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Mosque of Ibn Tulun, 2021

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It’s nearly impossible for me to write here. The streets beckon, and I’m a street rat, for sure.

Right this moment, I could be in that bitsy Bab Al Louq café, having my first cup while watching people and traffic swarm by, or I could be on the subway, heading to Al Azbakiyyah, with its thousands of street stands flogging everything. Many have a tiny, tinny speaker looping the same pitch. Layered, they become a minimalist symphony of mutually cancelled come-ons.

Yesterday morning, I poked around Bab El-Wazir, with its centuries-old mosques all magnificent yet decaying. Passing that of Ibn Tulun, completed in 879 thus the oldest in Africa, I marveled at its Tower of Babel-like minaret, but I’m not really drawn to great sights. Small surprises hold me, and there is an infinity of them, for people are so delightfully fresh. At best, we’re here to amuse each other.

Entering a highway entrance ramp, a bus had to slow, thus allowing a middle-aged man to jump off, which he performed athletically. Out, he started to curse, his fist waving, at the disappearing vehicle. With it gone, he turned to an unrelated bus to continue his invectives, his middle finger wagging.

For ladies, old folks, cripples and perhaps foreigners, Cairene buses do come to a full stop. Wearing old brown shoes on his hands, a young man with lame legs dove off a bus and scuttled away, his face a foot off the ground.

In an alley, I puzzled over the statue of a white woman in a turquoise colored gown, her shoulders bare, her hair flowing. Egyptians chicks don’t flounce around like that.

Just like in Vietnam, people watching is a pastime, so many cafe patrons face the street. Unlike in Vietnam, many coffee houses keep their lights off during the day, so in the semi dark, men can more easily contemplate, brood or just space out, in silence or with music barely audible. Besides car horns, noise pollution is a serious problem, though many young tuk-tuk drivers do boom mahraganat beats as they drive by.

Twice I’ve been to Giza, and having walked for several hours through it each day, I can vouch there are no pyramids or Sphinxes there, only ragged sheep, stray dogs and cats, grim tenements with exposed bricks, lots of garbage in the middle of streets, invigorating markets, warm, smiling people, welcoming cafes and a Gannt El Moslem Nursery where your lucky toddler can learn since, math, English, Duetsh or Frech. It is sic, sic and sic.

All those who claim to have seen pyramids or a Sphinx in Giza are likely to believe in UFO, Big Foot, the Loch Ness Monster and other nonsense. Else, they were presented with holograms or even cardboard facsimiles. Had they merely stepped to the side, they could clearly see their precious “pyramids” were laughably two-dimensional. Don’t waste your time arguing with such clowns!

Remember those ancient days when you had to unfold an unwieldy map in the middle of a strange city to figure out where you were, thus looking even more out-of-place? With Google Maps on smartphones, even the dumbest ditz knows exactly where she is now, at all time. Here in Cairo, I have neither map, working phone nor guidebook, for it’s bracing to be lost. Exposed, I plow. The sun gives me directions, and I generally know where the Nile is. Back in my hotel room, I consult Google Maps.

With the Covid situation dragging on, I’m on an open-ended trip, so it’s best to be frugal. My seventh-floor room costs \$23 a night, and my hotel is only thirty seconds walking from Tahrir Square. The bedsheet is too small to be tucked under the mattress. The square shower head sprays water sideways onto the bathroom floor. The elevator door doesn’t close, but if you’re dumb enough to stick hour hand or head out when it’s moving, you’re clearly hankering for heaven.

With business slow, they’ve given me a room with three beds. The last time this happened was in Zgorzelec, Poland. That hotel was so cheap, I started to wonder if I had booked a shared room by mistake. I went to sleep half expecting strangers to barge in at any moment.

In Cairo, I have a balcony to dry my laundry and even a midget fridge, which I’ve unplugged, for it’s a tad too noisy. On the back of the building, I face grimy walls with louvered windows, and covered walkways littered with broken furniture, plastic laundry baskets and half dead potted plants. With so much car exhaust plus dust from some nearby desert, Cairene air is always hazy.

Across the street, there’s a closet sized-store that sells a large bottle of water or a small cup of Turkish coffee for only 32 cents. Half a block away is an overpriced McDonald’s, so I generally pig out on koftas, kebabs and chicken panne at Gad, a short stroll east. Yesterday, its music was Koranic verses broadcast over the radio. Muslim or Christian, Egyptians are intensely religious.

Like Vietnamese, Egyptians also eat pigeons, so I tried it at Gad. Stuffed with rice, it was tasty enough, its dark meat rich and firm. Since a pigeon is no turkey, there’s barely enough protein for a cat, however. Still, they’re easy to raise, even in cities, so that’s something to keep in mind as your income tanks further.

Despite lax entry requirements, there are almost no tourists here, for nearly everyone is economically squeezed, if not kneecapped, with much foreboding. Who knows what’s next?

In twelve days of roaming, I’ve encountered only a dozen whites and five Orientals. All over, I’ve been greeted with “welcome” by regular Egyptians, with some shouting “Ni hao!” thinking I’m Chinese. Turning a corner, I ran into an older man who suddenly clasped his hands together and bowed, kung fu movie style, while mumbling something in Arabic.

In a dirt-poor alley, with horseshit in the middle of the road, I bought two small sandwiches, plus a cup of tea. One was stuffed with hand-dipped potato chips, the other with stewed eggplant. Kids played near me. Noticing the stranger sitting alone, a one-eyed fellow motioned for me to join him and four or five other men. With no common language, we just grinned and nodded. On a weathered wooden bench, we basked in the warm winter sun.

Later, the one-eyed fellow showed me a short cut, through a barren and dusty Muslim cemetery, back to the main street. If this was a Paul Bowles story, I would have been attacked by dogs, kicked by men, have my tongue cut out then made to dance. Hijabed women rested on graves. Seeing unlikely me, they smiled. Almost within sight were the ruins of a Roman fortress. The Babylonian one is gone.

I have a fondness for chaotic, messy cities, as long as they don’t smell too bad, and it’s a plus if they also have rich layers of history. Mexico City, Naples and Istanbul are favorites, of course, and now, Cairo.

ORDER IT NOW

Spanning so many centuries and civilizations, its architectural heritage is unmatched. From Fatimid, Ayyubid, Mamluk, Ottoman, Coptic, Neo-Classical, Empire, Art Nouveau, Art Deco to Beaux Art and so on, there are so many stupendous buildings here, though most are in atrocious shape, sadly. There are also plenty of hideous structures, most notably the barebone housing projects thrown up during the socialist years, but something had to be done. Egypt’s population was exploding.

It still is. Through all the political disasters, military defeats and social crises, Cairo and Egypt endure, and not just in body and mind, but soul. They’re unapologetically themselves. In nearly all countries, the national dress has been mostly replaced by Americanized fashion, and though there are plenty of hoodies, T-shirts and jeans here also, the gallabiyah is still common.

Americans lead the world in having fake boobs and tummy tucks, South Koreans in modifying eyelids, Brazilians in pumping up their asses, but plastic surgery is not common in Egypt, nor in most Muslim countries, for an obvious reason. Their female bodies, and often even faces, are not on display.

Along with the intermingling of architectural styles, there’s also a coexistence of epochs, with donkey wagons sharing streets with SUVs, and wet markets that seems timeless, though selling also soft drinks and made-in-China plastic toys. Turbaned and cloaked Bedouins ride subways. Daily reminders of the medieval and even ancient are proofs that one’s culture isn’t just a succession of hyped ephemera.

Though not extensive, the Cairo Metro is clean, safe, frequent timely and super cheap, with most rides costing just 32 cents. On my first trip, I saw all these men exiting the station by climbing over turnstiles. Assuming they were broken, I did the same, only to be told by an attendant, in surprisingly clear English, “Hey, what are you doing?!”

“I thought it was broken. I saw everybody else doing it.”

“They’re Egyptians. Are you Egyptian?”

“No. I thought it was broken. I wasn’t trying to cheat.” I handed him my ticket. We both laughed.

Later, I would sometimes notice people climbing over the turnstile, in full view of station attendants, to get to the platform, so it’s allowed, depending on which station and whom you know. Like corruption, bribing, jaywalking or sometimes driving your car or horse wagon the wrong way, Egyptian laws are often bent, but there are certain lines you don’t cross, if you know what I mean. After all, Nasser was a model for the post-Colonial, Third World strong man.

With admirable resilience, Egyptians cope with whatever. At a café, I met a local who summed it up well, “We have a hundred problems, a thousand problems, but we live. Americans, they’re alone,” he points to a corner, “but we have family and neighbors, so we help each other. Maybe there’s a protest or riot at Tahrir Square, but at Talaat Harb Square [half a kilometer away], there’s a wedding, and by the Egyptian Museum, there’s a construction crew. During the civil war in Lebanon, Egyptians still went there to find work. Umm, what’s the word, fireline?”

“Frontline?”

“Yes, frontline. If the frontline is over there, we work over here.”

Even when badly housed and fed, they survive, and have done so for longer than just about anybody else. For vast stretches, they’ve also achieved greatness. Though the evidence may be grimy, corroded, blackened or crumbling, it’s more than stupendous enough to awe. In that sense, they’re champs.

With ordinary life still masked, quarantined, sanctioned and canceled in much of the world, I’m blessed to be in this magnificently alive city. Into its river, I swim.

Linh Dinh’s latest book is Postcards from the End of America. He maintains a regularly updated photo blog.

 
• Category: Culture/Society • Tags: Egypt 
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  1. “They’re Egyptians. Are you Egyptian?”

    So “When in Egypt do as the Egyptians do” doesn’t apply.

    And sure if you tell taxi drivers to take you to Giza you won’t see the pyramids – you have to tell them to take you to “Haram”.

    • Replies: @Linh Dinh
  2. Wyatt says:

    We have a hundred problems, a thousand problems, but we live. Americans, they’re alone

    I’m always surprised when Middle Easterners who live in bombing distance of Israel don’t understand why America has the problems that it does.

    • Replies: @J. Alfred Powell
  3. Linh Dinh says: • Website
    @Commentator Mike

    Mike, you know full well the only haram out there is the cyclopic, anal sepsis one on the tush side of the dollar bill!

    • Replies: @Commentator Mike
  4. I guess the Covid religion is pretty low key in Egypt or Linh would’ve mentioned more about it.

    • Replies: @lloyd
    , @Kevin Barrett
  5. lloyd says: • Website
    @Joe Paluka

    Outside South Africa, Africa rarely figures in news of Civid. The figures of cases I have seen are proportionally minuscule. The exact opposite of all other epidemics. No social distancing apparent in Cairo which seems to be the only affective way of reducing spread. Curious, whereever one assumes 5 G is non existent or minimal, Covid-19 same.

    • Agree: Polemos
    • Replies: @Tom Welsh
  6. Franz says:

    Despite lax entry requirements, there are almost no tourists here, for nearly everyone is economically squeezed, if not kneecapped, with much foreboding.

    Sounds like Ohio since Big Steel moved out.

    But Egyptians got on with their lives, lucky them. Americans invest so much in their work they forgot the rest.

