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The following program is produced under a grant and aid from the educational radio and television center and is distributed through the National Association of educational broadcasters and the University of Michigan probably presents one nation indivisible. Self-determination independence. Sovereignty. These are the catch words of one of the most powerful forces on march in the world today. Words which symbolize the desire of people everywhere. To be masters of their own political destiny. This is our story.
The story of nationalism in the twentieth century. Told in a series of 13 radio documents created by the broadcasting service of the University of Michigan. And now. One nation indivisible. Good evening ladies and gentlemen this is the lemurs gala speaking to you from Liberation Square in Alexandria where this evening. In a few minutes from now we'll have the visit of President Nasser who will deliver one of the most important speeches and then it has yet been delivered since the outbreak of the revolution. On the 23rd of July 1952. The place I'm broadcasting from at the moment is huge balcony which is something around about 30 yards by 10 is on his way to the balcony at the time. This applause. The
welcome given to him enough. Thanks. Thanks. This was Liberation Square. Alexandria Egypt July 26 1956. You're listening to an actual recording made at that time. This day was one of the high points of modern Egyptian history and the Egyptian national movement. The army officer Council led by Colonel Richard entered the monarchy in Egypt in a successful revolution exactly four years before which had negotiated the withdrawal of British troops from the Suez Canal exactly two years before was now about to cap nationalist aspirations with a momentous announcement. But let's return to Liberation Square. President Nasser is speaking. WE SHOULD THANK YOU
The law has been promulgated nationalizing the Suez Canal. The consequences of the speech the straining of relations between Egypt and the Western world the Anglo-French Israeli invasion of Egypt the United Nations order to the invaders to withdraw and the straining of the Atlantic alliance because of United States support of the UN decision. All these added but another chapter to the long bitter and often bloody story of Egyptian nationalism. These events also dramatically attests to the importance to the world of the course Egypt pursues now and in the future. What is Egypt. What is an Egyptian. Well an Egyptian is someone born in Egypt. Gyptian is or has been naturalized according to the law. An Egyptian his first and foremost anatta speaking Arabic belonging to the Arab nation with its common history language and culture.
Most Egyptians are Muslims their first duty is to broad. And the cooperation of all Arab and Muslim people do. Their best. These answers reflect the three major currents which have affected Egyptian nationalism since the start. The existence of these three different attitudes eliminates the complexities of any study of Egyptian history the interaction of the three may well provide the key to understanding of Egypt's present and future. But what were some of the more important steps in the long struggle for a national identity which preceded those climactic events on the same days in one thousand fifty two thousand nine hundred fifty four and one thousand fifty six. And that is the sound of the sucky and Egyptian water wheel which draws
water from the Nile to irrigate the fields on either side of the river. The Saki is symbolic of Egypt's history since the first primitive people settled in the fertile valley. The Nile has control the destiny of Egypt. Arrows one of the most ancient and magnificent civilizations in history. The Kingdom of the Pharaohs here were built the pyramids and the Sphinx. And here were first formulated many of the scientific religious and philosophical concepts which we considered today the heritage of the Western world. Will. You. The Nile was essential to Egypt but Egypt was and remains the key to the Mediterranean world because of his strategic position. Egypt was a bridge between Europe Asia and Africa because she straddled one of the most traveled lines of communication. She became a desirable object of conquest for the powers which sprang up on her borders with the decline of the Pharaohs Egypt was crossed and conquered by the legions of Greece. Rome the Arabs and the Ottoman Turks.
