African Revolutionary Writers, Part 9c
Gamal Abdel Nasser
Gamal Abdel Nasser was the leader of the Free Officers’ revolution in Egypt in 1952 which deposed the king and established a republic. He subsequently became President of that African country until his death in 1970. Nasser was a giant figure in the liberation movement, the anti-colonial and anti-Imperialist movement, and in the Non-Aligned Movement.
Nasser was a famous orator in the golden age of the transistor radio, and could be heard by that means in streets as well as in homes throughout the Arabic-speaking world in those days, and all over Africa. Our main linked item below is a speech that Nasser made just over a month prior to the 1956 imperialist invasion of his country – an invasion which failed, and was repulsed.
Egypt under President Nasser had nationalised the Suez Canal. The Imperialist countries responded with threats – as the linked, downloadable speech relates.
France, Britain and Israel finally mounted a military attack on Egypt on 29 October 1956, in what is known in those countries as the “Suez Crisis”. This confrontation ended in a reversal for the imperialists, consolidated the republic, and established Egypt’s sovereignty over the canal on its territory, forever.
The operation resembled the 2011 aggression against Libya in many ways, but especially in the demonization of President Nasser that preceded it.
But now, as Wikipedia says:
“Nasser is seen as one of the most important political figures in both modern Arab history and politics in the 20th century. Under his leadership, Egypt nationalised the Suez Canal and came to play a central role in anti-imperialist efforts in the Arab World and Africa. The imposed ending to the Suez Crisis made him a hero throughout the Arab world.”
This is how Nasser began this 1956 speech:
“In these decisive days in the history of mankind, these days in which truth struggles to have itself recognized in international chaos where powers of evil domination and imperialism have prevailed, Egypt stands firmly to preserve her sovereignty. Your country stands solidly and staunchly to preserve her dignity against imperialistic schemes of a number of nations who have uncovered their desires for domination and supremacy.”
· The above is to introduce the original reading-text: Gamal Abdel Nasser, Speech on Suez, 15 September 1956.