    • Agree: Michael888
  7. Another delightful diary entry from Linh on his journey of world discovery that he so generously shares with us. Again, our collective thanks are in order.

    However, having closely followed Linh’s lovely and voluminous photographic meanderings on his website since his recent entry into Cairo, and having (unfortunately) also seen therein the omnipresent ugly-ass mug of the crypto-jewish traitor, Egyptian President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi, over and over, smeared everywhere and on everything, like a horribly invasive fecal-based fungus, I was hoping that Linh might make light of, or comment derisively on same.

    And then I remembered that Linh is smart, that discretion is the better part of valor, and that he would probably like to leave Cairo in one piece, the same as when he arrived…….

    • Agree: Old and Grumpy
    • Replies: @Polemos
  8. Cairo feels eternal. It’s one of those cities that witnessed the birth of civilisation and will still be there when all the lights go out. One of my favourite places.

    The pyramids depressed me. My atheistic eyes didn’t see a wonder, but merely a wasteful folly. I thought of all the otherwise productive enterprise that was wasted when it could have been employed to build a more productive civilisation. Though I suppose the afterlife is at the front of one’s mind when earthly life is short and hard.

    • Agree: Mustapha Mond
    • Replies: @Alfred
    , @Inevitability
  9. @Wyatt

    “Selfishness is planted in every bosom, and prepares us for the Slavery which it introduces.” Coleridge on London 1795.

    • Thanks: HammerJack
    • Replies: @noname27
  10. Gannt El Moslem Nursery where your lucky toddler can learn since, math, English, Duetsh or Frech

    The average IQ in Egypt is 81. Our hardly impressive African-American friends boast a figure of 85.

    • Replies: @Peter Akuleyev
    , @TKK
  11. It’s one of those cities that witnessed the birth of civilisation

    Except it didn’t. The city of Cairo is barely a thousand years old. It was founded by Arab conquerors. It’s centrality to modern Egypt is in many ways a symbol of the subjugation of native Egypt by Islam, but few Egyptians look at things that way these days.

    • Agree: Alden
    • Replies: @Sirius
    , @Marshal Marlow
  12. @Ray Caruso

    The elite class of Egypt is often very impressive on the other hand. Not surprising since the elites are presumably composed mostly of the descendants of the many intelligent ambitious conquerors who have arrived in Egypt over the centuries. The fellahin on the other hand have been working the fields for millennia and aren’t getting much brighter.

  13. Jim Smith says:

    Wonderful essay. Linh is getting better, bringing us with him: “With ordinary life still masked, quarantined, sanctioned and canceled in much of the world, I’m blessed to be in this magnificently alive city. Into its river, I swim.” It is almost to be thankful that he was cancelled by the usual scum in America, for now we are gifted with these superb, poetic, peripatetic musings. Thank you Linh.

  14. @Joe Paluka

    Islamic countries already have a functioning, viable religion. COVIDism is for COVFIRs.

    • LOL: AnonStarter
  15. Polemos says:
    @Mustapha Mond

    Right on. I think it is fun and educational to see how the photos do match but tell different (not opposing, but supplementary) stories from the text; Linh is a hypertextual journalist and it works in this medium. Subtext occurs in the audience as a function of their imaginative selves, and increasing the modes of representation increases factorially the amount of data arrays a brain can process for the mind. (Brains are a bottleneck {or cipher}, too)

    It helps to tell a multi-layered story if you are guided by the Storyteller and found your role in the Telling. . . . —If one is, guided. I mean, sorry. I’m just saying Linh’s a great story teller, and truth is perspectival for us.

    • Agree: Mustapha Mond
  16. Sirius says:

    Indeed, another great entry in Linh’s travel log. I just wish you could have done the same for Damascus!

    • Replies: @Linh Dinh
  17. Sirius says:
    @Peter Akuleyev

    Technically speaking, you’re right, but Cairo (Al-Qahirah) is on or near the site of Memphis and other ancient sites (like Giza) which were there since the birth of civilization.

    I don’t see why you refer to a subjugation by Islam. Cairo had some of its best years as an Islamic capital. Would you say Paris or London or any other European capital were all subjugated by Christianity?

    • Replies: @Verymuchalive
  18. Linh Dinh says: • Website
    @Sirius

    Hi Sirius,

    I looked into going to Syria, but no independent travelers are allowed in right now. I also tried hard to get a visa for Iran, including going to its embassy in Beirut twice, and getting Tehran acquaintances to pull some strings for me, but in the end, no luck.

    I just met a Syrian here. As a soldier in Lebanon, he was shot in the upper chest, near his right shoulder. He also has shrapnel scars on his legs. “The Israeli had F-16s. They tested them on us,” he drily said.

    He knows Lebanon better than Syria. “As a soldier, they move you around.” In 1985, he emigrated to Egypt.

    Linh

    • Thanks: Sirius
  19. HalconHigh says: • Website

    While the Keystone Cops were escorting the Brown Shirts thru the U.S. Capitol building the other day, Linh was taking pics of cats in a Cairo garbage dump.

    LOL

    Bartender….Another Vodka-Pineapple, please.

  20. Mr Din, I can’t imagine an educated European having such a low opinion of pyramids, that being in Cairo you wouldn’t even try to visit them.
    Weren’t you told in school that they are the one last, one remaining of the ancient 7 wonders of the world?
    The fact that the current Cairo, cacophonous as it its, did not manage to integrate pyramids (except economically) only confirms it (unless the said Cairo is one of the seven wonders in its own right).

    I also took notice that you have this Asian thing for noise. I remember having lived with Asians in a student house in Amsterdam and listening complaints how sleepy and quiet Amsterdam is in comparison to the never sleeping Asian cities. To be fair, Latinos like noise too.

    The mystery (not necessarily of ‘Tales of 1001 nights’ kind) is lacking in your description of Cairo.

  21. @Sirius

    I don’t see why you refer to a subjugation by Islam.

    You are being thoroughly dishonest or ignorant.
    The Coptic Language, the lineal descendent of Ancient Egyptian, was still widely spoken until the Arab Conquest. The liturgical language of the Coptic Orthodox Church, the main Egyptian Christian Church, is still Coptic.
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Coptic_Orthodox_Church_of_Alexandria

    After the conquest, the Arab Muslims persecuted the Copts and introduced new settlers from Arabia. Still in the 21st Century about 12% or more of the Egyptian population are Christian. The indigenous Christian population of Egypt have been subjugated by Islamic invaders with absolutely horrible results for them and their culture.

    In Western Europe, Christianity converted, it did not subjugate. No armies were involved. It converted the already Anglo-Saxon Kingdoms of England. It did not change them from Welsh to English-speaking. Likewise, the missions to the Franks were to Germanic and Romance-speaking peoples. These peoples continued and continue to use these languages to this day.

  22. tgordon says:
    @Verymuchalive

    On par with the Islamic suppression of Egypt, Christian Crusaders from western Europe invaded, conquered, forcefully converted, and suppressed the formerly pagan tribes of Prussia and the Baltic “under duress” (according to Wikepedia).

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Prussian_Crusade

  23. TheBoom says:

    Great post. Now Linh quit being so lazy and post more. You are a great travel writer and in one of the most famous cities in the world so get some of that coffee from the nearby Cafe and start cranking these babies out at least once per week

  24. @Peter Akuleyev

    As I was typing I knew that I was begging for someone to reply with a “Well, actually…”. 😉

    • LOL: Peter Akuleyev
  25. @Peter Akuleyev

    ‘The elite class of Egypt is often very impressive on the other hand. Not surprising since the elites are presumably composed mostly of the descendants of the many intelligent ambitious conquerors who have arrived in Egypt over the centuries. The fellahin on the other hand have been working the fields for millennia and aren’t getting much brighter.’

    Well, the fellahin did get up on their hind legs a couple of years back — but the Jews of Israel made sure they got pushed back down again.

    Interestingly, something similar is going on here at the moment.

    People are going to have to decide which side they really are on. Bullshit just won’t cut it any longer.

  26. @tgordon

    ‘On par with the Islamic suppression of Egypt, Christian Crusaders from western Europe invaded, conquered, forcefully converted, and suppressed the formerly pagan tribes of Prussia and the Baltic “under duress” (according to Wikepedia).’

    Not really. There are still Egyptian Christians. There are no more pagan Prussians. In fact, none of the old Balt Prussians are left at all. Their culture wasn’t merely suppressed. It was obliterated.

    • Agree: Sirius
    • Replies: @Dumbo
  27. @Verymuchalive

    ‘In Western Europe, Christianity converted, it did not subjugate. No armies were involved…’

    ! Your ignorance is grotesque. Start with Charlemagne and the Saxons. Continue on from that point.

    • Replies: @Verymuchalive
    , @Sirius
    , @Talha
  28. Sirius says:
    @Verymuchalive

    Before you start throwing around words like “dishonest” or “ignorant”, you better look in the mirror and get your facts straight and engage in some critical thinking, not some ideology of my way is right and everything else is wrong. This idea that Christians are always the good guys and Muslims are always the bad guys which you imply in your post is absurd. There is no black and white in history nor in life itself.

    Furthermore, in the context of the eastern Mediterranean/West Asia area (I do not favor the term Middle East) anyone who tries to separate Muslims from Christians or either group from itself and promotes infighting is, either directly or indirectly, wittingly or unwittingly, promoting the Zionist agenda. Nothing serves Zionism better than having everyone doing the killing for them, while they can sit back and enjoy the show or fan the flames.

    Muslims and Christians were quite united in Egypt during the last decade of tumult in Egypt, very often protecting each other, and hopefully will remain that way. Likewise, Hizbullah soldiers have protected Christians in Lebanon.

    Now, to your assertions.

    First, the word subjugate needs to be defined. Subjugate means to 1. completely control or 2. to conquer. I used definition #1 in my earlier post.

    Did Arab Muslims conquer Egypt? Certainly. Did they completely control? Most certainly not. Your own citation from the Wikipedia states that it took nearly 500 years after the Arab conquest for Egypt to become predominantly Muslim:

    Despite the political upheaval, the Egyptian population remained mainly Christian. However, gradual conversions to Islam over the centuries had changed Egypt from a Christian to a largely Muslim country by the end of the 12th century.

    That doesn’t sound like complete control to me. No immediate mass conversions, as often happened in Europe. People were by and large left to choose. Though taxation was higher on Christians, it was mild treatment for the standards of the times and Christians had no duty to serve in the army. A secular army was not much of a concept in those days.

    By comparison, in Europe at that time people were losing their heads just for “heretical” Christian teachings. Did you ever wonder why nearly everyone was Catholic in Italy? Not 12% something else, as Egypt is today still 12% Coptic Christian.

    How about the conquest? Again, from your Wikipedia citation, Amr ibn al-As, the Muslim commander was quite rough during the war, however:

    Amr “took none of the property of the Churches, and he committed no act of spoilation or plunder, and he preserved them throughout all his days.”[26]

    The reference uses a quote from the “Chronicle of John”, an eyewitness to the event. So, according to John of Nikiu, while plunder took place (pretty standard at the time and indeed even now arguably), the Coptic Church was respected. That was unheard of at the time (the 7th century). Even the Christian Crusaders plundered Orthodox churches five centuries later when they sacked Constantinople, a sack “unparalleled in history” according to historian of the Crusades Steven Runciman.