All in varying degrees left their impress on the culture of the Nile Valley. But none so strongly as the armies of the nomads of Arabia in the seventh century A.D. these nomads wrote out of their bleak deserts to create an empire which at its peak stretched from the heart of France through Africa and Asia to the borders of China some three hundred fifty million people still answer the call to prayer throughout this area in the daily witness that there is no God but the one God and Muhammad is His Prophet. In North Africa and the Near East 80 millions adopted the Arabic language along with the faith of Islam. Although 10 million Arabs continue to practice Christianity Egypt's virtual hegemony over the heartland of Islam ended with her conquest in 15 17 by the Ottoman Turks of Euro people who had migrated out of central Asia in the 13th
century the Ottoman Empire controlled the destinies of political Islam for the next 400 years with the rise of European imperialism in the 18th and 19th centuries. Egypt because of her strategic position became a pawn in the rivalry of great powers. As a consequence of this rivalry Egypt was launched into the period of modern history and modern statehood. The figure immediately responsible for this was Napoleon Bonaparte. Deciding against an attack on the home island of his mortal enemy England Napoleon chose rather to make a daring thrust East at the British Empire in India. He chose Egypt for his first target in July 1798 he landed his troops at Alexandria and marched inland toward Cairo. His proclamation to the people of Egypt was significant. Oh it would be as if you did.
Not look. They will tell you that I have come to destroy your body and I don't believe it. Tell them I come to restore your rights. Punish the usurpers and that I respect God His prophet and the Holy Koran. Come on. At the Nile in the shadow of the pyramids Napoleon's modern army takes the medieval equipped ranks of the once mighty Ottoman Empire in Egypt. Their legend says Napoleon rallied his troops with a cry. So you gut always a good you would say PM me. To shake. Soldiers. Forty centuries look down on you in no time at all. The fiction of Turkish sovereignty in Egypt was destroyed. Napoleon was victorious but more than a decision of modern over ancient arms had been accomplished. The intellectual order of the Middle Ages was shattered forever in Egypt. French archaeologists not only opened the
ancient world of the pharaohs to Europeanize but gave to the Egyptians themselves a new pride in their past. This intellectual Renaissance was the basis for the later growth of secular nationalism. The immediate effect of Napoleon's conquest was to arouse the British at the engagement of Aboukir. At no Nelson destroyed the French fleet that effectively prevented the Polian from consolidating his gains. The campaign had another important consequence. Among the Turkish troops sent to fight the French was a young Albanian officer named Muhammad Ali having distinguished himself on the battlefield he rose rapidly to power and established himself as virtual ruler of Egypt in fact though not legally independent of the Turkish Sultan the hereditary dynasty he founded was not brought to an end until the ouster of King for oak in 1052. The Egyptian people were not politically conscious in the modern sense of the word. Remember
that since the time of the Pharaohs and not for more than a hundred years to come was there a ruler or a government in Egypt purely Egyptian in character under Mohammad Ali Egypt was a clearly definable state. But it was not yet a nation in an attempt to bring the benefits of European civilization to Egypt Muhammad Ali invited technicians engineers doctors and educators into the country. The program of Westernisation was not entirely successful but it was continued and enlarged under his successors. Saeed and his commenting in the building of the Suez Canal in 1869. November of that year a great festival attended by large numbers of the crowned heads of Europe celebrated the formal opening of the canal to the shipping of the world a special opera house was built in Cairo for the performance of a new opera written for the occasion. Aida my
vanity. But Egypt was bankrupt. The expense of the Suez Canal was the final straw. In order to meet payments on the canal Egypt was forced to sell its shares most of which were bought up by England by the 1870s England and France had control of Egypt's economy and began to exert their influence on the political structure of the government. At this point the voice of true Egyptian nationalism was heard for the first time popular a vote coalesced under the leadership of a military man of Egyptian peasant stock. Ahmed. We are opposed to the Turkish officials who control our government. We are opposed to the Turkish officers were not our army. We are opposed to friends and business control of our economy. We are opposed to foreign intervention. Egypt for the Egyptians. While Arabe never expressed himself in those exact words they form the substance of his belief and that of his
followers. France and England refused to regard a Robbie's movement as a genuine nationalistic one. On the 6th of January 1882 the two countries issued jointly the famed Gambetta note which made military intervention almost inevitable. The game better not serve to inflame nationalist opinion. Robbie was appointed minister of war. The Army took over control of the country. Only an incident was needed to precipitate armed conflict in May 1882 the incident was supplied by British fleet anchored off the harbor of Alexandria Egyptians began to repair the fortifications flanking the harbor July 3rd 1882 from the Foreign Office to add more see more of the British fleet if work is resumed on earthworks all fresh guns mounted in full military commander that you have orders to prevent it and if not immediately discontinued destroy it works and silence batteries if they open fire. The Egyptians disregarded the warning July night. Britain demanded the surrender of the forts. The Council of the Kadee bowing to the influence of Arabi rejected the ultimatum. If you persist in opening fire. The government reserves its freedom of
