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Yearning for an Arab Hero (Opinion).

The first Asia-Africa Conference was held in Bandung, Indonesia, in April, 1955.

Forty-one years later, on May 11, 1996, I sat watching a film at the Asia-Africa Museum, site of the Bandung Conference Bandung Conference, meeting of representatives of 29 African and Asian nations, held at Bandung, Indonesia, in 1955. The aim—to promote economic and cultural cooperation and to oppose colonialism—was more or less achieved in an atmosphere of cordiality. .

The film captured the spirit of the beginning of the new Non-Aligned Movement The Non-Aligned Movement (NAM) is an international organization of states considering themselves not formally aligned with or against any major power bloc. It was founded in 1950s; as of 2007, it has 118 members. . I listened to the speeches by the leaders of Asian and African nations, bonded by common cause. The primary objectives of the Conference were to build a sense of Asian-African solidarity, to end racism and colonialism, and to promote social justice and equality.

The key figures of the conference included Indonesian President Sukarno, Prime Minister Nehru of India, and President Gamal Abdel Nasser Noun 1. Gamal Abdel Nasser - Egyptian statesman who nationalized the Suez Canal (1918-1970)
 of Egypt.

On April 18, 1955, President Gamal Abdel Nasser addressed the delegates, speaking of such issues as race, religion, colonialism, and national sovereignty. He called for increasing support for human rights, social equality "Equal Rights" redirects here. for the motto, see Equal Rights (motto)

Social equality is a social state of affairs in which certain different people have the same status in a certain respect, at the very least in voting rights, freedom of speech and assembly, the extent of
, and the self-determination of people and nations.

President Nasser stressed the need for cooperation between Asian and African nations in the cultural, economic and social fields, stating, "Cooperation between the nations can lead these countries representing the biggest two continents of the world and more than half mankind towards progress and better standards of living."

On colonialism, he raised the question, "On what grounds can anyone condone the fact that the countries of North Africa which, for centuries, were independent nations and the seats of great civilizations are now being degraded to the status of non self-governing territories?"

Laying the foundation for Pan-Arabism, Nasser said, "We have been witnessing for some years the rising tide Noun 1. rising tide - the occurrence of incoming water (between a low tide and the following high tide); "a tide in the affairs of men which, taken at the flood, leads on to fortune" -Shakespeare
flood tide, flood
 of nationalism, not only in our part of the world but also in various parts of Asia and Africa." A year after Nasser denounced colonialism at the Bandung Conference; he challenged the West by "nationalizing" the Suez Canal Suez Canal, Arab. Qanat as Suways, waterway of Egypt extending from Port Said to Port Tawfiq (near Suez) and connecting the Mediterranean Sea with the Gulf of Suez and thence with the Red Sea. The canal is somewhat more than 100 mi (160 km) long.  on July 26, 1956. His action led to military confrontation with major super powers. As a result, Gamal Abdel Nasser emerged as a hero in the Arab world “Arab States” redirects here. For the political alliance, see Arab League.
The Arab World (Arabic: العالم العربي; Transliteration: al-`alam al-`arabi) stretches from the Atlantic Ocean in the

Anthony Nutting Sir Harold Anthony Nutting, 3rd Baronet (January 11, 1920 – February 24, 1999) was a British diplomat and Conservative Party politician. Early and private life
Nutting was born on 11 January 1920 and is the son of Sir Harold Stanmore Nutting, 2nd Bt.
, who at the time was the Minister of State for Foreign Affairs Minister of State for Foreign Affairs is a junior ministerial position in the British government. Ministers of State for Foreign Affairs 1945-1968
  • 1945: William Mabane
  • 1945-1946: Philip Noel-Baker
  • 1946-1950: Hector McNeil
  • 1950-1951: Kenneth Younger
 of the United Kingdom, resigned his position as a protest against the Suez invasion. Nutting articulated the triumph of Nasser in his book, No End of a Lesson: the Story of Suez:

"We had raised him to a pinnacle of power and prestige unknown in the Arab World since the beginning of the 18th century, when Mohammed Ali defied the combined pressures of the Ottoman Sultan and of Lord Palmerstone's England to enthrone en·throne  
tr.v. en·throned, en·thron·ing, en·thrones
a. To seat on a throne.

b. To invest with sovereign power or with the authority of high office.

 himself as the independent ruler of renascent re·nas·cent  
Coming again into being; showing renewed growth or vigor.