    Now, as to your assertions about Europe:

    In Western Europe, Christianity converted, it did not subjugate. No armies were involved. It converted the already Anglo-Saxon Kingdoms of England. It did not change them from Welsh to English-speaking.

    Are you kidding? Who is being “thoroughly dishonest or ignorant” here? I can’t go into every time Christianity was forced upon the local populations. It would fill volumes. Oftentimes when the king accepted Catholicism, that was it, everyone had to be Catholic. Have you ever read a history of the Catholic Church? Did you ever hear of Inquisitions?

    And by the way, it’s not really a main part of the argument in my view, but you raised it and weakened your own case. How many Welsh people still speak Welsh today? I’ll take it further. How many Scots still speak Scots Gaelic? Or how many Irish still speak Irish, even after 100 years of independence from English rule? Regrettable, in my view, but it’s true.

    Now while to me it also regrettable that languages in the eastern Mediterranean like Aramaic (in natural Syria) or Coptic Egyptian have been greatly diminished, it has to be admitted that Arabic did not replace them overnight. It took many centuries in a very gradual process.

    It’s not different with the spread of English, Spanish or French. In fact, one could argue those languages were spread far more quickly, with much greater compulsion and much more recently. Oftentimes Christianity was part of the package.

    One last point: nothing has harmed eastern Mediterranean/West Asian Christianity in our current century more than the Zionist/American/Saudi invasions/interventions in Syria and Iraq, not to mention the eventual planned disappearance of Christianity in Palestine under Zionist rule. You want to save or defend Christians, try focusing on that!

    • Replies: @Joe Levantine
  29. If you don’t mind it, look for fresh fried falafel, or fried eggplant, tomato and/or potato slices served with flatbread. Also, this might be hit or miss, but try to get a hold of some koshari (no relation) — a blend of lentils, noodles, and rice, with seasoned (sometimes spicy) tomato sauce and garlic.

    Don’t miss the fresh squeezed mango juice or sugar cane juice either. All fairly cheap, but good eatin’.

    (As a snack, shelled and salted sunflower seeds are dirt cheap.)

    • Replies: @Talha
  30. @Colin Wright

    Whilst forcible conversion to Christianity did happen, its contribution was small compared to peaceful conversion. Iceland, for example, was converted entirely peacefully to Christianity in the 11th Century.

    Lithuania was the last European state to be officially converted in 1387.
    Ethnic Lithuanian nobles were the main converts to Catholicism, but paganism remained strong among the peasantry. Pagan customs prevailed for a long time among the common people of Lithuania and were covertly practiced. There had been no prosecution of priests and adherents of the old faith. However, by the 17th century, following the Counter-Reformation (1545-1648), the Roman Catholic faith had essentially taken precedence over earlier pagan beliefs.

    Please note that there was no persecution of pagan priests and adherents. Forcible conversion was the exception not the rule. You really need to expand your horizons beyond Charlemagne and start reading more widely.

    Also, you miss my point about culture. The Church in the West worked within the culture of the peoples whom it converted. It didn’t impose Latin or a Latin-based language on them. It didn’t alter or deform the social system. Likewise, the Orthodox Church in the East. They even created a new liturgy based on Old Slavonic in order to convert the Slavs.

    • Replies: @Muse
    , @Alexandros
  31. @tgordon

    As said in #32, forcible conversion to Christianity was the exception not the rule. The Crusaders you refer to were The German Knights of the Hospital of St Mary of Jerusalem, AKA The Teutonic Knights. As there name suggests, their motives were more about promoting German interests rather than Christianity.

    • Replies: @Malla
  32. Sirius says:
    @Colin Wright

    You’re much better at making concise responses than I am!

    • Thanks: Colin Wright
  33. Alfred says:
    @Marshal Marlow

    The pyramids depressed me. My atheistic eyes didn’t see a wonder, but merely a wasteful folly. I thought of all the otherwise productive enterprise that was wasted when it could have been employed to build a more productive civilisation

    You have been brought up on false narratives about the pyramids. The workers on the pyramids did it during the annual flooding of the Nile – when they could not work on their fields/gardens. It was a part of their religion. They had an economic surplus and they did not use it to attack their neighbours.

    Recently, at the south-easterly extremity of Egypt by the Red Sea, papyri were discovered that included letters from workers on the pyramids that explained their finances, their work, their rations and the fact that they were on vacation. These date from 4,500 years ago.

    Egypt’s Oldest Papyri Detail Great Pyramid Construction

  34. Alfred says:
    @Peter Akuleyev

    the elites are presumably composed mostly of the descendants of the many intelligent ambitious conquerors who have arrived in Egypt over the centuries

    Nonsense. My Egyptian Coptic great grandfather was a descendant of village leaders in Upper Egypt – near Souhag. My grandfather and his identical twin brother were sent to Cairo to study. They persuaded their father to move his construction business to Cairo. He became the biggest contractor in Egypt at that time. Here are some of the works he built:

    1- The train line from Cairo to Aswan – including all the bridges. It is 682km (424 miles). All his workers were from his region. The engineers were British.

    2- The 3rd and last stage of the old Aswan dam. He brought in Italian workers to make the stone facing. He provided them with a pasta factory.

    3- A multitude of dams and barrages that are still in use today.

    Here is a photo of the dam.

    The real problem is Socialism. The military clique that grabbed power in Egypt subsidised food, electricity, water, medicine and so on. This encouraged the poor and unintelligent people to multiply. After a few generations of Socialism, you get people with a much lower IQ and eventually collapse.

    Of course, the same process is in operation in much of Europe and the USA. The English of today are a heck of a lot less intelligent than those who created the agricultural and industrial revolutions.

    Like many others who don’t know anything about farming, you assume that it is a piece of cake. Soon enough you may have to try to grow your own food. 🙂

    • Agree: Joe Levantine
    • Thanks: Colin Wright, Linh Dinh, Talha, RSDB
  35. Alfred says:

    I was born in Cairo in 1950. Egypt nominally had a king, but the British and Jews controlled almost everything. The British delegated much of the hassle to the Copts. The Copts are Christian and direct descendants of the Ancient Egyptians. The children of anyone who marries a Muslim can only be Muslim. As a result, almost all Muslims in Egypt are 90% of Egyptian descent.

    The Egyptian pound was more valuable than the pound Sterling. The pound Sterling was worth \$2.80. Today, the Sterling is worth 21 Egyptian pounds. Of course, the pound of today is worth 3% of what it was worth in 1950.

    Egypt profited enormously from WW2. The British were obliged to allow people like my grandfather to build and operate factories. He made a mint supplying the British Army with camouflage paint. They even bought white paint from him to pass on to the Soviets so that they could hide their roads from German planes. He had a near monopoly as imports from the UK were cut.

    Instead of buying a big chunk of London or Paris for a song, he built a monstrosity of a building. It had a ballroom, a roof garden with two bars for guests, internal elevators, huge tanks underground for storing kerosene and fuel. He tried building a nuclear shelter, it collapsed with the death of 3 workers. Underground parking for 10 cars etc.

    I was the first child born into this building. It was designed and built by him to house his 3 sons and daughter plus all their future kids. It did not quite work out that way. He moved to Switzerland with his new young Swiss wife, his English wife went back to London. The sons dispersed to Canada and elsewhere. The government stole the factory, mine, agricultural land and house. Socialism.

    Here is a Google Map view of the triangular plot on which this building lies. The government squatted in the building. It was the HQ of their Ministry of Social Security. What irony! All efforts to dislodge them have failed. That is why the centre of Cairo is decrepit. Tenants pay peanuts in rent. Landlords have not maintained their properties for 50 years.

    https://tinyurl.com/HomeCairo

    Here is a photo of Heliopolis in 1950 – a shopping arcade. My home was also in Heliopolis. Cairo was a delightful city. The Heliopolis Sporting Club was 5 minutes away by foot – it used to be called the English Sporting Club. My mother could get membership because she was Irish. Egyptians could not. 🙂

  36. Not a noise, but the sound of the mystery:

    • Replies: @Alfred
  37. Biff says:

    I remember there was a time when Cairo was seen as a slum ridden trashed out dump, but now compared to many American inner cities it is quite attractive on several levels. Funny how things go full circle.

    • Replies: @Colin Wright
  38. @Biff

    ‘I remember there was a time when Cairo was seen as a slum ridden trashed out dump, but now compared to many American inner cities it is quite attractive on several levels. Funny how things go full circle.’

    I assume Cairenes manage to refrain from shitting in the streets.

    • Replies: @Biff
  39. Biff says:
    @Colin Wright

    I assume Cairenes manage to refrain from shitting in the streets.

    Probably not, but has San Francisco surpassed its levels?

  40. Alfred says:
    @Another Polish Perspective

    When I was around 10 (1960), we had a school trip to the pyramids. I went to an Arabic private school – most wealthy Egyptians sent their kids to the Lycée Français (popular with girls), the American school or the German Gymnasium.

    The entrance to the big pyramid was closed for some reason. We had our picnic lunches in the desert outside – there were no buildings anywhere nearby at that time.

    A couple of my friends and I went to the porter guarding the entrance to the pyramid. We gave him a few coins and he was happy to let us into the structure. Egyptians are quite reasonable people. 🙂

    We had the Great Pyramid to ourselves!

    As there were no visitors, the neon lighting was mostly turned off. We wandered all over it. Our curiosity overcame our terror. There was scaffolding with wooden planks traversing deep fissures in the passages. I think they were originally traps for looters. When we came out into the sunlight, we were very pleased of our escapade and told the other kids.

    Another time, the second son of Gamal Abdel Nasser was in my class. A real arsehole. He passed away a few years ago. Once, we had a sports day. We went to a large military stadium not far from the school to do synchronised routines – a bit like the ones the Asians are so fond of. Kids in sports uniforms with hula hoops – that kind of thing. My grandfather came to see me performing with hundreds of other kids. Nasser greeted my grandfather. He invited my grandfather to join him in the presidential box.

    The next day, on the front page of the main newspaper (Al-Ahram) was a small article about the son of Nasser having performed with his school. By some amazing error, they put my picture there instead of the photo of this clown. But I had blond hair!

    I still have the cutting with my photo. It is in storage in Australia so I cannot put it up here. 🤣

    • Thanks: Talha
  41. Sirius says:
    @Alfred

    It sounds like you’ve had quite a colorful life.

    About the son, it seems that sons of powerful or wealthy men often turn out that way. I’m guessing you meant he was arrogant. A probable exception was Stalin’s son who seems to have gotten the short end of the stick when the Germans captured him.

    Thanks for sharing these stories. I’m kind of curious what your views on the big man himself were. It was his government that did most of the “nationalizing” of industries and companies. He remains a very controversial figure in the region to this day.

