The story of Nasser, " El Rayess " the Leader A life Summary


Yahia Al Shaer

President Gamal Abdel Nasser

The story of " El Rayess " the Leader A life Summary
- Nasser was born on the 15th of January in 1918 in the poor Alexandrian suburb of Bacos to southern Egyptianparents. Talking about his childhood Nasser says

"..... I am proud to belong to this small village of Beni Morr. And I am more proud to be a member of a poor family from that village. I am saying these words for history that Nasser was born in a poor family and I promise that he will live and die a poor man." (*)

Beni Morr is a small village in Upper Egypt lies in the province of Assiut. Belonging to such a place was may be the reason why Nasser always focused his thoughts on peasants.

He always thought of their poverty and suffering. Nasser's father was an employee of the middle class which made Nasser more aware of poverty of the majority of the people in Egypt.

- Nasser was brought up and educated in Alexandria and Cairo

- Nasser joined the military collage after the the signature of the 1936 pact which allowed lower class youth to join such a collage that they were not allowed to before this pact.

- Graduated from the Military Academy in July 1938 and hence joined the Egyptian army and was appointed as an Officer in the Infantry Regiment in Assiut.

- Nasser worked in Sudan (a part of the Egyptian Kingdom at that time)

- Nasser was transfered to Cairo and was appointed as an instructor in the Military Academy

- It did not last long, before he joined the General Staff Academy where he was appointed again as instructor.

- During the first Arab-Israeli war in 1948 " First Palestine War" Nasser fought in the. Participating in this war increased his awareness of the Palestinean problem and the contemporary Arabic case. His troops strong positions in (El Falouga) were surrounded by the Israeli troops for several months. He was wounded while sitting in a Bren carrier.

In Falouga, Nasser faced and later met Moshe Dayan for the first and last time in life.

- The impacts of Palestine war were the drive for him, to organize an underground Officers movement against the Egyptian King Farouk and the corrupted government.

- Dissatisfied with the corruption of the Egyptian King Farouk regime and the British occupation, he formed together with a group of colleagues, a semi-underground organization, " The Free Officers", known in Egypt as El-Dhobatt El-Ahrar.

- Nasser led the Free Officers Movement and was steering confrontation with the High Command during the Officers Club elections.

- Gamal AbdeNasser had reached the rank of a Colonel (Bikbashi) when he led the 23rd July 1952 Revolution " El Thawrah"

- He became the nister of Interior , then the Prime Minister in 1954

- Gamal Adel Nasser began the negotations to end the 1936 Treaty and signed with Britain the evacuation of British forces agreement from the Canal base in July 27, 1954.

- Nasser played a key role in Bandung Conference in 1955 in which the nonalignment call was launched.

- In 1956, a referendum was conducted on the new constitution and on electing him for the presidency of the Republic.

- Gamal Abdel Nasser nationalized the Suez Canal on July 26, 1956 which led to the tripartite (Anglo-French-Israeli) aggression against Egypt on July 26, 1956 known as "The Suez War 1956" or " Port Said War"

- Nasser inaugurated the first People’s Council on July 22, 1957.

- He became the President of the Arab United Republic which was established between Egypt and Syria in February 1958 and continued until September 1961.
- Nasser Issued the Land Reform Law to eliminate feudalism.

- He sat up the cornerstone of the High Dam.

- He issued a wide range of socialist resolutions in July 1961 among which are:
- limiting agricultural land ownership to 100 feddans per family

- nationalizing the major institutions;
- and granting the workers and the peasants the revolutionary merits.
- Nasser initiated the Liberation Organization in 1953, the National Union in May 1957, and the Socialist Union in 1962.

- He supported the national liberation movements in Africa and the Arab countries.

- He wrote a book entitled “The Revolution’s Philosophy”.

- President Gamal Abdel Nasser died on September 28th, 1970.
The 1950s

As the '50s began, turmoil reigned. The monarchy had become synonymous with scandal and moral decadence, British domination was intolerable, and the people's party, the Wafd --returning to power with an overwhelming parliamentary majority in 1950 --was about to perform its swan song.

