Despite more than fifty years of activity, the anarchist movement in Egypt remains largely unknown. However, the anarchists played a pioneering role in the introduction of radical political thought in Egypt. Their ideas were rooted initially in the foreign communities residing in the country but during the period leading up to the First World War their impressive political activity managed to have a wider impact on Egyptian society. Anarchism made a significant critical contribution to the issues of nationalism and colonialism. The article examines the developments and the different forms of this contribution by restoring them in the broader context of the development of the socialist movement in a colonial society at the beginning of the 20th century.