    • Replies: @Alfred
  42. @Alfred

    Great memories, you must be happy to lit your old days with them.
    I see you have some sentiment to the British…. I guess your parental family is of Coptic origin ?

    I remember reading rather crazy stories of some Albert Cossery, another Copt of Cairo.
    The stories convey the sense of dreamy world, like a haze, when nothing like a real life happens, only absurd outcomes, like the story of your grandfather’s building. It is a colourful world, and a cozy one, but you are stuck in. I remember that in contradiction to usual tropes, here you were stuck but kinda liked it, I mean there was no sense of tragedy like so often in stories who are set in Europe or America. In other words, Albert Cossery is the very opposite of Henry James.

    In Europe, I once talked with some Egyptian graduates of the American University of Cairo, and when I asked them about politics, they all answered in similar way: all the same, all the same (and that was the time of the Tahrir square protests). I heard the sense of certain hopelessness, of things immovable whatever happens but also kind of lack of interest in improving the lot of the people.

    • Replies: @Alfred
  43. SOL says:

    How prominent are Coptic Christians in the life of Cairo?

    • Replies: @Alfred
  44. Talha says:
    @Colin Wright

    This is a concise article on the subject from a Christian source:
    “ This issue, more than any other we’ve published, raises the awkward matter of forced conversions—”Be Christian or die.” There’s no sense in pretending this was an exceptional missionary tactic; for many centuries, it was the method of choice among Christian rulers and missionaries. The conversion of much of Europe and of Latin America is unimaginable without the sword…. But by the 1300s, no one objects anymore. The chronicles of the Viking kings, for example, laud them for using the sword to convert pagans.”
    https://christianhistoryinstitute.org/magazine/article/interview-converting-by-the-sword

    Peace.

    • Replies: @Colin Wright
  45. Talha says:
    @AnonStarter

    Oh man, the sugar cane juice or as I call it, “the mean green”. Looks gross, tastes great!!!

    Wa salaam.

    • LOL: AnonStarter
  46. Talha says:

    Thanks for the memories, Mr. Dinh. Reminds me of the time I explored the old city of Cairo with a friend from UCLA. It was over 15 years ago but it was great! Handing over a few piastres to a guard here or there could get us access to some serious old buildings. I remember climbing up one of those winding minarets of a very old mosque and looking over the Cairo skyline from that height, absolutely beautiful! Food was fantastic and very affordable back then, never tried the pigeon though, but where I was staying overlooked a guy who was raising pigeons for food.

    Lots of old mosques and graves of awliyah to visit too. Imam Shadhili (ra) is buried many hours from Cairo, but the great Sufi saint, Shaykh Ibn Ata Illah (ra) is in Cairo proper.

    Thanks again!

    Peace.

  47. HalconHigh says: • Website

    Linh

    Chris Hedges just did a great interview on The Jimmy Dore Show.

    Hope you get to see it.

    Remember when I saw you on “On Contact”. Couldn’t believe it because I had been following both of you for years.

    Anyways, until your next article.

    Bill

  48. GMC says:
    @Alfred

    Alfred, You are as much of a surprise as – Linh is — keep writing and informing us of your adventures. Spacibo

    • Thanks: Alfred
  49. Dumbo says:
    @Colin Wright

    Not really. There are still Egyptian Christians. There are no more pagan Prussians. In fact, none of the old Balt Prussians are left at all. Their culture wasn’t merely suppressed. It was obliterated.

    There is not even Prussia anymore. There was no “obliteration”, people simply stopped believing in the ancient pagan Gods, and believing in an alternative, just as they now are stopping believing in Christianity (and believing in Social Justice and The Science).

    The idea that Europeans would still today be worshipping pagan gods and building temples to Odin were it not for Christianity is quite risible.

    As for Islam, it’s an even more alien religion to Europeans, it’s ugly and stupid, so I don’t see why so many pagan-worshippers like Islam. I guess it’s because of sharia for women. Many of these guys really hate women, like Andrew Anglin.

  50. @Alfred

    You said yourself you are descended from Copt village leaders. Would you really consider your ancestors fellahin? Probably more like kulaks.

    It takes a lot of intelligence and resourcefulness to be a successful farmer, when you own the land. But serfs, slaves and tenant farmers tend to breed for strength, endurance and docility, not intelligence.

    The people who created the agricultural and industrial revolutions were landed gentry for the most part, not the sheep farmers. America was successful for generations because we were a land of yeoman farmers, not peasants. Same is true of Switzerland.

    But I take your point. The ability of people of low intelligence to migrate off the land and multiply unfettered in urban environments is the real disaster in Egypt, Iraq, Morocco, etc. To some extent also visible in Russia. In the US, goes without saying.

    • Replies: @Alfred
  51. noname27 says: • Website
    @J. Alfred Powell

    And the ultimate expression of that selfishness being Jews and their usurious factional reserve money system, that guarantees grinding poverty wherever it is in operation, that is, across the world.

  52. Linh Dinh, please go visit Israel being in the neighborhood. Yes, I know that you consider Israelis to be evil. But surely you want to see Jerusalem. I don’t expect you to change your mind about the evilness of Israel and Israelis but I expect your reactions to be original, unscripted, and honest. Please do it. They’ll let you in for I doubt you’re on their shitlist. There are plenty of Arabs and other exotics in Jerusalem and elsewhere in Israel. And plenty to see. I just know that if you go you will surprise us by your reactions.

    • Agree: Dumbo
    • Replies: @lloyd
    , @Colin Wright
  53. Yahya says:
    @Peter Akuleyev

    The elite class of Egypt is often very impressive on the other hand. Not surprising since the elites are presumably composed mostly of the descendants of the many intelligent ambitious conquerors who have arrived in Egypt over the centuries. The fellahin on the other hand have been working the fields for millennia and aren’t getting much brighter.

    It is true that much of Egypt’s elites have foreign blood in them – mostly Turkish. But there’s lots of native Egyptian talent as well. For example, Egypt’s greatest writer, Taha Hussein, was born in a rural village in Upper Egypt – places that were untouched by migration patterns. He has a very “Egyptian” appearance, similar to that of Copts.

    Another overlooked component in Egyptian pedigree is Levantine blood, which entered Egypt during the various caliphates, as Cairo was the center of commerce for many of these Islamic empires. Lots of Syrian merchants came to Cairo during the Ottoman era. For example, Nelly Hanna wrote a book about a Syrian merchant called Ismail Abu Taqiyya, who operated his business from Cairo in the 1600s.

    I can confirm that even today, many in the elite have some sort of Levantine ancestry. But because of Egypt’s assimilative pull, and their genetic-cultural-geographical proximity, they do not stand out as much. My best friend has a Palestinian mother and darkish blonde hair only found in the Levant. Another school mate of mine came from a prominent Syrian family. Another – Jordanian, and so forth. I myself have a Saudi Arabian father (though the KSA is not in the Levant).

    I would caution though, that the Egyptian elite is not nearly as numerous, or as intelligent, as the Iranian, Turkish or Pakistani elite. The Iranian elite especially (before the brain drain), can go toe-to-to with any East Asian or European elite. The Egyptian elite cannot. But it is the best in the Arab World.

    • Agree: Alfred
    • Thanks: Talha
  54. Tom Welsh says:
    @lloyd

    “No social distancing apparent in Cairo which seems to be the only affective way of reducing spread”.

    I take it you mean that “no social distancing” reduces “spread”.

    Seems logical. With any virus, since you can’t hide from it – even if you’re Howard Hughes – you might as well go out and mingle and meet it half way. Then your immune system will adapt to it and you can forget about – like all those Egyptians.

    The snivelling policy of trying to hide from the virus reminds me of the old saying that “the coward dies a thousand times, the brave man only once”.

  55. Basically, Cairo is a Third world shithole with some very old charming features. And its women, though not white, would rather prefer features of caucasians women being that they are part negroid. And they, Egyptians, keep on breeding without having the means to support themselves but thanks to the AIPAC lobby in its zeal to protect homeland, i.e. Israel, forces American taxpayers to dole out aid in the billions… I would prefer the money given to both Israel and Egypt and the Middle East in general be given to Vietnam to atone for the sin of the military-industrial complex, Linh!

    • Replies: @Alden
  56. Jiminy says:

    It’s a jarring image, that one of the robed local pushing his handcart seemingly straight from the past through traffic, juxtaposed with a modern expensive, black S class Mercedes. I suppose when you share your poverty with so many others it becomes the norm. I also wonder when living on a street food stall diet, is a complementary dose of the squirts on the cards.

  57. TKK says:
    @Ray Caruso

    This is a continuation…a sentimental con job…that Linh continues to write as he cunningly slips in more jabs about our doom in America.

    The atrocity and misery that the Cancel Culture is inflicting on America is kid stuff for Egyptians. Both the police and military use brutal beatings, sexual abuse, electrocution, and hangings during prison time or pretrial detention periods.

    Lihn lulls the untraveled reader into believing that America is a hell hole, and that poverty somehow makes certain locations (usually Muslim) into a working man’s undiscovered paradise.

    Living in cheap hotels and having meals with random strangers renders no truths about any country. Not speaking fluent Arabic, he has no idea what is actually happening. Linh is a professional loafer.

    Locals put on their best face when having tea and coffee with a smiling stranger who has the money to travel abroad and not work. Lihn is mistaking an observation period as an genuine interest in his person. It does not exist.

    Stay with them 3 days, and the requests for money for their mother’s heart surgery, donation to their mosque or their son’s school fees will come.

    When you say “no”, your instant friendship will vanish and be replaced by sulking, threats or worse.

    • Agree: Ray Caruso
  58. Anon[266] • Disclaimer says:

    Nope. Looks like a sheiss-hole to me.

  59. Do they have toilet paper there yet, or are they still using their bare hands?

    • LOL: TKK
  60. @Alfred

    “After a few generations of Socialism, you get people with a much lower IQ and eventually collapse.”

    Unless, of course, you’re China…….

    • Replies: @Joe Levantine
  61. Talha says:

    Stay with them 3 days, and the requests for money for their mother’s heart surgery, donation to their mosque or their son’s school fees will come.

    I stayed plenty days past 3 and the only annoying thing was the ubiquitous “tips” you have to give in so many places to guards or doormen or the like (not because it’s all that expensive, I just wasn’t used to having petty cash on me all the time so had to adjust habits). Other than that, I found people very generous, even the poor.

    I would feel bad that I am just seeing these people just once and will never see them again, but the amount of food they would lavish on us must have taken them time to save up for. Not to mention the effort in cooking it.

    Peace.

    • Replies: @RSDB
  62. indocon says:

    Africa on pace to have 4 million people is getting as little attention now as China on pace to be the biggest economy in the world was getting in 2000’s

    • Replies: @Colin Wright
  63. anon[327] • Disclaimer says:
    @Alfred

    Sweden? Norway? China(as mentioned)?

    You sound like Kudlow or Friedman.

    5ds

    • Replies: @Joe Levantine
  64. Dumbo says:

    Do they have toilet paper there yet,

    Nope. Looks like a sheiss-hole to me

    Okay, Egypt is very poor, but many Americans are so self-centered sometimes that they don’t have much idea of how the rest of the world really looks like, outside of the Hollywood versions (it’s not always what it seems), that other places might have different qualities and not all is bad, and they also don’t realize that their own country is slowly turning into a “shit-hole” as well.