[Latin rensc

Even during times of tribulation following the 1967 war, the Arab masses continued to support Nasser and embrace his vision. He advocated for Arab unity until the final hours of his life, when he called for an emergency summit to deal with a crisis in Jordan. Due to the dynamic inspiration of his leadership, Nasser was able to help contain the crisis. Just a few hours later, on September 28, 1970, the life of Nasser ended.

Dr. Clovis Maksoud expressed his view on the Arab peoples' relationship with president Nasser in an article published in Arab Studies Quarterly Arab Studies Quarterly was founded in 1979 by Ibrahim Abu-Lughod, then at Northwestern University (Evanston, Illinois), where he was professor of political science, and Edward W. Said, literature professor at Columbia University.  (Summer 1997) entitled, "From June 1967 to June 1997: Learning from Our Mistakes." Dr. Maksoud writes, "Nasser's articulation of our deepest yearnings, ennobling en·no·ble  
tr.v. en·no·bled, en·no·bling, en·no·bles
1. To make noble: "that chastity of honor . . .
 defiance of dominance, charismatic personality and sincere commitment tendered the Arab masses uncritical and totally identified with every decision he made and with every policy he sought to pursue. The identification was of such intimacy that when he resigned in the aftermath of the disastrous defeat of 1967, the instant and stunning popular reaction calling on him to stay on was tantamount to a restorative act. While this reaction may in part have been an expression of fear of the unknown, it revealed an institutional vacuum that the masses instinctively sought to fill by an unprecedented demonstration of loyalty and affection. This was the same phenomenon that manifested itself when President Nasser died on 28 September 1970."

Some say that Arab Nationalism Arab nationalism is a common nationalist ideology in the 20th century.[1]It is based on the premise that nations from Morocco to the Arabian peninsula are united by their common linguistic, cultural and historical heritage.  is dead and buried with him, but what is the Concept of Arab Nationalism?

Nasser elaborated on Arab Nationalism during an interview on January 27, 1958, with American editors and commentators, "A quick glance at the history of the area establishes beyond the shadow of the doubt the fact that the aspirations of its entire people have always been for unity and solidarity. This is in fact what we mean when we speak of Arab Nationalism. Solidarity is a step towards unity. It will definitely be the solution if unity cannot be achieved". In a speech on December 23, 1958, in Port Said, Egypt, Nasser referred to Arab Nationalism as "C* not mere words to be repeated; it is not only a slogan but rather a great aim and an ideal."

Gamal Abdel Nasser left a great impact not only on Egypt, but also on the Arab World.

Anthony Nutting, in his biography, Nasser, described Gamal Abdel Nasser's prominent role in the Arab world, his impact not only on Egyptian history but also on Arab history, and how he gave a sense of dignity and national pride to the people. Mr. Nutting writes,

"For all his faults and failures, Nasser helped to give Egypt and the Arabs that sense of dignity, which for him was the hallmark of independent nationhood."

Perhaps these qualities of a hero that Abdel Nasser possessed explain why people in the Arab world still cling to his memory to this day, and are perhaps hoping for a new Arab dawn with that same sense of pride and dignity.

*The Author is a Library Consultant and resides in Chevy Chase, Maryland Chevy Chase is the name of both a town and an unincorporated Census-Designated Place (CDP) in Montgomery County, Maryland. In addition, a number of villages in the same area of Montgomery County include "Chevy Chase" in their names. ....

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Publication:Yemen Times (Sana'a, Yemen)
Date:Jul 29, 2009
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