“Avoid Female Society”

August 7, 1905

The Egyptian Gazette includes a section called “CALENDAR OF THE WEEK” in every issue which lists the important events happening in Alexandria and its surrounding areas. This serves as a tool to keep its citizens up-to-date with what is happening in the town and advises them to go and participate in these events. Throughout the week of August 7 to August 12, 1905, the section lists plays, concerts, and other kinds of events for general entertainment. However, the issue for August 7, 1905 includes a peculiar calendar of events. For the areas of Coptic and Mohamedan, the calendar lists actions the people should take rather than events they should attend. What is even more interesting is the actions themselves. For Sunday, August 6th, it reads, “Avoid female society” and on Tuesday, August 8, it reads “Avoid eating onions and garlic”. The week gets even more interesting by following with “Drink cold water before breakfast” and “Great abundance of watermelons”. The calendar section leaves no explanation as to why these events have been posted. I am curious to know whether it was some kind of joke or if these events were meant to be taken seriously for some kind of reason.

Will Hanley
Will Hanley
Associate Professor of History

I study the legal history of the Middle East and teach at Florida State University.