    I mean, I think there’s probably less human poop in Cairo’s streets than in San Francisco these days (though, to be fair, I have never been to Cairo and probably never will — but I’ve been to San Francisco not too many years ago, and saw way too many homelesses and some very depressing neighbourhoods (not many blocks from away from the prettier touristier areas).

  65. @Mustapha Mond

    China started showing the rise of its sleeping greatness when Deng said his famous wisdom: “it is not important if the cat is Black or White as long as it catches mice.”

    Had socialism a la Mao been the name of the game, most probably Chinese collective IQ would still be receding.

  66. @anon

    Swedish and Norwegian socialism was never meant for free loaders. Neither National Socialism. If Nasser could have copied Hitler’s socialism, Egypt would have done so much better. Alas, his first act was to decimate the enterprising class, confiscating their money and their properties and banishing all foreign businessmen. The Felllahin applauded his acts after seeing their feudal lords losing power, but the Egyptian economy went a tailspin with shortages and rationing.

    • Replies: @anon
  67. @Alfred

    Thanks Alfred for this trip down memory lane. Here I should mention that my father’s cousin and her husband were doctors working for the Suez Canal Company while her father had a big cafeteria by the Nile as he was teaching international law at one of Cairo’s universities. After Nasser came to power, all their money at the bank and their properties were confiscated without a penny in compensation. They moved to Lebanon where they started from scratch. They had always fond memories of their time in Egypt were, they claimed, people had a kinder and far less aggressive demeanour than the more materialistic and ambitious Lebanese. Other industrialists in Lebanon have similar stories from the Nasser era.

    • Agree: Alfred
  68. anon[327] • Disclaimer says:
    @Joe Levantine

    Worthy of thought.

  69. @Sirius

    Your last point is quite valid.

    Though about the much demonised Inquisition, I would recommend the highly scholarly book by E. Michael Jones “ The Jewish Revolutionary Spirit”. Most of the propaganda about the Inquisition was fostered by the Jews, but without it, Zionism would be older and more virulent.

    • Thanks: Sirius
  70. lloyd says: • Website
    @Anonymouse

    Linh would not be permitted to enter Israel jurisdiction. Kiwi Joel Hayward used to make frequent visits to Israel. He published a Canterbury University thesis that called the Holocaust, atrocity stories. He received a letter from the Israel Government that if he entered Israel he would be arrested. Not just forbidden entry. I assume that would also happen to Ron Unz despite having relatives in Israel. I don’t know if they have a tab on me. I am too scared to go in although I would love to. It sounds a fascinating place. Being Jewish makes no difference to this Israeli law that is applied world wide. It hurts the Jewish people’s feelings as they say.

  71. @Talha

    ‘This is a concise article on the subject from a Christian source:
    “ This issue, more than any other we’ve published, raises the awkward matter of forced conversions—”Be Christian or die.” There’s no sense in pretending this was an exceptional missionary tactic; for many centuries, it was the method of choice among Christian rulers and missionaries. The conversion of much of Europe and of Latin America is unimaginable without the sword…. But by the 1300s, no one objects anymore. The chronicles of the Viking kings, for example, laud them for using the sword to convert pagans.”
    https://christianhistoryinstitute.org/magazine/article/interview-converting-by-the-sword’

    From a Christian perspective, it’s all perfectly reasonable — indeed, to do otherwise would be irresponsible.

    With certain extraordinary exceptions, if you fail to accept Jesus as your savior, etc, you’re doomed to burn in eternal hellfire.

    So it’s for your own good, Talha. You’re resentful now, but you’ll thank me in the afterlife. Now, what kind of a moral monster would I be if I simply allowed you to go on your way to eternal damnation without interfering?

    Some people prefer to think Christianity is all about hugging the bunnies and accepting everybody. Noo…not quite.

    You’re always welcome to voluntarily convert of course — but failing that, we’re morally obliged to do whatever will bring at least a few terrified survivors to Jesus.

    Mind, I think the faith has its good points — but it’s absurd to assume we’re the nice guys and the Muslims are the baddies.

    • Replies: @Talha
  72. @indocon

    ‘Africa on pace to have 4 million people…’

    I don’t know if the population will plunge that far. Offhand, assuming no effective intervention, I think it will continue to rise for some time, then fall to perhaps half its current level.

    • Replies: @Commentator Mike
  73. lloyd says: • Website
    @TKK

    Linh loafs on other people’s charity. I mean charity in a broad sense. But I think it’s ok and I have practised it myself. You surrender yourself to a third world opportunist. You dish out money as he finds ever more excuses to bill you. He thinks he is on a fast one and dealing with an idiot. In return, he takes you to his home, to the best tourist places, wines and dines you all on your money of course. The trick is guard your belongings, don’t give him information that he can track you later. And leave after a few days. All that for at most a few hundred dollars. The Vietnamese man in Saigon wept when we parted company. As his family fought on the Saigon regime side, he received no support from his Government. Now he could afford to send his son to school. Come to think of it, he may have made that all up. I tactfully called Saigon, Ho Chi Minh when he first stopped on his motorbike outside my hotel. From that point although he always called the city Saigon, he was a fan of Ho.

  74. @Anonymouse

    ‘Linh Dinh, please go visit Israel being in the neighborhood…’

    The question there is if they reject him, does he get sent back to Egypt, or back to the United States?

    …and if back to Egypt, well then, now he may indeed come to the attention of the authorities.

    …also, how does one visit Israel without giving money to Zionists?

  75. Muse says:
    @Verymuchalive

    I believe the Slavs had to fight Rome for the right to have the liturgy in Slavonic, and to have a written language and alphabet.

    Gregory of Nin put up the fight against Rome, and he is memorialized in this fantastic statue by Ivan Mestrovic, just outside Diocletian’s palace in the Dalmatian city of Split, Croatia.

    http://visiting-split.com/things-to-do-in-split/gregory-of-nin/

  76. Orkhon says:

    Author has a fine eye for detail and story-telling. Excellent Flickr album- but a bit over color-saturated for my taste.

  77. Talha says:
    @Colin Wright

    So it’s for your own good, Talha.

    Well, I mean there is a coherent motivation behind it (and even a kind of we’re-looking-out-for-your-own-good ethos) as you describe it. The underlying assumption being that God accepts insincere conversions without any inner conviction to back it up. The article mentions this when talking about what exactly constitutes a conversion:
    “The definition of conversion has changed over the centuries. Charlemagne or Olaf Trygvesson would have said, ‘I defeat my enemies, and a priest then sprinkles water over them and says some words in Latin, and they become Christians. They’ve been converted.’ Today, we don’t regard that as conversion.”

    It also mentions Charlemagne and his motivations:
    “It’s partly based on an Old Testament model of kingship.”

    Sounds about right:
    “Meanwhile, in his book ‘Charlemagne: Father of a Continent’, Alessandro Barbero adds that:
    the most likely inspiration for the mass execution of Verden was the Bible. Exasperated by the continual rebellions, Charlemagne wanted to act like a true king of Israel…After defeating the Moabites, David, with whom Charles liked to compare himself, had the prisoners stretch out on the ground, and two out of three were killed. This, too, was part of the Old Testament from which the king drew inspiration…”
    http://www.medievalists.net/2014/02/was-charlemagne-a-mass-murderer/

    Harsh? Well yeah, that was kind of the point in that particular engagement, the pagans did commit treachery and killed some of his officials. Charlemagne set an example to others of what not to do when he was in charge.

    Over the top brutal for that time? No, I mean he didn’t have them drawn and quartered.

    Peace.

    • Replies: @Colin Wright
  78. RSDB says:
    @Talha

    If you’re staying for an extended period of time with some random people who don’t know you, it’s not strange, though not a good thing, that they might begin to request money or favors– especially if they’re feeding you. If you’re staying with people who make threats (???, but that’s what was mentioned) it is perhaps wise to relocate yourself somewhere else, maybe in a hotel.

    Also, I think scam artists all over the third world tend to glom onto white tourists whenever possible.

    • Replies: @Talha
  79. Talha says:
    @RSDB

    Yeah, well, I think two things:
    1. I stayed with a family (originally from Alexandria) that I know in their summer home. I went wherever they were invited, even to their poorer relatives. I also stayed with a friend from UCLA (a lawyer) – in Cairo – who had just graduated and wanted to take a year off before starting work.
    2. Since I’m Muslim and can pass for Egyptian (as long as I keep my mouth closed) when I wear a thobe, it’s fairly easy for me to not stand out. So maybe my experience just differs from a normal white person in that regard. 🤷‍♂️

    Peace.

    • Replies: @RSDB
  80. @Colin Wright

    I think indocon may have meant 4 billion not 4 million.

    • Agree: Talha
  81. RSDB says:
    @Talha

    Thanks for the information.

    The other comment really confused me, especially the threat part. Some people are magnets for deranged personalities, maybe the commenter is one of those people.

    What is that emoji? You keep using it and I’ve never seen it before.

    • Replies: @Talha
  82. @Marshal Marlow

    “The pyramids depressed me. My atheistic eyes didn’t see a wonder, but merely a wasteful folly.”

    True but back then they easily could have spent that surplus on another useless war.

  83. @Verymuchalive

    Right. The Church’s idea of peaceful was to engage in economic warfare where their armies failed. The Icelanders converted because they could no longer trade with their now Christian neighbours.

    The hatred of the Church is best illustrated by the fact that the only written work that survives from pagan Europe are those written by Snorre on Iceland, and an obscure book from Holland that is so dangerous to them they have slandered it as a fake for 200 years. Everything else was put to the flames. Books, inscriptions, monuments, holy sites. And those men and women who refused to submit to this enemy religion were put down by the sword every last one of them. Not even the Jews in Russia did as thorough of a job in extinguishing a culture as these Holy Christians with their Jewish faith.

  84. Talha says:
    @RSDB

    The other comment really confused me, especially the threat part.

    Has that person actually been to Egypt for an extended period of time or simply throwing out an opinion? I don’t know.

    What is that emoji?

    It’s a guy shrugging; I guess it doesn’t come out too well.

    Peace.

  85. @Talha

    ‘Well, I mean there is a coherent motivation behind it (and even a kind of we’re-looking-out-for-your-own-good ethos) as you describe it…

    Psychologically, I think it’s interesting.

    One important point is that people used to die a lot more. If you were say, in your thirties, you could easily be on your third marriage, and of the nine children you had fathered, two might still be alive.

    It would make the afterlife more obviously important and pressing than it is now. People are going to die. Killing some of them now just somewhat accelerates the inevitable. The question is, what happens to their immortal soul? Looked at in that way, forcible conversion really is perfectly reasonable. After all, would it be better to kill none and have all hundred burn in eternal hellfire — or kill fifty and save fifty?

    ‘The underlying assumption being that God accepts insincere conversions without any inner conviction to back it up.’

