Janbek story

I posted this on SS forum few months ago, I think that I should put here too…

My story begins in North Caucasus; Aly Ramzy Janbek was living in a village called Hattu Chukway near the Great Zelencuke River and the city of Cherkessk (check the attached map). In September 1868, he decided to go to Mecca along with his father for the Muslim pilgrimage. On their way back home, they passed by Egypt and had the privilege of meeting Khedive Ismail.


Caucasians were famous for their fighting capabilities and they had always a special treatment in the armies. So the Khedive advised the young man to enter the military academy.  At that time, the Caucasian war had ended and many Caucasians were fleeing from their homeland to Turkey and the Middle East. So it was no surprise that young Aly accepted the Khedive’s proposal.


Time passed by, Aly Ramzy moved from the army to the Khedivial guards. After the British occupation in 1882 and due to the militarily layoffs, he was transferred to the ministry of interior in the Sharkeya province where he was residing.

This was the chronicle of my family’s origin. My grandfather has kept contact with some of his cousins who lived in Jordan, but unfortunately it gradually diminished. I also found a website about Janbek in Turkey, I tried to contact the author but in vain. I am not Alex Haley searching for a Konta Kenti story 🙂 , but I can’t deny that it is one of my dreams to visit my great grand father’s homeland or to contact some distant family members (maybe one day someone will hit the search bottom and find this post!).

Thanks Mabrouk for encouraging me to write this post, you made me sit with my father and document the details of my ancestor’s life. And isa I will follow up with more on the ciracassian history, traditions and photos. We may even get the chance to know more about their presence in Egypt (either in the modern era or the mamluks era). If anyone has more info in this regard or is a descendant from a circassian family, please share with us your story.



42 responses to “Janbek story

  1. my mother is a Janbek. my grandfather, Ismail Janbek was born in Nalchik in 1900. he was orphaned as a baby and lived between turkey, egypt and then settled in Jordan. He originally settled in Na’ur. But when he married Inaam Khirbiz they moved to mafraq near in the north of Jordan, then moved back to Amman where he was the head of the Iraq Petroleum Company. are you familiar with any of this? If so, i’d like to hear from you.
    p.s. where are you based?

  2. Zeina, Ismail Janbek is actually my grandfather’s cousin !!! I have been searching for so long about him, thank God you were able to reach this. WOW I am soooo excited about this.

  3. hi all

    sadly enough i dont have all the details you have about ur family, all my life i’ve been intrested in adiga khabza and how they lived and there culture, and recently from my dad i found out that we have circassian origin but like most egyptians i have no idea where or how, all i know is that the blonde hair and blue eyes of m grandfaather are defiantly not arab or turkic or european. i’m still trying to find out more about my history but looks like its gonna take alot of time to find my circassian roots.

    just felt like sharing :o)

  4. Hey Ibrahim, I am very interested to know about what you have reached while looking for ur origins?
    There are thousands of egyptians with Circassian origin, but unfortunately we don’t know much about this link 😦
    Thanks for sharing

  5. hey there I am descendant from aly ramzy Janbek I am Egyptian so we must be related, my dad went and visited the homeland at the time of the soviet union. I know aly ramzy’s story but I thought he came to apply for el azhar university and the khedive offered the military position instead. he also went and fought in mexico right?

  6. İn Turkey, janbek like so call CANBEG, they are very big family and the origin is KURD’s not Cacausian or Turk’s Or different citizen…
    Do yu know what is same ? or different..?

  7. Hi Farooq,

    Well I know that my Janbek is a caucassian, not a kurdi. I am searching for the current name of the village my great grandfather came from.

    Are u sure about this kurdi origin? Do u know which generation brought ur Ganbeg to Turkey? Or do you from which city does it come?
    I found a website: http://www.geocities.com/jambechs/ , they are in Turkey too.

    It seems that Janbek / Jambech / Canbeg was a popular name!

