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Unknown Arabic Medal.


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Hi UKR, 

Thanks for posting that, it’s an extremely interesting insignia! I agree with oamotme about the translation. The skull and crossbones is very reminiscent of Egypt’s paramilitary groups of the time such as the National Guard and the student paramilitary Futuwwa Organization, suggesting this badge could be associated with a military/paramilitary training unit at Cairo University.


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  • 1 year later...

In relation to the lapel pin that UKR posted on 25 February, 2021 and that Owain identified on 26 February, 2021, here are some photos and information on another example of the same lapel pin and a different Cairo University chest badge awarded to Albert M. Baer in 1972. This set is from a current and ongoing eBay auction of a "Cairo University, Egypt, Medal & Lapel Button" (https://www.ebay.com/itm/275191562022?mkevt=1&mkpid=0&emsid=e11011.m43.l1123&mkcid=7&ch=osgood&euid=bb31f2799c344042a2ee802a3153f735&bu=43107496168&osub=-1~1&crd=20220303055213&segname=11011&sojTags=ch%3Dch%2Cbu%3Dbu%2Cosub%3Dosub%2Ccrd%3Dcrd%2Csegname%3Dsegname%2Cchnl%3Dmkcid). Albert Baer was an American cutlery manufacturer and active fundraiser for heart research. In the 1960s he toured ~30 countries with former US President Eisenhower's physician, Dr. Paul Dudley White, to raise money for cardiology research and education. Baer served as the chairman of the worldwide committee on fundraising for the International Cardiology Foundation, that awarded him the first Gold Heart Award in 1968. Baer also performed some work for St. John's College of Business Administration and was National Chairman of the General Studies Alumni Fund for Columbia University. Baer was most likely presented with this award for some aspects of his international fundraising for cardiology research and education efforts, although I have not found any details about this. 




Another example of the same Cairo University lapel pin as posted by UKR on 25 February, 2021, along with a Cairo University chest badge in its original case from a current eBay auction. 




Close up of the chest badge from Cairo University. The image of the seated ibis-headed god writing represents the Ancient Egyptian god Thoth, usually depicted with a document and writing stylus. Thoth performed a number of otherworldly bookkeeping tasks and is a symbol of scholarship. He is most notably depicted in the "weighing of the heart" scenes on various funerary papyri: recording the outcome of weighing the heart of a deceased person against the feather symbol of Truth (Maat), during preliminary processing of dead souls as depicted on examples of the Ancient Egyptian text commonly called the Book of the Dead (more appropriately translates as the: Book of Coming Forth by Day ). The image of Thoth seated and writing is the shield emblem of the modern Cairo University. 




Obverse of the Cairo University chest badge from this current auction the includes the lapel pin.




Reverse of the chest badge showing no obviously legible maker's marks




Close up of the obverse of the lapel pin against the ribbon of the chest medal




Reverse of the lapel pin, again no maker's mark is visible. Note that the form of pin back appears to be the same as shown in UKR's example, and this form was used by Tewfik Bichay on examples of pins (i.e., for South African Air Force Squadron pins, see the example in the 2nd photo of my post of 21 August, 20  marked "BICHAY CAIRO" and the last photo in my post of 21 September, 2020 of an example marked with Bichay's Arabic maker's mark , both on the thread "Question about the Order of Ismail/Nishan al-Ismail" here in the "Middle East & Arab States" section). Obviously this form of pin back would have been available commercially and would not by itself be indicative of manufacture by T. Bichay (although many of the pins he manufactured are unmarked). The examples on South African Air Force Squadron pins are solid pieces that are soldered to the reverse of the pin, they have something like a cufflink back morphology, but are immobile. 




Interior of the case for the chest badge, with the paper note identifying the presentation of this honor to Albert M. Baer in November of 1972. I do not know if this paper covers a possible maker's mark inside the upper case lid. 




Exterior of the case for the chest badge. The hinge is at the uppermost position in this photo and the opening has cellphone tape in place that kept the paper note in place inside the case. 




Another view of the same case with the hinge to the right and the opening on the left showing the cellophane tape that is attached to the paper label inside. 

Edited by Rusty Greaves
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  • 4 weeks later...

This is the maker's mark inside the case for the Cairo University chest badge awarded to Albert M. Baer in November of 1972, illustrated in my previous post here of 3 March. 




This is the gold foil label attached to the inside of the case lid, that was covered by the paper tag taped to the case reading: "PRESENTED TO ALBERT M. BAER CAIRO UNIVERSITY NOVEMBER 1972". I do not know who this manufacturer is. The  margin of the label is a stylized modern version of the Ancient Egyptian cartouche, used to identify names in hieroglyphic texts, and represents a border of cordage (note the "wrapping" of the basal knot element). Ancient Egyptian cartouches are always oval in shape, not round. The label is maximally 14 mm wide x 15 mm tall. 


The lapel pin that was included with this recent eBay listing, that is the same as the one illustrated by UKR in his post of 25 February, 2021 and that Owain identified on 26 February, 2021, measures 20 mm in maximum width x 23 mm tall. The chest badge measures maximally 46 mm wide x 29 mm tall (including the cast suspension loop. The ribbon is 54 mm long x 25 mm wide. The case measures 107 mm long x 52 mm wide x 15 mm deep, and is made of white cardboard lined with white satin on the inside of the upper lid and green velvet on the medal bed, The exterior is a textured green paper covering. 

Edited by Rusty Greaves
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