action and leaves you with the responsibility for this act of aggression. France up to this point the more forward member of the alliance showed signs of hesitation. She refused to join the now determined British who were intent on crushing the nationalist military control of Egypt. The French fleet withdrew and thus in effect lost any future voice in the affairs of Egypt. Admiral Seymour the British commander gave notice that he would open fire in 24 hours. Why should Egyptians destroy you with their own hands their own fortifications. Because a stranger who covets their land demands it. On the contrary it is our duty to defend and fight for our country to our dying breath. The Egyptian shore batteries were silent. Alexandria went up in flames on July 13th 1882 British Marines landed British troops from India steamed through Suez and converged on Cairo. The Egyptian army was defeated Arabi was
imprisoned and his nationalist party dispersed. Now although Great Britain officially restored authority to the Turkish ruler effective power lay in the hands of the British diplomatic agent in Cairo backed up by a force of British troops which remained in Egypt until 1954. So even when bearing Lord Cromer was England's representative in Egypt from 1883 until one thousand six at the close of his term Lord Cromer summed up the benefits of England's rule. Slavery has virtually ceased to exist. The house in days of the attention and the huge euro our past fiscal burdens have been greatly relieved. Everywhere law reigns supreme justice is no longer often so nature instead of being spent and neglected has been wont to bestow her gifts on mankind.
There was considerable truth behind promos rather rosy picture but there were many things which the British did not do chroma as a single minded devotion to the cause of Egypt's financial solvency diverted his attention from other equally important problems industrialisation communications and education. Passive resistance to Britain's occupation increased and the inheritance of the lobby's ideals was embodied in the slogan Egypt for the Egyptians. A contemporary Egyptian writer has summed up the situation well when he says the British are neither I Gangle Machiavellian schemers not a host of San Georges in shining armor but in the mean honest and efficient administrators suffering from both a lack of vision and the limitations which fatally be set. Any attempt by one people to govern another and which because of the actions they provoke and the consequent waste of energy means that foreign domination however efficient is no adequate substitute for self government.
The world war that began in 1014 brought new tensions to Egypt when Turkey declared herself on the side of Germany Britain issued a proclamation His Britannic Majesty as Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs gives notice that in view of the state of war arising out of the action of Turkey Egypt is placed under the protection of his majesty and will henceforth constitute a British protectorate. This was a blow to Egyptian aspirations while welcoming the final disposal of Turkish rule in Egypt. The Nationalists had been led to believe that British rule was temporary. Now it was obvious that England intended to stay the very decisiveness of this action and the repressive nature of wartime regulations finally transformed Egyptian nationalism into active planned rebellion. 1919 two days after the armistice ending World War One a delegation of Egyptian nationalists calls on the British High Commissioner and demands full independence for Egypt. The request is refused. The leaders of the new party the waft are reported a nationwide strike followed by a
spontaneous uprising is quelled by British troops. Violence continues. 28 February one thousand twenty two Great Britain issues a unilateral declaration of Egyptian independence. His Majesty's government in accordance with their declared intentions desire forthwith to recognize Egypt as an independent and sovereign state. But there are conditions. Britain reserves to itself discretion in several matters including the defense of Egypt and the protection of foreign interests and minorities. In reality little is changed and the nationalists are quick to declare the terms unsatisfactory. March 15th 1922 the hereditary ruler of Egypt assumes the new title King Fahad the king immediately takes up a position opposed to the waft the voice of nationalism. Although a parliament continues to operate it remains ineffective. The frustrated nationalists resort to agitation among the students and violence in the streets. 1936 Mussolini invades Ethiopia. Egyptian nationalists
concerned over the threat to their territory and England concerned over the Suez Canal signed an agreement. Both sides make concessions. Britain withdraws some troops. Egypt promises full facilities to Britain in the event of war. Such was the uneasy peace that reigned when World War Two erupted and the struggle for Egyptian independence entered its final phase. In the spring of 1991. Rama began his drive across North Africa anti-British feeling in Egypt was aroused to fever pitch by German propaganda. There was a sudden if ill considered hope for liberation. England determined on a bold move on nationalists suspected of treason. When I arrested King Farouk who had come out on the side of the Nationalists was threatened with deportation. His palace was surrounded by tanks. February 4th one thousand forty two he capitulated. Britain was once again in complete control of the country.