    This takes us into Catholic as opposed to Protestant theology. Catholicism attaches a lot more importance to ‘works’ than Protestantism does. Of course you should really believe, but if you’ve accepted baptism, and you’re going to mass, well…maybe you’re a work in progress.

    Interestingly, notice how this played out in the Americas. The Catholic Spanish were quite willing to assimilate Indians who converted — however nominally.

    Protestants further north weren’t having any of that. Would you just die, please? Only sincere converts wanted.

    • Replies: @Talha
  86. dimples says:

    Dinh does not look at the pyramids! What a waste of time wandering around yet another overcrowded but colorful third world rat-heap whose citizens, in spite of saying how wonderfully ‘they live’, would all emigrate to a Western country instantly if they had the dosh. The pyramids are one of the mysteries of the universe, yet nothing is mentioned. This article by Dinh is not encouraging.

    • Replies: @Talha
    , @Colin Wright
  87. @TKK

    Wow buddy, you sure read a lot into that article. The butt-hurt American is an archetype that is found everywhere Americans are found. He has a chip on his shoulder a mile high and reads every statement that is the least bit critical of his homeland as “anti-American.”

    If you meet him in a Roman bar and tell him “I was just in Kansas City and it was cloudy and rainy, really glad it’s sunny here” he’ll look at you and say “You got something against America? Do you think the sun only shines in Rome, asshole? No country is sunnier than America, none. If you were a real American I wouldn’t have to tell you that.”

    • LOL: Talha, Biff, AnonStarter
  88. Talha says:
    @dimples

    I think he’s going to have animals article, like he did with his Lebanon series. So maybe stick around…?

    Peace.

    • Replies: @Talha
  89. Talha says:
    @Talha

    Tsk, tsk – it should have said…
    “…another article…”

    Unless he does end up writing about this dude and proves me right the first time:

  90. Talha says:
    @Colin Wright

    You make some good points. Very anachronistic for us to apply our norms and psychology to that time in that region. Obviously someone growing up in that time would see a lot of things very differently and it’s not like the pagans of that time of say, Scandinavia, were exactly hippie flower folks or even like today’s Scandinavians. To wit:
    “Close to one hundred stone phalluses have been found in Norway. They are symbolic representations of the penis, representing male potency and fertility.
    Animal and human sacrifices made to a symbolic phallus were thought to ensure a successful new crop among people, animals and nature.”
    https://partner.sciencenorway.no/forskningno-norway-ntnu/stone-phalluses-and-ancient-fertility-cults/1414448

    Often when pagans went to war with one another, it was not pretty. Complete replacement of a people/tribe (at least the males – “Hey Bjorn, guess who just volunteered to be sacrificed to the big phallus?”) was not uncommon. One could say forcible conversion was an evolution that allowed defeated males a way to “tap out”. Again, context.

    Protestants further north weren’t having any of that. Would you just die, please?

    I really shouldn’t have laughed at that, but I couldn’t help it. Delivery is everything.

    Peace.

  91. Alfred says:
    @Sirius

    It sounds like you’ve had quite a colorful life

    It’s not over yet. 🙂

    I’m guessing you meant he was arrogant

    He was a conceited fool. The teachers were terrified of him. Later, he tried his hand at terrorism. The Israelis possibly set him up. As a result he was totally at their mercy. I guess he had to pay them hush money to stay alive.

    what are your views on the big man himself were

    He, like most Socialists, had a massive inferiority complex. He could not accept that other people had the right to enjoy life and to be prosperous. He needed to control everyone.

    Let me tell you a story about him as a young man. People don’t change when they grow up – they merely degenerate.

    Nasser’s father was working on the land of a wealthy Pasha (lord). Nasser tried to enter the officer training school. His application was rejected. His father went as a supplicant to his landlord and begged him to help Nasser enter the school. The Pasha took Nasser by car to the school and introduced him to the officer in charge of admissions. As a result, and as a personal favour to the Pasha, Nasser was accepted for training as an army officer.

    Much later, Nasser grabbed all agricultural land over 50 acres (my family had 4000 acres). He gave it to the peasants. This Pasha lost almost all his land. He became destitute. When they take the land, they leave behind the mortgages and debts. Someone reminded Nasser that this Pasha had helped him become an officer. Why did Nasser repay the favour in this manner? Nasser’s instantaneous reply was “because the Pasha made me sit in front of the car next to the driver”.

    I think that sums up the personality rather well.

    All these middle class American kids who support Socialism are going to find out one day that they might have prostitute their sisters to put food on the table.

  92. Alfred says:
    @Another Polish Perspective

    I guess your parental family is of Coptic origin ?

    My father’s father was a Copt. In the Middle East, the paternal line is all that matters. His wife, my grandmother, was half English and half German. My own mother was Irish Catholic.

    The stories convey the sense of dreamy world, like a haze, when nothing like a real life happens, only absurd outcomes, like the story of your grandfather’s building.

    Please don’t think our case was special. The whole of the upper and middle class of Egypt was destroyed by Nasser. The lucky ones, like us, got out. If you talk to almost any educated person in Cairo, they will tell you that they had relatives who were wealthy in the past. They all have tragic stories to tell. Many of these stories are true. I am sure it is the same in Cuba, Venezuela and many other places. Countries go through cycles – as the USA is about to discover. The Chinese, Persians, Russians and Egyptians know all about it.

    Alexandria was a beautiful Greek city. The Greeks of Alexandria were vastly richer and more cultured than the Greeks of Athens. As a kid, I went to some of their houses. They were like palaces on a hill with big gardens and overlooking the Mediterranean. Like the best of the Côte d’Azur. Their kids spoke 4 languages – Arabic, Greek, Italian and French. I felt like a peasant next to them. The Egyptian, Greek and Jewish ladies spoke with each other in atrocious French. But I did not know that at the time. My mother told me. She spoke correct French.

    Look at Alexandria today.

    I once talked with some Egyptian graduates of the American University of Cairo

    I have absolutely nothing in common with today’s Egyptians. I don’t understand them. I probably seem like a dinosaur to them. A reminder of the past that they would prefer to forget.

    • Replies: @RadicalCenter
  93. Alfred says:
    @SOL

    How prominent are Coptic Christians in the life of Cairo?

    The Copts are largely based in Upper Egypt (the south). The richest Egyptian family, Sawiris, is Coptic. They are probably third cousins or something like that. The Copts have a big genetic / interbreeding problem – like some Jews.

    The Sawiris family own the biggest mobile network in Africa. They even own the network in North Korea! But this is peanuts compared to the wealth of the Chinese or the Jews.

    Egyptian Billionaire, One of Forbes’ Richest in World, Invests Almost \$3 Billion in Gold

    The vast majority of Copts are poor peasants.

  94. Alfred says:
    @Peter Akuleyev

    You said yourself you are descended from Copt village leaders. Would you really consider your ancestors fellahin? Probably more like kulaks.

    Good question. They were village leaders. They owned land and others worked for them.

    North of Cairo, the peasants are called Fellaheen in Arabic (فلاحين). South of Cairo they are called Saidieon (صعيديون). Ancient Egypt was the union of two kingdoms. The kings wore two crowns – one inside the other. These two peasants dress differently and have different accents and a different vocabulary. Their mentalities are quite different. The ones in the south are much poorer and prouder. The men are masculine and their women feminine if you follow my meaning. They are less cunning.

    Cairo and all its politics were an alien world to these people. They resented paying taxes. They had familial blood feuds – like the Sicilians. Historically, when the Egyptian army needed recruits, they raided the villages of the south. The southerners were taller and stronger. In the north, they ate rice. In the south, lentils and beans – more proteins. Some mothers would pierce the eye of their son to stop him being taken away. The villages were organised so that the poorest and least influential were on the outskirts. The village headman and his family were in the centre – so that their boys would be less likely to be taken away. My ancestors were in the centre. Of course, they all fought against the recruiters.

    Lower Egypt peasants. Note how women work in field.

    An Upper Egypt peasant. Women don’t work in field

  95. Talha says:

    Mr. Dinh, I came across this wonderful photo (on my Twitter feed) of a street scene from either Morocco or Tunisia and thought you might enjoy the colors and perhaps be inspired for a future destination:

    Peace.

    • Thanks: ChuckOrloski
  96. Sirius says:
    @Alfred

    Let me rephrase that: It sounds like you’ve been having quite a colorful life 🙂

    Indeed, that story is quite telling. Astonishing actually.

    What I can say about the man is what I heard from an older, well-educated Syrian gentleman many years ago about the period of the “Wahdah”, that 3-year failed experiment of a union between Syria and Egypt.

    Up to that time, I only had heard good things about Nasser. Not knowing any better, I was slightly surprised when the man, who lived through that period, told me otherwise. When I asked him what the problem was with the unification, he replied: “he didn’t unify Syria with Egypt”, angrily gritting his teeth and with an intense voice continued, “he occupied it”.

    I guess that pretty much sums up why the “union” which was initiated by Syria, not Egypt, lasted only 3 years.

    • Agree: Alfred
    • Replies: @Taxi
    , @Alfred
  97. @Talha

    Talha:

    Are you the commentator that posted extensively on the French problems in Algeria in the 50’s and earlier 1960’s? If so do you have a video link to the Paras leaving under guard and singing “No Regrets”. Would love to view it.

    • Replies: @Talha
  98. Talha says:
    @no jack london

    I don’t believe so. I have commented on that topic, but definitely not extensively. And I have commented more on the stage of Algerian resistance against the French under Shaykh Abdul- Qadir al-Jaza’iri (ra) in the 1800s.

    Peace.

  99. Taxi says:
    @Sirius

    Forgive my intrusion, but I don’t think either Alfred or your “well-educated, Syrian gentleman” are giving an even-handed account of Nasser’s overall influence on Egypt, or on Syria. Egypt’s modern political history is extremely complex and involved, and time and platform not permitting here, I will therefore endeavor to be as succinctly as I can:

    1- Alfred is providing us with a personal account of what happened to privileged elites and industrialists under Nasser. However, he does not describe to us the other side of the coin: that until Nasser came along, and after some 500 years of back-to-back Ottoman and British colonialism, a vast majority of Egyptians had become stuck as working-class people, trapped below the poverty line despite their generational high productivity and contributions to their society. Farmers, factory workers and builders fared the worst, with land barons and private industrial contractors paying absolute pittance to their workers – so much so that in practice, these millions of workers were literally indentured slaves with no worker’s rights whatsoever. There was barely an Egyptian middle class to speak of during the lengthy period that Egypt suffered from Ottoman and British colonialism. Then, Nasser came along and re-scaled the immense wealth of Egypt, redistributed its wealth in order to give justice to the vast and suffering working-class Egyptian population: to stimulate an expansion of the anemic middle class by facilitating the meritocratic transition of poor but industrious Egyptians into the middle class. Simply, Nasser aimed to propel a chunk of the working class into middleclassdom. The objective of Nasserism was to literally drive colonialism and all of its internal agents out of Egypt for the economic benefit of Egyptians; and just as importantly, to liberate the Egyptian mind from the mental chains of colonial enslavement. Simply, his vision was to create an independent, secular and nationalist Egypt. He made no allusions in any of his public speeches that this transition would be easy, or quick. He publicly listed the sharp turns, bumps and pitfalls in the road ahead and regularly asked his people for forgiveness for the hardships, asked them for patience, endurance and for continuing productivity and steadfastness. His method was to rip right off, and quick, the foreign and poisoned band-aid of colonialism. And yes, it hurt. But this is the price of liberation from colonialism. Maybe some other nationalist leader’s method would have been different and slower, but the nationalist task would have been the same: an independent Egypt. Nasser hid nothing from his people: he openly explained the price of his policies to them, and he also explained the rewards – and, in hindsight, Nasser’s direction appears to have indeed served the benefit of the majority.

