of the National Assembly (the lower house of the Egyptian Parliament, which today consists of 518 representatives - ed.) by the name of Abaza: Hani Deri Abaza, Ahmed Fuad Abaza and Vadji Hussain Abaza,” said Raouf Abaza (Maan).

From among the Abkhaz-Abaza Diaspora, starting in 1882, many ministers came out.

“For example, Suleiman Hasan Pasha Abaza was the Minister of Public Knowledge.  Desuki Ibrahim Al-Sid Pasha Abaz’s career began with his appointment as Minister of Public Affairs, then Minister of Transport, then he headed the Ministry of Donations until 1947, until he finally became Minister of Foreign Affairs of Egypt.  Maher Bek Abaza headed the Ministry of Electric Power Industry for over 20 years, and Amin Ahmed Abaza served as Minister of Agriculture until 2011,” Raouf Abaza (Maan) listed some famous government officials and their achievements.

Holders of honors

The Abaza family is one of the Egyptian families, whose members still carry the honorary title of Pasha (the titles of Pasha and Bek were previously given to the Egyptian families by the kings of Egypt - ed.).  This rank is endowed with nine members of the Abaz family (Al-Sid Pasha Abaza, Suleiman Pasha Abaza, Ahmed Pasha Abaza, Ismail Pasha Abaza, Mohamed Pasha Abaza, Abd-Aziz Pasha Abaza, Fuad Pasha Abaza, Desuki Pasha Abazaza, Azahaza Azaza, Azad Paz Abaza, Azad Paz Abaza, Azahaza - ed.).

According to Raouf Abaz (Maan), many members of the Abaza genus still hold important positions in Egypt.  He noted that among the members of the Diaspora there are many well-known doctors, engineers, accountants, consultants, members of the judiciary, interior officers and the armed forces.  Abaza work in the largest commercial banks in Egypt, in oil and telecommunications companies throughout Egypt.

Problems and keys to resolve them

Raouf Abaza (Maan) noted that, unfortunately, among the representatives of the Abaza genus there are no people who know the Abkhaz or Abaza languages.  Another problem, in his opinion, is that most families do not have any information about Abkhazia.  He suggested that the activities of the WAC will contribute to solving these problems.

“You (WAC - ed.) have a big responsibility for conducting information campaigns, reciprocal visits between Abkhaz-Abaza youth and Abaza youth of Egypt, so that everyone, after returning to their small family after “tours of culture and tourism”, could tell  to everyone about their experiences and observations,” said Raouf Abaza (Maan).

He concluded that with the help of such communication and “mutual visits” every representative of the Abkhaz-Abaza Diaspora can become a “traveling ambassador among the members of the Abaza family around the world”.

In April of this year, the delegation of the World Abaza Congress was on a working visit to Egypt. During its stay there it was possible to hold a number of important meetings, as well as agree on cooperation and establishment of friendly relations with many representatives of the Abaza genus in Egypt.