In October 1951, Wafd leader Mustafa El-Nahhas declared Egypt's unilateral abrogation of the Anglo-Egyptian Treaty of 1936. Armed struggle was launched in the Canal Zone, and radical social movements (notably, the Muslim Brotherhood, the communists and Ahmed Hussein's Socialist Party) began to outflank the increasingly conservative and paralysed Wafd.

A new generation of army officers, seething with nationalist sentiment and calling themselves the Free Officers, held secret meetings and laboured to hatch what must have seemed a highly unlikely conspiracy.
British occupation forces attack
the police barracks in Ismailiya

On 25 January 1952, British occupation forces in Suez attacked the Ismailiya barracks, staffed and heroically defended by a small and lightly armed contingent of the Egyptian Buluk Nizam. Fifty Egyptians were killed. See The Suppressed Story

The following day, the Buluk Nizam from the Abbasiya barracks in Cairo, demanding arms to fight the British, marched to the university, where they were joined by thousands of students (second row from bottom, second from left). Tragically, what began as a great patriotic demonstration soon degenerated into the Cairo Fire (second row from top, third from left): "This was no longer a people but a howling mob, striking out, striking itself, grasping at its phantom foes, and as it tried to rend them rending itself," wrote Jacques Berque.

The king declared martial law, the Wafd government was thrown out and the stage was set for the Free Officers to radically transform the face of the country.

General Naguib & Gamal Abdel Nasser Nasser
The Revolutionary Counsel 1962

The corruption of the government inside and the losing of the 1948 war were the main motives that made The Free Officers led by General Mohammed Naguib up rise the revolution of 23rd of July 1952.On 23 July, the Free Officers seized army GHQ and laid siege to Abdin Palace in Cairo and Ras El-Tin Palace in Alexandria.General Naguib was a respected senior officer who was only appointed as a figure-leader to enhance the credibility of the coup.

On July 26, King Farouk, was forced to abdicate, and was escorted in all militaryhonore to his royal yacht " El Mahrousa" in Alexandria, and left the country at 18.00 for the last time.and his son, Ahmad Fouad, was soon declared King. The remaining British troops in the Suez Canal Zone were asked to evacuate the country and, by 1954, the last British soldier had indeed left.
The Revolutionary Command Council

The Revolutionary Command Council was established under Major General Mohamed Naguib; but it was clear from the outset that the real leader was Colonel Gamal Abdel-Nasser.

In September 1952, the first Agrarian Reform Law was enacted, limiting land ownership to 200 feddans. For the first time, land was distributed to landless peasants . The Free Officers gradually engaged in politics during the following years. Egypt declared as Republic
On June 18th, 1953, the Free Officers deposed Ahmad Fouad, the last King, and declared Egypt a Republic, with Mohamed Naguib as its first president. For the first time in millennia, Egypt was ruled by Egyptians. when Egypt was declared as Republic .

Naguib, who grew up within the old system, was a courageous yet peaceful man and had no plans for radical change. So he too was deposed in 1954 by the true leader of the coup, Nasser, who became the country's head of state.

It was only when Nasser became president that the 1952 military coup started turning into a real social and political revolution, now referred to as the 1952 Revolution. Nasser was highly praised for his Nationalization of the Suez Canal, his Agrarian reform, and his socialist policies that brought the vast majority of Egyptians out of poverty.

The February / March crisis of 1954
Nasser's undisputed leadership was confirmed as an impact of the February/March crisis of 1954 ; General Naguib remained as a figure-head until November 1954, when he was shorn of the presidency and placed under house arrest.

Anti-imperialist radicalism
determine the course of Egyptian history

For the rest of the century, Nasser's anti-imperialist radicalism and the authoritarian character of the new regime would determine the course of Egyptian history . The revolutionary regime had dissolved all political parties in January 1953, and as early as August 1952 had put two textile workers to death for leading a peaceful strike.

Muslim Brotherhoodattempts
assassination of Nasser

In November 1954, following a failed assassination attempt on Nasser, the Muslim Brotherhood (the only political group not suppressed in 1953) was dissolved, launching a bitter feud that was to continue, often at great cost, for the rest of long years to come.

