- The name first given to Gypsies when they reached western Europe, as it was thought they came from Egypt.A number of groups in the Balkans previously thought to be Romany Gypsies but who no longer spoke the Romani language began in the last few years to claim that they were not Gypsies at all, but descendants of Egyptian immigrants to Europe. They number several thousand and are found in Albania, Kosovo, and Macedonia. In Albania they are known as Evgjit or Jevg, where their non-Romany origin has been accepted for longer. They asked to be recognized as an ethnic group for the Yugoslav, Serbian, and Macedonian censuses of 1991 but no separate figures have been published listing them. The Serbian-led government in Belgrade was pleased to welcome the emergence of the Egyptians, as they helped to diminish the percentage of Albanians in Kosovo and ethnologist Hadzi Ristic stated that he had found traces of Egyptian presence in Macedonia. It seems likely that the Egyptians emerged from the population of Albanian-speaking Roma who found, after 1990, that there was no advantage in being Albanian in either Kosovo or Macedonia. However, they had little inclination to call themselves Roma, because of the low social status of this group.
Historical dictionary of the Gypsies . Donald Kenrick.