Gamal Abdel Nasser quotes

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Gamal Abdel Nasser

Birthdate: 15. January 1918
Date of death: 28. September 1970

Gamal Abdel Nasser Hussein was the second President of Egypt, serving from 1954 until his death in 1970. Nasser led the 1952 overthrow of the monarchy and introduced far-reaching land reforms the following year. Following a 1954 attempt on his life by a Muslim Brotherhood member, he cracked down on the organization, put President Mohamed Naguib under house arrest and assumed executive office. He was formally elected president in June 1956.

Nasser's popularity in Egypt and the Arab world skyrocketed after his nationalization of the Suez Canal and his political victory in the subsequent Suez Crisis. Calls for pan-Arab unity under his leadership increased, culminating with the formation of the United Arab Republic with Syria from 1958 to 1961. In 1962, Nasser began a series of major socialist measures and modernization reforms in Egypt. Despite setbacks to his pan-Arabist cause, by 1963 Nasser's supporters gained power in several Arab countries, but he became embroiled in the North Yemen Civil War and eventually the much larger Arab Cold War. He began his second presidential term in March 1965 after his political opponents were banned from running. Following Egypt's defeat by Israel in the 1967 Six-Day War, Nasser resigned, but he returned to office after popular demonstrations called for his reinstatement. By 1968, Nasser had appointed himself Prime Minister, launched the War of Attrition to regain lost territory, began a process of depoliticizing the military and issued a set of political liberalization reforms. After the conclusion of the 1970 Arab League summit, Nasser suffered a heart attack and died. His funeral in Cairo drew five million mourners and an outpouring of grief across the Arab world.

Nasser remains an iconic figure in the Arab world, particularly for his strides towards social justice and Arab unity, modernization policies and anti-imperialist efforts. His presidency also encouraged and coincided with an Egyptian cultural boom and launched large industrial projects, including the Aswan Dam and Helwan city. Nasser's detractors criticize his authoritarianism, his human rights violations and his dominance of military over civil institutions, establishing a pattern of military and dictatorial rule in Egypt. Wikipedia

„I am alive, and even if I die, all of you are Gamal Abdul Nasser!“

—  Gamal Abdel Nasser

To his followers during the assassination attempt by the Muslim Brotherhood, as quoted in The Looming Tower: Al-Qaeda and the Road to 9/11 by Lawrence Wright
Context: Let them kill Nasser! What is Nasser but one among many? I am alive, and even if I die, all of you are Gamal Abdul Nasser!

„If the Jews win this battle, then the Arabs had better go bury their faces in the mud!“

—  Gamal Abdel Nasser

[Middle East: What to Do About Germany, TIME, Friday, Mar. 19, 1965, http://www.time.com/time/magazine/article/0,9171,833554,00.html, September 6, 2011]

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„No person, not even the most simple one, takes seriously the lie of the six million Jews that were murdered“

—  Gamal Abdel Nasser

in the Holocaust
Source: [Satloff, Robert, Among the Righteous: Lost Stories from the Holocaust's Long Reach Into Arab lands, PublicAffairs, 2007, 163, 9781586485108]
Source: [Laqueur, Walter, The Changing Face of Antisemitism: From Ancient Times to the Present Day, Oxford University Press, 2006, 141, 9780195304299]

„If the refugees return to Israel – Israel will cease to exist.“

—  Gamal Abdel Nasser

As quoted in A Mandate for Terror : The United Nations and the PLO (1989), by Harris O. Schoenberg, p. 239

„If anyone thinks we have become tired, let me say that we are a struggling nation, a fighting nation, a patient nation.“

—  Gamal Abdel Nasser

[Egypt: Back to the Balcony, TIME, 4 March 1966, http://www.time.com/time/magazine/article/0,9171,835211,00.html, September 6, 2011]

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