The evacuation agreement 1954

The signing of a draft evacuation agreement with Britain in July 1954 effectively certified Egypt's independence. Independence would come at a cost, however: Britain and the US expected Egypt to join the Baghdad Pact. Nasser actively fought the offer on the Arab level, effectively making it a dead letter.

New generation of world leaders
In April 1955, soon after an Israeli raid on Egyptian-controlled Gaza left 50 Egyptians dead, Nasser was in Bandung to attend the first Afro-Asian Conference.

There he met Chou En Lai, Nehru and Sukarno; a new generation of world leaders from the South was born. A major result of Bandung would follow shortly. The Block Free States.

Nasser was a founding-leader of the Nonaligned movement. Along with India's Nehru and Indonesia's Sukarno, Nasser became a major international power-broker in the politics of the developing world.

The Aswan Dam
Nasser, was approved a loan from the World Bank, build the Aswan Dam, in order to irrigate potential farm land. The USA, Britain providing were providing the larger share and Egypt also has put up money.

At this time, however, the Cold War was growing, with Egypt denouncing all Western- backed policies, and the Western powers withdrew their offers of monetary assistance. This sparked a major international crisis, with the West protesting against Nasser's subsequent nationalisation of the Suez Canal.

The arms deal with Czechoslovakia
In September 1955, Egypt signed an arms deal with Czechoslovakia in an attempt to defy the West's virtual arms embargo on the country and to face the increasing threat from Israel.

The World Bank reneged the finance aid
Under US pressure, the World Bank, reneged on its promise to finance the Aswan High Dam project. Nasser's backbone was intended to be broken......and so the Suez War "Suez Crisis, The 7 Day War, The Port Said War, The Double fought War, The tripartite War........etc has started"

Nationalisation of the Suez Canal Company
Nasser, known as a tactician planned to counter and take other measures to secure the financing of his dream project "Asawan Dam". Although, the Suez Canal Company 99 years monoplo treaty was going to expire on 11.11.1968, Gamal Abdel Nasser preferred to hit back and soon.

On 26 July 1956, Nasser announced the nationalisation of the Suez Canal Company " Compagnie Martime International du Canal de Suez". Overnight, he was the undisputed liberator not only of Egypt, but of the Arab "countries" world. Britain and France intervened in the situation for numerous political reasons, completely undermining the Charter of the United Nations, in order to try and topple the Egyptian regime.
The 1956 Tripartite War
and Ultimatum

France put forward a plan whereby Israel invaded Sinai, and then Britain and France called for an end to the fighting, intervening militarily if a cease-fire was not reached. This pact was confirmed, with the Israelis due to launch the initial attack on October 29th 1956. Jordanian elections, also in October, saw the Arabs emerging victorious, leading to growing anti- Israeli feeling. Britain, meanwhile, was preparing a battle fleet in Malta, ready for their invasion of Egypt.

On 29 October, Israel invaded Sinai. Two days later, British and French forces were bombing Egyptian air fields and, on 5 November, landing in Port Said.
The 1956 Anglo-French
War and Invasion

On 29th October, as planned, Israeli forces crossed the borders to the Sinai peninsula, advancing quickly on all fronts. Following this initial invasion, two wars were started - the Israeli- Egyptian conflict, and the Anglo- French occupation of Egypt (which was to be the last British exercise in imperial diplomacy, also getting caught up in the escalating Cold War).

Five days after the first incursion, the Israelis had taken Gaza and other key areas, occupying most of the Sinai peninsula east of the Suez Canal. Israel was now working to its own objectives, destroying Egyptian bases in the Sinai desert, in an attempt to take the Gaza Strip. Britain's early preparation of a battle fleet allowed them to sail immediately for Egypt and on October 30th, the ultimatum for a cease-fire was presented by France and Britain.

Israel agreed to comply with the terms, but Egypt predictably refused. The next day, Anglo- French air strikes were launched against Egyptian airfields, continuing until November 4th.

