The porters of the town are all Kurds, the river-men Chaldaean Christians.
In many towns most of the skilled labourers and a great many of the unskilled (for instance, the grain-porters at Odessa and elsewhere) are Jews.
The older formation of the Quaternary period is the Lafayette (also called "Orange-sand" or "stratified drift"), which immediately overlies all the Cretaceous groups except the prairies of the Selma chalk, and all the Tertiary except the Porters Creek and Vicksburg formations and parts of the Jackson.
Many find employment as artisans, small dealers, porters and soldiers in Egypt, where they are usually noted for their honesty, and frank and cheerful temperament.
To the east of the town a large Arab village had grown up, inhabited for the most part by natives of Egypt and Cyrenaica, who acted as boatmen, porters and servants, but since the fall of the Turkish government most of these have quitted the island; while about a mile off on the rising ground is the village of Khalepa, where the consuls and merchants reside.