Ailsa's travel photo challenge: Parks

Ailsa proposes Parks this week.  See her great park story here:

Here’s mine:

In the heart of Alexandria in Egypt, there is a green square running down to the esplanade along the sea.  It’s called the Midan Orabi or Orabi Square, or Place Mohamed Ali.  At the end of the square is a neo-classical monument donated by the Italian community in 1938 and originally dedicated to Khedive Ismail (‘Khedive’ is a title, like Viceroy).  He had studied in Paris and held diplomatic missions in Europe before his appointment as viceroy of Egypt from 1863 – 1879 under the Ottoman suzerainty.  He incurred massive foreign debt, borrowing from European financiers, and this mismanagement led to British intervention and the occupation of Egypt in 1882.  If this hadn’t happened, I wouldn’t have this photo.

My father had this picture in his album of photos taken in 1941/42 when he was there as an Australian defending the British Empire.

Khedive Ismail being remembered for not much more than his hateful administration and the introduction of colonialism, the monument facing the Mediterranean sea, or more specifically, facing Europe, was recycled in 1966 into a monument to an ‘Unknown Naval Soldier’.

Modern photos show Orabi Square still with tall palm trees though at ground level it is now quite cluttered and busy, not neat and open as it was in the 1940s when the area was known as Place Mohamed Ali, or the French Gardens, and it looked like this:

French Gardens and Monument to Khedive Ismail, Alexandria, Egypt, 1940s

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