The events of 1042 had momentous consequences King Farouk because of his surrender to British tanks lost a considerable amount of prestige. Gradually the fear of losing his throne pushed him into hostility toward the nationalist movement. In addition the old Nationalist Party the wife having accepted power at the hands of those same British forces lost its unique position as leader of the liberation movement. Extra parliamentary groups such as the Muslim Brotherhood began to gain strength. Egyptian nationalism mounted on a new if I'm conscious dimension whereas nationalism up to this time had been solely concerned with the liberation of Egypt from English control. It now also became concerned with Egypt's liberation from its own rulers. The seeds of the revolution of 1052 were planted in an atmosphere of both frustration and a sense of betrayal in 1045 began the reign of terror and violence which was to lead to the verge of anarchy and then to revolution. February 1945 Akhmed Meyer prime minister of Egypt stands in Parliament to read Egypt's declaration of war on the Axis powers. He
is shot to death by a nationalist sympathizer January 1946. A former minister of finance held to be a stooge of the British assassinated in 1947 the U.N. Security Council decides to partition Palestine. War breaks out between the Israelis and the Egyptians. The victory of Israeli forces only increases the frustration of Egyptian nationalists March 1948. A judge murdered in Cairo the Cairo chief of police killed in a riot in 1949. Strong government restores a semblance of internal peace to the country. In 1950 and 51 the leftist government under nationalist pressure directed its attention once again to the prime enemy of Egyptian independence Great Britain on a fateful day in October of nine hundred fifty one. The prime minister now has Pasha the man who negotiated and signed the treaty of 936 stood before the Egyptian parliament sake of Egypt signed the treaty of 1936.
For the sake of Egypt. Are you here by abrogate it. Nationalism had achieved a notable victory or so I thought. But the British instead of leaving dug in and reinforced the Suez garrisons January 25th 1952 British forces attacked an Egyptian police post in the canal city of Ismailia killing some 15 individuals and destroying the barracks Jan. 26 the Black Saturday small group swelling into mobs began rioting sacking and burning the city of Cairo. The modern city of Cairo the city of the British the foreigner the upper class 11 British sailors were killed in the center of the city has gutted the Shepheard's Hotel symbol of British occupation goes up in flames. When the war had for many years been plain to see. But during that I would say of this day its meaning may be said to have stood out in letters of fire so writes the modern historian.
