Saturday, April 4, 2009

NZ's lost city in Egypt

Interesting article today from the NZ Herald on Maadi Camp near Cairo, constructed for Kiwi troops during the Second World War.
"All that remains of a city of 76,000 New Zealanders in the Egyptian desert are two small metal plaques.

Tents and huts which World War II soldiers called home have been swallowed by the megacity of Cairo. A larger monument to the men and women who lived and trained at Maadi Camp beside the River Nile was removed when Egypt seized control of the Suez Canal and rubbed out all signs of a colonial presence.

Two years ago, author Alex Hedley started his search for New Zealand's far-off staging post. He discovered the history of a town that no longer exists but which 60 years ago had bars, shops, pie and icecream factories, dining halls, cinemas, chapels, clinics, libraries and a swimming pool built by General Bernard "Tiny" Freyberg for soldiers under his command.

"You couldn't imagine a more different place to go," says Hedley. "We are talking about young New Zealand men who had never been overseas finding themselves in a culturally alien landscape. They were in an Arab world, an Islamic world - it was a long way from their home town."

More at the link.

1 comment:

  1. Loved reading this article, looking forward to the rest :)