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Open Seminar: Cotton production in Ottoman Egypt and the role of Greek entrepreneurs
Open Seminar: Cotton production in Ottoman Egypt and the role of Greek entrepreneurs
15.09.2016 19.00 h
Greek Centre Melbourne (Mezzanine) - Melbourne


Where: Greek Centre, Mezzanine, 168 Lonsdale Street, Melbourne
Dr Nick Dallas
Entry: FREE


Cotton may appear as an unassuming commodity but it was the commodity that drove the Industrial Revolution. In the 19th century Ottoman Egypt aligned its modernization drive with the expansion of cotton cultivation.

Greek entrepreneurs played key roles in every stage of the cotton process; many made fabulous fortunes while others were pioneer innovators.

However the protagonist in all these developments was Muhammad Ali, the Kavala-born Ottoman ruler of Egypt in the first half of the 19th century. Cotton was the cash crop he targeted to raise funds to finance his imperial ambitions and to transform Egyptian economy and society. Muhammad Ali actively encouraged Greeks and other foreigners to settle in Egypt aware of their business acumen and commercial prowess.

Well known Egyptian Greek families like Tositsas, Averoff, Benaki, Choremi, Cassavetes, Kartalis, Zervoudakis, Salvagos and many others benefited immensely from their involvement in Egypt’s cotton industry. Most of them also become important benefactors donating large amounts for the building of schools, academies, hospitals and institutions in both Egypt and Greece. Others like Sakellarides, Papaheimonas, Psihas and the Voltos brothers were pioneers in developing improved cotton seed varieties.


Nick Dallas has a multi-discipline background which spans across chemistry, political science and economics. His numerous academic interests include economic history, globalization issues and climate science.
Presently he is the national sales manager for Professional and Vocational Education at McGraw-Hill Australia, a global learning science company.
He has been on the GOCMV’s Board of Management since 2012 and takes an active interest in all of the Community’s education initiatives.


We'd like to thank the following donors: EEAMA (League of Greeks from Egypt and the Middle East).

During the course of the year considerable expenses are incurred in staging the seminars. In order to mitigate these costs individuals or organisations are invited to donate against a lecture of their choice.  

You too can donate for one or more seminars and (optionally) let your name or brand be known as a patron of culture to our members, visitors and followers, as well as the broader artistic and cultural community of Melbourne.
Please email: This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it or call 03 9662 2722.

We also thank the following corporate sponsors:

2016 seminar sponsors


Greek Centre Melbourne (Mezzanine)   -   Website
168 Lonsdale Street
Country: au

The Mezzanine floor (press "M" in the elevator) of Greek Centre Melbourne - located at the corner of Lonsdale and Russell streets in Melbourne, Australia.