The Egyptian national spirit had expressed itself in bloodshed and violence but independence a unified government a true nation could not be achieved by a mob. A guiding hand was needed for some time a group of army officers angry over the handling of the Palestine war had been planning a revote. Now relying heavily on popular support they decided to supply that guiding hand during the night of July 22nd to the morning of July 23rd one thousand fifty two they carried out their coup d'etat. The Ministry of Defense the postal services the radio station where seized things were tried desperate measures to save his throne but the army and the people were not satisfied. On July 26 the general now gave us commander in chief of the Revolutionary Army issued an ultimatum to His Majesty King Farouk. In view of the complete anarchy which reigned throughout the country. As a result of your misdeeds tampering with the Constitution and complete disregard of the people's will. To the extent that no
individual is about his life property or dignity. I have been or surprised by the army representing the people. To ask you were to abdicate in favor of your crown prince who was in Alexandria was given until 6pm to quit the country. His acceptance of the ultimatum came quickly. By 6pm he had sailed in his royal yacht with his queen of the sun he had declared ruler in his stead. But the monarch even the name could not last for a year the Revolutionary Council struggled with the enormous problems of reorganizing the government from top to bottom on democratic principles. Then on June 18th 1033 a manifesto was issued by the Revolutionary Council. The moment has therefore come for the country to free itself from every trace of the servitude imposed on it by these events. We therefore proclaim today in the name of the people the abolition of the monarchy the end of the dynasty of Mohammed as
well as that of the titles of the members of that family. We proclaim very public. The revolution was successful. From behind the scenes where according to the best information he had been a controlling figure from the beginning. Gamal Abdel Nasser emerged to lead Egypt through the next phase of its turbulent history. In 1954 the revolutionary government to achieve one of its major goes British troops evacuated to Egyptian soil. And then in 1056 came the momentous decision over Suez. Who are you
on. Thank you. In spite of all that has been accomplished the waterwheel continues to turn what Egyptians will find most difficult to achieve in the future is a coherence of national identity. Nasr in his book The philosophy of the revolution has observed that Egypt is the center from which radiate three concentric circles one in compassing Africa one encompassing the Arab world and one encompassing the world of Islam. This view of Egypt's role in world affairs reflects the three often conflicting divisions in Egyptian thinking. Is the inhabitant of the Nile Valley first and foremost an Egyptian an Arab or a Muslim. On how he answers that question finally may well depend the future role of Egypt in the affairs of the world.
One nation indivisible one of a series of 13 radio documents on nationalism in the twentieth century. Resource advisor for this program on Egypt was Richard P. Metro instructor in Near Eastern Studies at the University of Michigan. We gradually acknowledge the cooperation of the Arabic Information Center and Radio Cairo in furnishing on the spot recorder news. The program was written and narrated by e.g. Burroughs included in the cast or Egypt students attending the university. The program was directed by Williams and was produced and transcribed by the broadcasting service of the University of Michigan. To get. To go. One nation indivisible was produced under a grant an aide from the Educational Television and Radio Center and was distributed through the National Association of educational broadcasters.
One nation indivisible
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University of Michigan
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University of Maryland (College Park, Maryland)
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Egypt: Culture, religion and the search for a national entity involve a newly independent country in the larger struggle between East and West. Features Gamal Abdel Nasser, president of Egypt.
A documentary series about nationalism in the 20th century.
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Narrator: Hemmers, Lou
Producing Organization: University of Michigan
Speaker: Nasser, Gamal Abdel, 1918-1970
AAPB Contributor Holdings
University of Maryland
Identifier: 58-17-9 (National Association of Educational Broadcasters)
Format: 1/4 inch audio tape
Duration: 00:29:38
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Chicago: “One nation indivisible; Egypt,” 1958-01-01, University of Maryland, American Archive of Public Broadcasting (GBH and the Library of Congress), Boston, MA and Washington, DC, accessed January 16, 2021,
MLA: “One nation indivisible; Egypt.” 1958-01-01. University of Maryland, American Archive of Public Broadcasting (GBH and the Library of Congress), Boston, MA and Washington, DC. Web. January 16, 2021. <>.
APA: One nation indivisible; Egypt. Boston, MA: University of Maryland, American Archive of Public Broadcasting (GBH and the Library of Congress), Boston, MA and Washington, DC. Retrieved from