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The fascination of old Cairo.

The Kursal Theatre in Cairo seems to have been a centre for social life for soldiers during and after the First World War.

But do any old sweats remember it from the Second World War?

A Kursal programme from August 21, 1919, was found by the Examiner's Deputy Features Editor Val Javin among old family documents and memorabilia.

"I think it must have belonged to my grandfather, Louis Longden of Honley," she says. "He served in Egypt in the First World War."

That night's show featured comedians, dancers, two plays , an elocutionist and a "humanette", whatever that might mean.

But what was more fascinating than the entertainment were the advertisements for everything from tram timetables to the pyramids, Lipton's Tea Garden in Rue Emad-el-Dine, horse racing in Alexandria and Luna Park at Heliopolis - "the only amusement park in Egypt".

Morums appears to have been a well known store with branches in Cairo, Alexandria , Tanta, Mansura, Jaffa and Jerusalem and they offered special rates to servicemen.

"You're all looking forward to getting home and climbing out of khaki. That means you'll need to mobilise a civvy suit," their advert runs.

"We have set aside a special line of civvy suits of British manufacture for home wear for those anxious to provide against the enormous prices now prevailing in the old country."

I wonder how many took Morums up on their offer?

And I wonder if they - and the Kursal Theatre - were still in business during the 1939-1945 war?
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Title Annotation:Features
Publication:Huddersfield Daily Examiner (Huddersfield, England)
Geographic Code:7EGYP
Date:Jun 18, 2005
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