On the 5th, paratroopers and seaborne forces landed at Port Said, in preparation to advance down the canal. In total, 22,000 men landed in the Canal Zone - 13,500 British and the rest French. Also by now, the Israelis had taken the Gaza Strip and most of Sinai.

The international community immediately condemned this action, with the UN calling for an instant cease-fire. Britain announced that they would comply, if Israel and Egypt also accepted the agreement.

On November 6th, a cease-fire was eventually agreed. Tough and severe resistance in the Port Said , a Soviet ultimatum, and immense US pressure finally forced the three governments to withdraw their forces.

President Nasser's second visit to Port Said after the 1956 war

Dr. Yahia Al Shaer
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The Ceasefire impacts

The Suez Canal was still blocked, but was eventually cleared by a UN salvage fleet in March 1957. The consequences of this conflict were two- fold:

- they affected both Arab- Israeli relations, and
- the international Cold War.

Israel, , agreed - under pressure - to withdraw once the UN Emergency Force had been established and was in place, although they kept control of the Gaza Strip.

The American pressure eventually made them return this area to Egypt as well. Israel now had a direct sea route to east Africa, plus much better relations with France.

Egypt also gained advantages - Nasser was increasingly more popular, and had strong political influence, and Egypt gained full control of the Suez Canal (once it was reopened).

The UN forces arrived in November, and all British and French troops had withdrawn by 23 December, 1956 demonstrating the first example of the United Nations acting as an international police force.

While Western European influence in the area was diminishing, the Soviet Union gained prestige there supporting Egypt. This led to the Eisenhower Doctrine, where the US agreed to defend any Middle East nation threatened by Communism.

The High Dam at Aswan
As soon the agreement with Sudan was signed, Nasser ordered the beginning of the High Dam.Construction at Aswan in 1959.

When it was finally finished in 1970, the dam was more than 17 times the volume of the Great Pyramid at El Giza. It stretches 4 kilometres across the river's path, rises over 100 meters for its base, and is almost a kilometer thick.

Behind it, the waters have formed Lake Nasser, which is 600 kilometers long and 50 kilometers wide in some places. This reservoir is the second largest man-made lake in the world.

The Aswan Dam is arguably one of the great architectural accomplishments of the 20th century. To build it, Egypt had to obtain outside funding, because it was to cost over one billion dollars to build.

Nasser had to turn to the Soviet Union, as being rebuffed by the United States and the World Bank. The USSR was only too glad to help.

The United Arab epublic 1958
In February 1958, the short-lived Egyptian-Syrian merger was accomplished. In Damascus, millions of Syrians thronged to hail Nasser as leader of the Arabs.

The 1967 Six days War

"....I was defeated by my own Army ...."
Gamal Abdel Nasser 1967

Nasser resigned, shortly after the defeat 1967, taking the personal responsibility of the lost war, but hundreds of thausands of Cairenes and demonstartors allover the Arab countries marched in his support, protesting his resignation, asking for his stay and court marshalling the leading officers of the defeated war. Many Arab poloitcians joined the masses.

The demonstrations did not leave the streets for long houres and obliged Nasser to cpmly to their requirement, namely to stay in power. Gamal Abdel Nasser had to comply

For the next three years, Nasser did his best to rebuild the Egyptian army and he almost succeeded.

Nasser spent his life defending the Arab Nationalism and the people's right to be free. He supported liberal movements against all types of occupation in the developing countries. Nasser was a founding-leader of the Nonaligned movement. Nasser became a major international power-broker in the politics of the developing world along with India's Nehru and Indonesia's Sukarno.

His death in 1970 of serious health complications sent shock waves throughout the Arab world. In a stunning display of emotion, millions of Egyptians followed his funeral procession through the streets of Cairo. When he died, he has fulfilled his promise to die as a poor man. He was in debt and has not taken advantage of his position to enrich himself or his family.
The result of Nasser's modernization of the Egyptian Forces were to be seen after his death The 1973 War and the Canal Crossing For the first time in Israel's history, it's excistance was militarly endangered

Dr. Yahia Al Shaer
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