Gamal Abdel Nasser was the second president to Egypt after Mohamed Naguib from 1956 to 1970. He was one of the most important politicians in the Arab history, he was seen as the figure of dignity and freedom over the years.
He was born on 15th of January , 1918, in Alexandria. He went to a secondary school at the age of eleven. He participated at a political protest and got arrested temporarily. His political life had part of his school life during his last year at his secondary school. During 1935-1936 he was elected as a president of a political committee in Cairo secondary school, then he joined the Egyptian military academy and postponed his political life for a while in order to study and become an army officer.
He was married to Tahia Kazem who was born in 1920. She was the daughter of humble clerk of Iranian origin. They had five children , his elder daughter she became a researcher in politics and Professor in Cairo university political science section. She helped in collecting and gathering rare documents and being displayed at Bibliotheca Alexandria.
by 1952, Egypt was ready to an important change in its history. Corruption was everywhere , the king controlled the government and the politicians were only seeking the blessing of the king and the British army occupying Egypt. This situation made Gamal Abdel Nasser and the free officers to plan for the revolution. They set the date “ 23rd of july 1952 “. That night, free officers took control of all governmental offices, the army headquarters, radio and police stations. Also they made General Mohamed Naguib the president of this revolution as he was seen as a hero in the Arab-Israel war in 1948.
To isolate the British army from the scene, the free officers announced that they will treat British citizens and their properties respectively. They have done the same with the Americans when they let the king Farouk leave Egypt safely and honored. The free officers established Egypt revolutionary command council , which was the real power of the country with naguib as chairman and Nasser as vice-chairman.
Elimination of Colonization.
Elimination of feudalism.
Elimination of capital control rule.
The establishment of a strong army.
The establishment of sound democracy.
The establishment of social justice.
Leader of Egypt:
Nasser took advantage of his authority as a prime minister and started to take steps to remove all the supporters to Naguib and over the next 8 months he tried to make Naguib step down forced. In October 1954, Mohamed Naguib was removed and Nasser announced himself as an official president over Egypt for fifteen years.
On October 26th, 1954, there was an attempt to kill him. This attempt was during a speech in Alexandria ” Sahet ElManshya” when suddenly sound of bullets rang out. The Muslim brotherhood and Naguib were accused of doing this failed attempt. This was confirmed when Mahmoud Abdel Latif member of Muslim brotherhood was found guilty. In the meantime, General Mohamed Naguib was put under house arrest. Then the rumors took place , saying that the whole scene was framed by Nasser and his supporters where Nasser had fears about Mohamed Naguib’s loyalty to his regime and that Naguib was supporting the British military against him.
One of the major steps for social justice was the project of land reform. This program was welcomed by the majority of the Egyptians. The Egyptian revolutionary command council in 1952 proposed two basic steps to achieve the target of this program:
1. Significant reduction of agricultural rents.
2. Putting hands on all landed property-holdings above 200 feddans.
Estimates of the Egyptian government source saying that the income of the farmers has been raised to the double reducing the amount of land rent.
At the time he was president of Egypt, he went through a lot of problems to please his people as he was forced to accept and deal with appreciation , objection and disrespect.
Gamal abdel Nasser, showed in one of the incidence through his presidency time his wisdom in the Egyptian history after the World War II. This incidence was ” the American-Syrian crisis of 1957 “. The Eisenhower government made the relation between Syrian government and the Soviet union appear, which leaded to local crisis and quickly turned into international crisis. Nasser stood in front the diplomatic discussions of King Saud in the last try to imposition the crisis.
Nasser’s role in this diplomatic issue is : to win King Saud, keep Syria focused on Egypt, avoiding it from attaching to Soviet union, improving his position with Syria. And actually, he succeeded in each case, in putting limits to Saudi Arabia (King Saud) in the area taking in consideration the physical condition of Egypt which effect on the events at the regional and international levels. Despite that Eisenhower administration was with Nasser, it was forced to get an in between position decision with Egypt at the last stages of the American-Syrian crisis.
Nasser signed an agreement with Britain to withdraw their troops from Suez canal. This agreement gave Egypt a true and full independence, and eased the tension between the two countries.
1955, the U. S. A promised to give Egypt a loan to build the high dam in Aswan which was a project planned after the revolution.
The advantages of building this dam were many as controlling flooding, providing water for irrigation and generating power to most of Egypt. The west decided to stop funding the dam after the treaty Nasser made with the Czechoslovakia of the Eastern bloc.
On July 26 1956, Nasser decided to announce nationalization of the Suez canal to raise fund for building the dam and to proof that Egypt can do what is best for it.
Nasser understood that nationalization of the Suez canal could lead to war with Britain and France as they were the major shareholders in the Suez canal. The united nations security council acknowledged Egypt’s right to control the canal as long as it allows free passage of ships.
France and Britain wanted to re-control the canal so they planned secretly to let Israel attack Egypt and gain control on Sinai, in that moment the troops of France and Britain would interfere and build a zone between the two countries and consequently regain the canal. The U. S. A threatened the three countries that they must remove their forces otherwise they will bear severe consequences. This crisis made Nasser the hero of Egypt and the Arab world.
Resignation and aftermath:
After the setback of 1967, Nasser announced that he would resign from office and leave the responsibility to his vice-president. This announcement was rejected immediately by masses in Egypt and all the Arab cities. The masses declared ” we shall fight ” as the slogan for the coming period of time. Immediately the new minister of defense started an ambitious program to re-built the Egyptian army to get prepared for freeing Sinai again.
Death And Funeral:
Nasser died because of a heart attack on 28th of September , 1970. This was after the meeting of leaders Arab countries in Cairo regarding Israel and the Black September in Jordan. A lot of people ( men, women, children) wiped after hearing his death. His funeral was one of the largest funerals and it was on October the 1st, over five million people attended. His burial site was headed with jet fighters flying over it.
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