ANGELIKI PANAYIOTATOU: The greatest female figure of the 20thcentury in Hellenic Egypt.

By Emmanuel Thomaidis, SSHD intern

Angeliki Panayiotatou was born in 1878 and after having studied medicine in the University of Athens and graduated with honors, she specialized in microbiology. She became a lecturer in 1908 and a professor of hygiene in the School of Medicine of Athens in 1947. Additionally, in 1950 she was elected corresponding member of the Academy of Athens. She settled down in Egypt where she studied the tropical diseases. She was honored for her work in 1902 with the medal of the Order of the Nile.  Angeliki Panayiotatou can be characterized as the greatest female figure of the 20thcentury in Hellenic Egypt. She moved to Egypt in 1900 specialized in pathology and microbiology and worked there as a microbiologist in the Greek Hospital and in the City Halls of Alexandria  as well as  a pathologist in the Health Department of the Customs of the same city. At the same time she kept her private clinic, attended patients at their homes and continued her scientific research on microbiology.  Alongside all these pursuits, since 1918 she actively participated in the social and charity activities in Alexandria, establishing the «National Association of Greek Women in Egypt» in order to ensure schooling for the working girls as well as summer camps  for the young girls in need. Mrs  Panayiotatou’s Greek literary salon was the first in Alexandria, established in her mansion on June 20th, 1934 under the name «Greek Ladies’ Literary Fellowship of Alexandria». The Greek Ladies’ Literary Fellowship of Alexandria presented once a month musical and literal programs for a period of twenty consecutive years till the death of its founder in 1954.  These concentrations were honored by distinctive personalities such as: the Patriarchs of Alexandria, the Consulates and Vice Consulates of Greece, community members and senior Greek officers, journalists, literati and artists from Greece and Egypt. Since 1926, Angeliki Panayiotatou had demonstrated extensive written work.  She wrote and published herself essays, travelers’ impressions, poems and also prepared scientific announcements for International Medical Conventions in Egypt and elsewhere. She used to be an active member of the Greek Scientific Association «Ptolemy Α». The establishment of «Ptolemy” had science as its primary aim having three branches: the medical part, the law practice part and the scientific part.  The most active department was the medical one. During the Balkan Wars (1912-1913) the Association organized a mobile hospital that was sent to the Greek-Bulgarian front. During World War I and II the Association offered a mobile surgery to the «Blue Cross» to cover the needs of the soldiers who were wounded during the air raids in Alexandria. Angeliki Panayiotatou’s love for science is evident in the epilogue of her life, in her will in which she donated her house namely a two-storey private building opposite the Jewish Cemetery in Alexandria to ‘’Ptolemy” so as to continue offering knowledge and science to the future generations». (Tomara-Sideri Women, Gender and Diasporic Lives). In 1950, she was elected corresponding member of the Academy of Athens. Angeliki Panayiotatou died in Alexandria in Egypt in 1954.