The Plague

Military hospital in Alexandria from World War 1.

Reports of a plague should be announced far and wide, so why is it that the Egyptian Gazette practically buried this news in the middle of the page?

On August 23, 1905, the Egyptian Gazette reported the new of a plague hitting citizens of Alexandria. Sounds like big news right? In present time, news of a local plague would cover the headlines. One would think it would as well in 1905; however, the Gazette reported the plague in the middle of page 3, between a headline of stray dogs and the opening of a new school. Why did this news simply seem to just pass through the cracks of a newspaper and make it on the publication? Is it possible the newspaper didn’t want people to know about the plague? Was this type of affliction so common in 1905 that it didn’t even phase the subscribers? In either case, it seems to be a pretty harsh place to live in compared to modern standards. Either this newspaper overlooks the safety of its subscribers heavily, or a plague infection wasn’t even a big enough deal at the time to turn the heads of the common Egyptian. Its hard to believe a plague would go by so nonchalantly.

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Will Hanley
Associate Professor of History

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