  8. Hi nousha…
    well I went resaerch all togather.. bUt I don’t find rigth memo…
    al calls janbeck or canbeg this only a pornonsiation problem but they are sam call..
    canbeg is a big citizen group in Midle and east Trukey. And they ara call Kurdish. We hope we are family from Sultan Salahhaddin…

  9. hey farooq the descendants oof salahhaddin el 2ayoubi are kurdish circassian/ salahdin father was kurdish and his mom was circassian. his descendants usually carry the name baroudi they are foundin syria and egypt my cousin is decendant of salahdin from his father’s side and his last name is baroudi and from his mom’s side he is janbek but before that I don;t know of anytime a janbek mixed with an ayoubi.
    oh nooosha the village our great grandfather came from was called batal pashansk now it is called cerkessk! (cherkessk)

  10. Pingback: Cherkessk « Kaleidoscope

  11. Hi there,
    came across this by chance, so I thought I ought to drop you a line.
    I am a janbek, and I actually met some of your family when I was very young. I asume that you know all the relatives in egypt.We actualy lost contact with the relatives in egypt some time ago. I am from jordan. I am not a big fan of the public domain, so you can e-mail me for more info if you like.

    • Hi Mohammed, It’s Angela Crowe (now Beresford) your old friend from London Guildhall Uni. I was looking for you on Facebook but this was what I found instead. How’s it going? Would be great to hear from you. Drop me a line Ange

      • Hi Angela, long time no see, couldn’t find you on face book! too many ( angela beresford’s ). just saw this by chance, well two years late! drop me a line if you get this, would be great to catch-up. Hope you get this !

  12. Ismail Janbek is my grandfather (hi zeina 🙂 ) . i know that he has brothers and cousins residing in Egypt. i think Mousa Janbek might be a name i recall (ill have to check with the family) but itll be good if we can get some more info on the family and their location. I am also in jordan.

  13. Alsalam Aleikum,
    my name is mohammed hussein,i am 20years ,i am areal muslim brother.i was born in islam brought up in islam, islam is my religion and i am sertisfy with it because is the only way to sucess.
    I am one of senega muslim association,i am crying for help,i left my country with a good friend for a mission in ivory coast ( cote d’ivoire).when we got there,we found everything difficult and we entered there during the war while my only good partner was shut to death accidentialy by the millitary people,i only escaped with the power of almigthy Allah.i cry and think everyday about him but crying and thinking cannot bring him back to me,Allah giveth and taketh.
    please i realy need a help to go back to my country to relocate my relatives because they still have political problem here in this country and i don’t want to die here,i have no familily,brother,sister or relatives, please help me because of Allah the possessor of total power,sovereignty,magnificence and grandeur,the best of creator,as none has the right to be worshipped except Allah without partner and i bear witness that mohamed (may Allah send prayers and peace upon him ) is his slave and messanger.
    I’am suffering a lot,no job,no accomodation,in fact i’m realy tired of here,so i want to go back to my home to relocate my relatives and continue my education and religion with good health.i have no other means that is why i’m crying for help because i believe begging is better than stilling or rubbering,i prefer to beg than to still.
    so please help me with anything Allah provide for you,Anybody that help me today may Allhah blees him,bless his home,provide him more and replace for him a better.for those who not capable,may Allah make them capable and provide for them good thing in life (AMEN).
    alsalam aleikum.

    mohamed hussein

  14. Thanks Nawriz for dropping by 🙂
    Actually I am very interested in checking my circassian heritage, I know that in Jordan there are many circassians who still maintain their language, traditions and customs,,, And I am so happy about this.
    Here in Egypt there are lots of families with circassian origins who were integrated in the Egyptian society. I like my egyptian identity, but there will always be a call for searching of my origin (maybe it’s the DNA!) 🙂

