The Coming and the Going: Friends and Enemies of the Egyptian Revolution

  • Laura M. James


Colonel Gamal Abdel Nasser sent a message to the United States Embassy in Cairo on 23 July 1952, in the early hours of the morning. The message was carried by an officer named All Sabri, and was ultimately received by Ambassador Jefferson Caffery. So much is agreed, amid the confusion of claim and counter-claim. Colonel Nasser was then 34 years old, a provincial post office clerk’s son who had made good in the army — quiet and a good listener. That night, he was busy directing a somewhat hurried coup d’état, slipping occasionally into English as he gave his orders, on the grounds that ‘Arabic was not a suitable language to express the need for calm’.26 The rebellion had been brought forward unexpectedly when the conspiracy of his Egyptian Free Officers’ Movement had been discovered by agents of King Farouk. Later known as the July Revolution, Nasser’s coup would inspire a series of inferior imitations by cells of ‘Free Officers’ across the Arab world — in Iraq, a bloodbath; in Yemen, a façade; in Libya, a farce. It remains the foundation of the present Egyptian regime.


Saudi Arabia Arab World Foreign Minister Muslim Brotherhood Jewish State 
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© Laura James 2006

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  • Laura M. James

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