    Nasser’s patriotic, nationalization projects benefited and pleased regular Egyptians – a shrinking illiteracy was one such important benefit to the working class. But, Nasser’s nationalism also had the nostrils of his enemies, internal and external, flaring with rage and smoking with fire. An endless stream of (failed) anti-Nasser conspiracies and assassination attempts were contrived against Nasser and his nationalist project. A powerful international cabal was against him: israel, saudi arabia, France, UK and the US were all mortified and profoundly threatened by his popular nationalism domestically, and by his Pan-Arab foreign policies and ideology that was spreading like wildfire across the Arab region. At the time, Nasser was the most dangerous Arab to them. This israeli-led Axis of Evil at the time relentlessly worked against him, and despite all this, Nasser managed to fundamentally shift a large chunk of Egyptian society out of the chains and dregs of colonialism. He ruled for 14 years, ducking and diving the assassin’s bullet while pushing forth and building his ‘new and free Egypt’ project. Then, he died naturally from a sudden heart attack. The completion of his grand nationalist project remaining somewhat unfinished. Sadat came after him, only to soon enough sign the Peace Deal with israel, which in effect was the beginning of the reversal of all of Nasser’s nationalist projects for Egypt. This Peace Deal (between governments and not between populations) was tantamount to Sadat giving permission to israel to colonize Egypt, with its own cherry-picked elite controllers and quisling presidents thereafter. The true liberation of contemporary Egypt does not lie in Tahrir Square, but in the tearing up of the Peace Treaty with israel that’s rendered israel prosperous and ‘safe’, and rendered Egypt into a sleeping giant, barefooted and with belly only ever half full.

    2- Nasser’s Pan-Arab unification project was extremely ambitious, though to my mind premature at the time, yet in essence, it was a pragmatically sound project. If the concept of a federalized united states is good enough for Americans and Europeans, then it’s good enough for Arabs and others too. Curating and federalizing multiple, independent nations together is a project that involves vast measures of political bureaucracy, and the formation of numerous cross-border coalitions between institutions. In other words, it’s time-consuming work fraught with red tape: it’s a politically tiring and slow process whose fruits are harvested only way into the future. Nasser’s Pan-Arab project had the support of the masses right across the Arab world, but also had powerful regional and international enemies. The concept of a United Arab States, a would-be vast and most strategic nation that would possess vast industrial and religious resources was a shocking nightmare for israel, for the West and for Arab, dictatorial sheikdoms. This cabal worked together and tirelessly to destroy it. It’s a project that would really need several generations of uninterrupted external interference to become successful. Something the project never did have for all the sabotages and punishments that slowed its pace down even the more. Three years is too little time for anything of true value to manifest out of such a challenging project. And again, here, the transition was extremely slow, difficult, arduous, and painful for the people. I would not describe this phase as an “occupation”, as indeed your Syrian gentleman friend did, but rather, I would describe it as giant wheel that took much painful effort for it to turn but just a little. Unification means being a cog in the wheel and a cog is an equal member of the wheel and not under occupation by other cogs. Your friend’s frustration is understandable, but his definition of the process is inaccurate.

    Here, I’d like to clarify that I am not a supporter of left or right political ideologies. I see it like this: when a society becomes a vulture capitalist one, destabilizing thus with it the fabric of society itself, then a (temporary) dose of socialism becomes the remedy. And likewise, when a society becomes ruinously ‘communistic’, then a fettered dose of capitalism becomes the remedy. I see varying political philosophies as mere ‘tools’ and not as political religions. Simply, I am not a political idealogue, And in the case of Nasser of Egypt, I often come across commentary on him that is one-sided and lacking in full-spectrum perspective and historic nuance. Indeed, Nasser clearly made many a mistake, but judging by his rhetoric and actions, he was aware of his mistakes, admitted them in public, and endeavored to correct them.

    One measures the worth of a leader by how much his people loved them – and people usually love their leader because he’s given them something of true value, personal and/or material – and in the case of Nasser, he was much-much and deeply loved by his people, and by the Arab world at large. He distinguishes himself by having one of the largest ever attendances to a funeral procession the world has ever known. This is most impressive by any standard and leads one to glean that Nasser has surely done by far more good than bad for his people. Cairo alone drew more than five million mourners to its streets for Nasser’s funeral, let alone what other major Egyptian cities, towns and villages drew; also all Arab nations right across the Arab world drew millions of their own spontaneous marchers on the day of Nasser’s funeral. All honoring Egypt’s great Arab president and liberator, Jamal Abdul Nasser.

    Political science and history judge leaders by their actions and the results of said actions, not by the political ideology of the leaders.

    • Thanks: Colin Wright
    • Replies: @Alfred
    , @Sirius
    , @Alden
  100. @Talha

    ‘Mr. Dinh, I came across this wonderful photo (on my Twitter feed) of a street scene from either Morocco or Tunisia and thought you might enjoy the colors and perhaps be inspired for a future destination’

    I’ll put money on that being Chefchaouen in Morocco. Scenic, but not very exciting. Dunno if those blue walls occur anywhere else in the country.

    Linh might like Fez better…that’s possibly the most exotic place I’ve ever been. Virtually an underground city, with chains of donkeys barreling along the crowded alleyways past the stalls and shops. Take a ball of string so you can find your way back to your room.

    But Moroccans don’t like having their picture taken.

    They really don’t. And the touts can be intolerable.

    • Thanks: Talha
  101. Alfred says:
    @Sirius

    he replied: “he didn’t unify Syria with Egypt”, angrily gritting his teeth and with an intense voice continued, “he occupied it”.

    Correct.

    You may not know this, but Egypt invaded North Yemen with 50,000 soldiers in 1962. Nasser did not like the fact that Yemen had a king. They were thoroughly thrashed using guerilla actions – like what the Houthis are currently doing to the Saudis and their mercenaries. They lost 10,000 soldiers. The British in nearby South Yemen covertly trained and supplied the Yemenis. The Egyptians were using totally inappropriate Soviet tactics.

    Egypt’s Vietnam
    Lessons from the last time Cairo waded into war in Yemen.

    Note how these Yemenis are carrying ancient British Lee Enfield 303 rifles. 🙂

  102. @Alfred

    We just have to keep in mind that Nasser was a Saiidi. Many Saiidi workers did menial jobs at our factory. They ranged from the extremely honest to the extremely crooked. Though one characteristic they shared was extreme stubbornness. The last time I had a business meeting with a Saiidi engineer regarding a problem on site, I ended up leaving the meeting unceremoniously so much the guy’s twisted logic got on my nerves. Nasser was an honest, nationalist and charismatic leader, but that was it. He lacked vision and organisational skills and resorted to dictatorial terror against the opposition, and after his big failure against Israeli aggression, he used demagoguery to cling to power. Between his military defeat courtesy of yes men military cadres and his nefarious economic policies, Nasser set the Arab world on losing path against Zionism.

    Israel should honour his memory as much as those who cling to his legacy.

    • Replies: @Taxi
    , @Bill Jones
  103. @Alfred

    Thanks for the sharing of your knowledge/experience.

    This one of the wonders of the interwebs and one of the most appealing features or Unz’s little venture.

    • Agree: Talha
  104. Taxi says:
    @Joe Levantine

    History begs to disagree with your description of Nasser being a craven ‘power-clinger’. It is on record that the very day after the 6 Day War ended, a war that Egypt lost to israel, Nasser took to immediately giving a live radio speech where he apologized to the families of fallen soldiers, and to the general Egyptian public for failing them, and promptly announced his immediate resignation from the presidency via this radio address. What transpired after this resignation announcement was that millions of Egyptians across the land of Egypt (and in major Arab cities too), all took to the streets in absolute refusal of Nasser’s resignation, with crowds chanting for him to remain in power, and articles published in the media the following day also imploring him to stay on as the president of Egypt and as leader of the (secular) Arab world.

    Nasser’s actions, as exampled above, do not fit your description of him as being a “stubborn” hanger-on of power. Evidently, he was not interested in power per se, he was instead interested in actual political transformation. He didn’t fully succeed, but he didn’t exactly fail either.

    And I ask you here to be mindful of the fact that Nasser was battling a particularly virulent and violent generation of Muslim Brotherhooders at the time, as well as Egypt’s industrialists, plus a powerful international cabal of enemies – with only an aging Soviet Union as his geopolitical ally of note. If some of his security measures were “dictatorial terror” to you, then you’ve neglected to look closer at the context and nuance of his actions, and thus missed understanding that his response to the numerous conspiracies and assassination attempts against him were not Nassarite ‘policy’ as such, but a reaction to the multiple real threats he was facing on a daily basis throughout his rule. If memory serves, independent Western media at the time was regularly referring to him as the ‘benign dictator’. From a Western, superficial perspective, this is a fairly accurate description. From a nuanced and deeper local perspective, it is not. From a local perspective, it was defensive measures against too many enemies to count, all hellbent on eliminating him and re-enslaving Egypt again.

  105. @Joe Levantine

    I’d be honestly interested in your response to Taxi below.
    Nasser’s someone of whom I know only the generally received bullshit.

  106. Alfred says:
    @Taxi

    Political science and history judge leaders by their actions and the results of said actions, not by the political ideology of the leaders.

    Correct. But you skipped on the messy little details. 🙂

    Here are some of the things that Nasser accomplished.

    1- in 1956, Nasser nationalised the Suez Canal. Egypt was invaded by the UK, France and Israel. Sinai was occupied. The Israelis killed in cold blood 31 of our workers who were fleeing our mining operation. My father was ahead of them in another truck that was not ambushed. Israel occupied Sinai. Eisenhower demanded that these three countries cease hostilities and withdraw. Nasser was saved from his blunder by sheer luck. He was rescued by the Americans. A huge surprise to all concerned. Never one to show gratitude, Nasser claimed that Egypt had defeated singlehandedly these three countries. 🙂

    2- In 1958, Nasser tried to take over Syria with this fake union. It only lasted 3 years. Relations between these two countries were permanently damaged. Nasser was a control-freak as I have explained above. He was totally incapable of compromise.

    3- By grabbing the agricultural land from those who owned it for generations, he momentarily gave a boost to the peasantry. Simultaneously, he subsidised bread and suchlike. That meant that the peasantry got a reduced price for their crops. They were cheated. Nevertheless, they believed his promises and had far more kids. Investment in the land stopped. Egypt’s population has increased fivefold in 70 years. Soon, as the climate continues cooling, there will be massive starvation in countries like Egypt. Argentina, Russia and Ukraine are currently imposing export restrictions on grain. China has largely bought up the soybean crop of the USA for next season. Sometimes the result of stupidity take many years to surface.

