Alexandrian family portrait

Bilboul family photo, Alexandria, 1915 • Sephardi Voices

This treasure is Roger Bilboul’s photograph of his father in Alexandria, Egypt in 1915. Roger and his family left Egypt after the Suez Crisis.

“You have my father on the left. He must have been fifteen, so it must have been 1915, his sister; his father sitting, and another sister. And again, taken in Alexandria in a studio.”

The image comes from Sephardi Voices UK, an oral history video-based archive documenting stories of childhood, displacement, migration, exile, and resettlement from Sephardi and Mizrahi Jews. Sephardi Jews left Spain after the Reconquest and Inquisition. Mizrahi Jews are the descendants of the local Jewish communities that existed in the Middle East and North Africa from biblical times into the modern era. The archive is based on lengthy video interviews and also includes interviewees photos, documents and artefacts. It brings to life vibrant Jewish communities left behind, the journeys of migration and the rich culture and tradition of Sephardi/Mizrahi Jews. You can visit the site here:

We love this image for many reasons including the way you can see fashions changing over and within generations.


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Hidden Treasures: Celebrating the documents, photos and artefacts in British archives that tell the story of Jews in Britain