Boghos Nubar

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Founder of the Armenian General Benevolent Union (AGBU)


At the start of the twentieth century the Egyptian Armenians found a new leader, Boghos Nubar, the son of Nubar Pasha (a prime minister of Egypt). Boghos had studied agriculture and engineering in Switzerland and France. Upon his return, he had served as the director of the Egyptian railways and had supervised the irrigation plan for the Sudan. He had become a banker and corporate officer in a number of companies and, like his father, was granted the title of pasha. The massacres of the Armenians in 1895-1896 in Turkey and especially the Armeno-Azeri clashes in Transcaucasia, beginning in 1905, had a sobering effect on the Armenian middle class of Egypt. Liberals and disenchanted socialists felt that there was a need for a world-wide Armenian philanthropic organization. On Easter day (April 15), 1906, ten Armenian professionals met at Boghos Nubar's mansion in Cairo and drafted the by-laws of the Armenian General Benevolent Union (AGBU).