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Nasir's Rise to Power in Egypt - Assignment Example

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Egypt had long been held as a British-governed country, even though it had gained its independence in 1922; the British had kept control in roundabout measures, going so…
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Nasirs Rise to Power in Egypt
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Gamal Abd al-Nasir rose to power in the country of Egypt in 1954 as only the second president of the country. Egypt had long been held as a British-governed country, even though it had gained its independence in 1922; the British had kept control in roundabout measures, going so far as to make sure that any Egyptian king would do as they (Great Britain) pleased instead of the people (Rose & Boxberger, 2000). A military man by choice in his career, Nasir led a revolt in 1952 that included trusted officers that had dubbed themselves “Free Officers” in an attempt to rid Egypt of what was felt to be a troubling British presence (Rose & Boxberger, 2000). Though he did not become President until 1954, he openly supported a way of life for Egypt that included no presence of Western countries whatsoever, with successful results (Rose & Boxberger, 2000). This, and many other things, was to work towards his benefit during his years as President.
Nasir was able to rise to such a position for several reasons. First and foremost was the feeling throughout the country that the British had stayed quite long enough (Rose & Boxberger, 2000). Nasir, who longed for a country and region with no Western influence, was the logical choice for president. Second, Nasir had great dreams and visions for the country, and felt that it had been kept not only under the thumb of Western influence but also as a second-rate country for far too long (Trueman, 2000). This gave him a starting point, a place from which Egypt could work its way from. He felt that the poverty of Egypt, as well as the lack of national pride, could be mended if the right steps were taken, such as nationalizing the Suez Canal, a move which brought him head-to-head with the former British controllers of his country and ultimately showed that Egypt was ready to stand on its own (Trueman, 2000). By the time this was realized, Nasir had not only won a monetary victory for his country, but a social one as well. He also knew the disregard for the framework of the country, its internal workings, and how little attention under the rule of the British had been paid to them (Trueman, 2000). By focusing his energies on his country, instead of far-off conquest, Nasir was able to bring not only national pride but unity to Egypt.
Nasir was beloved by Egypt for many reasons. He was able to show the people of the country that he was willing to take on anything in their favor, and make sure that not only the former rulers of Egypt but the world knew that Egypt would be nothing but its own country, with its own people. He came into office at a time when the country, though declared independent, still had a large British and French presence to run the Suez Canal, a place which brought Egypt no benefit and very little money (Rose & Boxberger, 2000). By installing Egyptian workers, and telling the British and French to leave, Nasir brought untold benefit to his country and showed them that they were no longer welcome, in no uncertain terms. Nasir also brought benefit to Egypt from within the country, by commissioning the Aswan High Dam to hold back the flooding waters of the Nile that destroyed farmland on a yearly basis (Trueman, 2000). He used his presidency to build over 2,000 new factories and nationalize corporations so that their profits were fed back to the Egyptian people, improving both their country and way of life (Trueman, 2000). In short, no one before Nasir had done so much for the country of Egypt, and for that, the Egyptian people thanked him with their love and support. Most importantly, Nasir knew the voices and dreams of the people, and he was willing to listen (Trueman, 2000). In listening to these voices, Nasir was able to make their dreams come true, lead them into a new era, and modernize Egypt.
The efforts of Nasir to promote Arab National Socialism turned out very well. Though differing schools of thought exist on whether or not Nasir had been a socialist all along, as opposed to a convert to socialism, the fact remains that he successfully promoted such ideals to Egypt and the Middle East (Hanna & Gardner, 1969). It was this socialism, called “Islamic Socialism” promoted by Nasir that, in fact, helped Egypt to modernize and helped to fulfill the dreams of his people (Hanna & Gardner, 1969). Before Nasir, Arab National Socialism had been at best an idea not spoken of in public, and a group in its infancy (Hanna & Gardner, 1969). With the help of Nasir, such a movement gained traction and speed, thereby bringing not only Egypt but all of the Middle East towards unity under one political system (Hanna & Gardner, 1969). Though his future successor would be a capitalist, the fact remains that Nasir was blatantly successful in promoting Arab National Socialism for his country.
References
Hanna, S. A., & Gardner, G. H. (1969). Arab socialism: A documentary survey. Lieden, Netherlands: E.J. Brill.
Rose, C., & Boxberger, L. (2000). 20th century Cairo: From 1882-present. Retrieved from http://www.laits.utexas.edu/cairo/history/modern/modern.html
Trueman, C. (2000). The Middle East 1917 to 1973: Gamal Abdel Nasser. Retrieved from http://www.historylearningsite.co.uk/gamal_abdel_nasser.htm Read More
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