Jonathan Friedlander

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Jonathan Friedlander is a historian, author and photographer, as well as an avid collector of Middle Eastern Americana. Formerly assistant director of the Center for Near Eastern Studies at the University of California, Los Angeles, he works with the Department of Special Collections at the university’s Young Research Library. His collection can be accessed at www.oac.cdlib.org.

Articles by Jonathan Friedlander

Greetings from Cairo, USA

Greetings from Cairo, USA

Westward expansion of the United States in the 19th century coincided with the popularity of all things Egyptian. Beginning in 1808 some 25 villages, towns and cities throughout the country were named Cairo. Of them, Cairo, Illinois, became the largest, although today it is Cairo, Georgia, whose nearly 10,000 residents gives it that title. Five of the “American Cairos” produced picture postcards, mostly during the early 20th century: These included both Cairo, Illinois and Georgia, as well as the Cairos of West Virginia, New York and Nebraska. Today these postcards record what these communities—distinct in geography, economy and history but united by a name—regarded as points of pride.

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