  15. The Circassian presence in Egypt dates from 1382 and the accension of Sultan malik el zahir Barkuk. He established the Mamluk regime of the ‘dawlat el jarakisa fi misr.’ In the 19th century Mohamed Aly had ended Mamluk political power with their massacre at the citadelle in 1811. In 1821 the Egyptian Nizam el Gedid (modern conscripted army) was organized, its first officer cadre of 1,000 young men was drawn from amongst the apprentice Mamlukes under going training in the Mamluk households of Cairo in 1811, and were spared their lives due to their young age. In the 15th – 19th century the Cherkess, the Akrad, the Bosnians, the Arnauts were all peoples considered to be part of the ahl el seif, I.e. those most competent to bear arms on behalf of Islam, these peoples kept this privilege as a closely guarded ‘trade union’ and later, in the 19th century with the advent of large conscripted armies in the Dawla el Osmanieh, these were the peoples who dominated the officer corps of the militaries both in Istanbul and in Cairo. The Egyptian army officer corps at the time of Khedive Ismail was probably about 65% of ahl el seif origin, and of that at least 50% of Circassian origin, many the descendents of the original ‘mamluk’ officer cadre of the 1821. In addition Mohamed Aly had pursued a policy of offering sanctuary in Egypt to the families and younger members of many of the Circassian tribal chieftains (1835-1860) during the period of the Russian wars. There were also many who came through Egypt on their way to haj or studying at the Azhar, these were always given an open welcome by the authorities, many of whom were also of Circassian origin, and also given that the needs of the state for loyal and competent officers and administrators preferably from the ranks of the traditional ahl el seif peoples. Quite a few of the zobat el ahrar were of this origin, but after the events of 1952 it was not pc to claim any origin other than that of Egyptian fellah, so much of the knowledge of their origin and background became subsumed in Egypt’s urban culture. Quite a substantial proportion of Egypt’s urban, muslim bourgoisie is of this origin.

  16. hi
    i work in project care with the family history in Egypt so if any one have old photo for his family .
    please contact me by e mail

  17. Hello all, qeblagh in circassian, ahlan in arabic,
    I too am of Egyptian-Circassian origin and have gone through all the searches you have been through some years ago (a priviledge of older age, I suppose). According to a turkish researcher, there were prior to 1952 some 15 to 20 thousand members of the Circassian Association in Egypt (Gam3eyet al Ikhâa al Sharkasseya)in Cairo and Alexandria alone. The association published a monthly journal, financed publishings about the circassian history and provided funds to educate young Caucasians in Egypt (mainly Al Azhar). There was even a football team called KafKas.
    For whoever interested, I would start by looking at Amjad Jaimoukha’s site (google his name and circassian) for general and gradually more specific information. The site is scientifically constructed and information contained in it is fully documented and credible. Next, to find family origins I would link up with the different diaspora associations (Khassa), especially in Turkey. You need a starting point, such as circassian family name, clan and ideally place of origin in the Caucasus. If you do not have all that, do not despair, you’ll get to it. There is also a very good European site at http://www.euroxase.com Last but not least, you can mail me directly any specific questions/info at mdphd@club-internet.fr

    I am very glad egyptian circassians are taking pride in their heritage and are looking for more information about it. We are all very proud of our adopted and native homelands but do not forget our parents and ancestors.
    Good luck,

  18. hi all Aly Ramzi Janbek’s pic i have seen it at one of my relatives in jordan.

    for all who are searching for their origins pls. check or search J1 & J2 DNA
    arabs, turkeys, caucasions and a great deal of nations carry the same y-chromosom .
    we are all cousions.

    welcome every body

    • Hi Nour, Am hoda zaki from Egypt. My grandmother is Madiha Ramzy, the daughter of Aly Ramz Janbek. it would be really appreciated if u can provide me with any informations u have about him, or post his photo.
      Thank you!

  19. Hi everyone,

    I too am a Janbek. Altough it’s my first name not my last name. I’m a turkish-caucasion from uzunyayla region. I don’t know how or if our family tree is related to the Janbeks but after learning about this, I will try to find out.

