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Nasser, Sadat, and Hussein

Nasser, Sadat, and Hussein - Allie Oliver History of the...

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Allie Oliver 3/14/08 History of the Middle East Nasser, Sadat, and Hussein; Their Ascent to Power and the Marks They Left on the World “Be not afraid of greatness: some are born great, some achieve greatness and some have greatness thrust upon them". Shakespeare’s cautioning words in “Twelfth Night” greatly apply to Nasser (achieved greatness), Sadat, (who was thrust into greatness) and Hussein (achieved greatness as well). The three powerful men in one way or another ascended to power and there had huge influences on their respective countries and the world at large. In 1939, a young man named Gamal Abdel Nasser volunteered to serve in Sudan. During the war, Nasser met Anwar Sadat, another friend and political ally that helped him to begin forming a group of other young military officers with strong Egyptian nationalist feelings who supported some form of revolution. This group adopted the name “Free Officers.” The Free Officers wanted a parliamentary and secular form of government, as well as the British out of Egypt. In the words of Peter Mansfield, Nasser, “…grave, thoughtful and reticent in manner, but with considerable charismatic charm - had emerged as its natural leader and organizer” (Mansfield 240). King Faruk was becoming very unpopular, as his “…glandular disorder and self-indulgence had transformed the handsome boy-king into a cartoon-satire of middle-aged debauchery… and the frivolous luxury of his life in Mediterranean resorts during Egypt’s troubles seemed a callous insult to his impoverished subjects” (Mansfield 241). In 1952, Nasser and the Free Officers seized control, deposed King Faruk, and installed General
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Muhammad Naguib, a hero from the 1948 Arab-Israeli War, as President. His installation, however was solely to give credibility to the new governing force; he had little real support, as “…it became apparent to the outside world that the tall, impressive but rather sombre 34-year old Colonel Nasser was the true leader of the revolution” (Mansfield 244). In June 1953, Naguib proclaimed himself President of the Republic of Egypt. However, in 1954, Nasser formally removed Naguib from power and established himself as the effective leader of Egypt. His place was secured following the failed assassination attempt in October of 1954. This event provided the final pretext for the removal of Naguib on the grounds of his supposed collaboration with the Muslim Brotherhood who was accused of the failed attempt. As Michel B. Oren so aptly describes Nasser, “ Within two years of taking power, he was legendary throughout the Middle East as the liberator of Egypt and the Arabs’ defender against an ever-rapacious West…” (Oren 38). Anwar Sadat, as mentioned above entered the army and was posted to Sudan where he met Gamal Abdel Nasser. Along with his fellow Free Officers, Sadat participated in the military coup of 1952 which overthrew King Faruk. “Sadat was the same age as Nasser and a former fellow-officer and conspirator; he came from a similar moderately prosperous village background” (Mansfield 291). In 1964, he was chosen to
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Nasser, Sadat, and Hussein - Allie Oliver History of the...

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