  20. i encourage all of you to search the internet for haplogroup J (y-DNA)it will solve nanoush question about DNA

    “Actually I am very interested in checking my circassian heritage, I know that in Jordan there are many circassians who still maintain their language, traditions and customs,,, And I am so happy about this.
    Here in Egypt there are lots of families with circassian origins who were integrated in the Egyptian society. I like my egyptian identity, but there will always be a call for searching of my origin (maybe it’s the DNA!)” nanoush

    circassians in egypt or in jordan or syria and in the mediteranian area are more related to each other than many others. so you are in your home country. check the routs in the a/m search

  21. Hi al Brtohers and sisters,
    Yes I’M Kurdish and I’m a JANBECK, Turkish area we call a family tree janbeck…
    But I dont know what is realy origin. When I make research I find some placeses from janbecks…
    Simple; Bellugian, North Iran, Soud Afghanistan, East Turkey, Soud Caucassşan…
    Syr,a.. and more plases


  22. hello all
    I am from Janbek family in jordan and i live in
    a small town called Naour its sowth of amman
    i am glad to hear that some of my reletives
    in eygept and turky,
    so i’ll be plesead if any of them contact me by email

  23. I have read all of the responses and I am overwhelmed with happiness to see Adiga from all over reaching out. I have met several egytian-adiga who are aware of their ancestry and want to grow and learn in it. Do not forget your culture, it is our source of identity and connection with one another throughout the world. Circassian Day of Mourning is upon us: May 21st, 1864. 145 years after the end of the Circassian genocide, (the largest of the 19th century) the ghosts of our ancestors still call us to our homeland. Let us not forget them or their struggle. Let all Adiga reunite. God bless all!

  24. salamz sis .. sry for this fast reply but i’m fro janek family in jor. i weant to check if we haVE RELATIVES plz add me. plz plz

  25. Hi

    I am form Tyrkey and I Just found out, that we are canbeg. Is it the same as janbek? I was also told that we have an Egyptian ancestor.

    Best wishes

  26. Hi Guys …
    … I don’t know what to say ….
    I’m Circassian and I’ve born and lived in Syria .. their is a big community in Syria ( i mean Circassian ) and they still have their traditions and few of them still speak the language …
    The biggest Circassian Community is in Turkey …
    For Arab lands their r two groups of Circassian the first came and started playing role in the late Abassi period as the Mamloki (Mamaleek) period which contained Kudi and Circassian “Kings” .. and Circassian like Al Zaher Beabars, Barquq, Tugoj, and many others .. and they had been fought by Muhamad Ali and many of them had been Killed … the others run away to south of Egypt and Suaed and a few stayed hidden and tried to involve in the community not to be killed … ..
    … Many big Families have a Circassian sure name but they even don’t know that …
    … what I know is …
    Reshdi Abaza
    Mustafa and Husen Fehmi
    Mahmoud Sami Al Barodi … r Circassian and many others …
    … if u like any info ..so this is my email …

  27. Pingback: My Ancestors « Kaleidoscope

  28. hi zakaria.my grandfather name suleyman seyfullah janbek.i dont know anyone from Egypt.heritage sent many years ago from State Egypt.we had one seal.(Aly Ramzy Janbeks seal)..But i do not know anyone.grandpa died was a kid my mother.(1949 or 1950).so my mother does not know anybody.

  29. Salam to All,

    I’m Shamel T. Janbek and I am from Jordan / Na’ur. I am now residing in Australia. I am very happy to see so many many of the Janbek family on-line.
    Please look me up on facebook and lets stay in touch.
    Personally I don’t have details of we got to Jordan and if we have family members outside of Jordan. It would be great to reconnect.

    May Allah Bless you all,

    Shamel T JanbekHi

    • 5 years have passed already 🙂
      yes, I’m still alive and kicking.
      Fortunately I met some of my family members through this post. Thank God for the internet! :))

  30. Hi to all of you . My name is Tayseer tahir hasan janbek.I live in amman jordan.My father was born in 1890. they lived in tawfeekiya village/Biga/Turkey. My uncle Ismaeil Hasan Janbek was 8years younger than my father. In 1910 my grandfather with his family moved to jordan. I visited Biga this year but could not find any information. My grandfather got maried in a town called Penegkoy/russia.Any infomation about this matter shall be highly appreciated.

  31. Hi all of you, Am Hoda Zaki, am Egyptian, my grandmother is Madiha Ramzy, the daughter of Aly Ramzy Janbek. In Egypt, there a lot of Aly Ramzy’s grandchildren.
    i am looking forward to exchange informations with eachothers and to stay in contact.

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