    3- He destroyed the nascent industrial middle class as I explained above. Much later, my father received an especially-created medal from president Anwar Sadat on behalf of his deceased father. Sadat asked his advisers to choose the first Egyptian industrialist in the modern era – they chose my grandfather Labib Hannah Nassim

    3- The Egyptian army invaded North Yemen. They were trashed and lost 10,000 soldiers to primitive tribesmen.

    4- Nasser built an airbase at the extreme south east of Egypt – in order to threaten Jeddah and Saudi Arabia.

    5- Nasser boasted of the power of Egypt to destroy Israel. In 1967, he blocked Israeli shipping in the Gulf of Aqaba. With a perfect excuse, the Israelis invaded Egypt. They destroyed the Egyptian air force within a few hours. A huge army was trapped in Sinai – with almost no Israeli losses. A vast number of Egyptian prisoners of war were killed and it was all hushed up. They disappeared. The Israelis could not guard them as they had a Blitzkrieg strategy. The Israelis occupied Sinai for many years. They planned to keep Sinai and they carried out geological surveys and suchlike there. My family had owned a manganese mining business in Sinai – with a loading jetty at Abu Zneima. We were familiar with that place. But because Nasser had already sequestrated it, we could not lose it twice. After its theft, it stopped operating in any case.

    6- The chief of the Egyptian military, Abel Hakim Amer, was a drug addict. He was the right hand man of Nasser. It is hardly surprising that he could not defend Egypt.

    7- Nasser instituted a huge repressive and spying apparatus, the Mokhabarat. He brought in East German experts to help him. A favourite trick which they did to ensure that all movie performers followed the government line was as follows. If an actress said anything disrespectful about the regime, they would send the secret police to her home. They would rape her and get it all on film. They did the same for men. This ensured complete compliance. I stress here that none of this existed before 1952. The British did not do this.

    8- Nasser and all his cronies moved massive amounts of money abroad – while forbidding ordinary people to do so.

    9- Nasser instituted exit visas. In order to leave Egypt, one had to apply for permission. It was only granted if they approved of the reasons for your journey. My two uncles had to enrol at postgraduate courses in Caltech in order to get permission to leave. My older brother got a place at Khartoum university in order to get out. Much later, he went to Imperial and Harvard Business School. My father was able to leave as he had business dealings with Germany. They put an army officer at the airport who turned away people he did not like even though they had exit visas.

    10- Soon after the disaster of 1967, the populace of Egypt realised that Nasser was a totally incompetent idiot. So many jokes were made about him that he suffered a heart attack and died. When they buried him, a nearby sewer pipe burst and they had to bury him a second time. The joke became that the “earth spat him out”

    What I am getting at here dear readers and “Taxi” is that you will soon get a taste of Nasserism in the USA. I wish you all good luck. But I am very glad to be in Eastern Europe at present. An area that has to some degree been immunised against this cancer.

    • Thanks: Bill Jones
  107. Sirius says:
    @Taxi

    I (nor the gentleman I quoted) haven’t really commented on Nasser’s role in Egypt’s development, and I do not really know enough about the internal aspects of it to make a proper analysis. I agree with you that he faced plenty of external opposition, and he had plenty of outside political actors that wanted him to fail. I also agree with you that he made significant strides in developing the country, but he also introduced the military into civilian government, and the military has never really withdrawn from that sphere since.

    On a geopolitical level, he really failed miserably. With the Suez crisis and the 1956 British/French/Israeli joint invasion of Egypt, he seemed to have lost an opportunity to develop better ties with the United States, since it was Eisenhower who compelled all of these forces to withdraw from Egyptian territory. The military experience of that war should have made him prepare better for a future war, the disaster of 1967, where the Egyptian military was completely unprepared and for which he miscalculated politically and fell into an Israeli trap.

    As for Syria, the experience was overwhelming negative and the union was completely bungled. Before 1958, notwithstanding several military coups, Syria was mostly under some form of democratic rule, or at least had a relatively free press. In his book Syria’s Democratic Years, Kevin Martin writes:

    Syria’s experiment with democratic governance ended when the country was merged with Egypt to form the United Arab Republic, a pan-Arabist experiment that ended with a military coup in September 1961. The UAR experience, while dispelling most Syrians’ illusions about the benevolence of Jamal Abdel Nasser and his colleagues in Egypt’s Revolutionary Command Council convinced Syria’s developmentally minded military officers that popular mobilization in the service of national development could not be achieved via “bourgeois democratic” means like parliamentary elections.

    Another academic, Roy Casagranda, who is quite sympathetic to Nasser otherwise, also states that the union with Syria was badly mismanaged. The following talk mentions that but is also interesting on many other levels and is worth listening to:

    (A side note: on the internal affairs of Egypt, at about 30:00 into the talk, there is a very interesting and endearing clip of Nasser and an experience he recounts with the Muslim Brotherhood).

    Nasser turned Syria into a one-party state with an Egyptian military governor and eliminated its free press. He even banned the parties that supported him and the union.

    I won’t get into “socialism”, as that is a loaded term that means too many different things to different people, but military rule is nearly never efficient and almost by definition compulsive. Nasser didn’t leave a process to turn over the government to qualified civilians. Perhaps had he not died prematurely he would have, but we can never know that. Sure, he had plenty of external threats to worry about, especially that eternally hostile and meddling entity next door.

    I always wondered why he left the vice-presidency in the hands of Sadat, whom he allegedly used to call “Juha”, a term of insult in Arabic, other than maybe he preferred someone who posed no threat to him. (There are theories that Nasser was poisoned, but they are just theories). Perhaps someone on this forum can shed some light on Nasser’s choice of successor.

    • Replies: @Talha
  108. All my cards were signed with “Scary Christmas and a Happy New Fear”

  109. Talha says:
    @Alfred

    Nasser instituted exit visas. In order to leave Egypt, one had to apply for permission. It was only granted if they approved of the reasons for your journey.

    The head of the family I stayed with in Egypt had this exact issue. He was sent to a west coast university in order to study some kind of agricultural or geological engineering or some such thing. He was able to get out of military service for that. He ended up staying in the US and ditching Egypt; eventually he was able to go back and avoid trouble after Mubarak came into power and he had to pay some fines (or maybe payoff some officials, I forget) to make up for everything and then he was able to buy a property in Alexandria.

    Peace.

  110. Alfred says:

    I always wondered why he left the vice-presidency in the hands of Sadat, whom he allegedly used to call “Juha”, a term of insult in Arabic, other than maybe he preferred someone who posed no threat to him.

    Sadat was a very smart man. You cannot compare him with the idiot Nasser. He was partly Nubian and quite dark. He convinced Nasser that he was a fool and allowed Nasser to constantly insult him. He took it gracefully and bid his time. As I mentioned repeatedly, Nasser was a megalomaniac who liked to surround himself with yes-men.

    Before the coup d’état – it was no revolution – of 1952, Sadat would go to a tall building near the British army barracks in abbassiyah, Cairo. He would be in full Egyptian officer uniform. He would have a sniper’s rifle. He would shoot a few British soldiers. He would abandon the rifle and calmly leave the building. No one dared stop him. Eventually, he was kicked out of the Egyptian army. I guess they knew what he was doing.

    When he became unemployed, he came to work as a truck driver for a friend of my father. El-Alfy was another who had been at the Royal School of Mines. Sadat did not tell anyone that he had been an army officer and was cashiered. BTW, El_alfy discovered the phosphate deposits of Jordan – but did not profit in any way from his discovery. He was cheated. The story goes that he saw the phosphate in a railway cutting. 🙂

    Sadat was able to neutralise the Israelis. He got hold of Russian SAM’s and gradually moved them from Cairo to the Suez Canal. Each new battery was covered by preceding batteries. Later, in a surprise attack, the Egyptian Army crossed the Suez Canal. To the shock and horror of the Israelis who had build a massive wall of earth to hide their fortifications. Simultaneously with this attack, Egyptian aircraft bombed accurately the HQ of the Israelis at El-Arish. The Israeli command lost control of the situation. Later, the Egyptian Army got bogged down. The Israelis were forced to accept a ceasefire and eventually a peace agreement was made between Israel and Egypt. Israel was compelled to return Sinai. An area many times larger than Israel proper. The Suez Canal returned to operation which was important for the economy of Egypt and much of the world.

    Sadat was assassinated by the Muslim Brotherhood – a British organisation. The Israelis doubtless asked the British to do it for them. They could not accept this strategic defeat. The Israeli prime minister who signed this peace agreement, Menachem Begin, was an old hand at terrorism and assassination. Henry Kissinger, a Jew, strongly encouraged the Israelis to give way as he thought it was in their long-term interest.

    For Egypt, it allowed the country to economically rebuild. To stop the military spending. But Sadat was also an army officer. He knew nothing about how to get business to return. But at least he tried. Many of the restrictions of the Nasser era were removed and people were allowed to travel freely.

    • Thanks: Joe Levantine
  111. @Alfred

    That may be so but he was no worse, and probably better, than the dynasty that ruled Egypt before him:

    https://therake.com/stories/icons/king-of-bling-farouk-of-egypt/

    The Egyptian people must have been glad to have been rid of them at last.

    • Replies: @Alfred
  112. Talha says:
    @Sirius

    A side note: on the internal affairs of Egypt, at about 30:00 into the talk, there is a very interesting and endearing clip of Nasser and an experience he recounts with the Muslim Brotherhood

    Brilliant clip, thank you!

    but military rule is nearly never efficient

    I’d say it heavily depends on whether the military is a meritocracy or has become an armed bureaucracy. In Egypt’s history, the slave-soldier Mamluk dynasty was actually a fairly efficient (at least the Bahri Mamluks) and solid government, despite being a military dictatorship.

    Peace.

  113. @Taxi

    Your historic narrative is absolutely correct. I was young when all these events happened but with enough awareness to remember.

    Nasser’s premature death in 1970 in the midst of reorganising the military makes any fair judgement of his legacy almost impossible. No one can tell if the result of the Yom Kippur war would have been better under his leadership than the way it turned out under that of Sadat.

    Though, as I have stated in a previous comment, the socialist system that was prevalent under Hitler could have been an example to emulate by any aspiring socialist leader, keeping aside the historic prejudices against National Socialism, as that system tried to unite the people under the principle of the Volk. Nasser could have reached for something similar by accommodating the interests of the entrepreneurial class while making them pay their fair share of taxes instead of expropriating their properties and putting them in the hands of people who lacked the business know how, and still promote the rights of the working class. Israel’s nightmare was and still is that one day a strong Arab leader would manage to modernise the Arab world. Egypt was and is still demographically the biggest Arab country and had Nasser managed to push the economy into rapid industrialisation by promoting local entrepreneurship and foreign investment while imposing strict meritocracy irrespective of class affiliation, the Egyptian economy would have provided the Egyptian army with better means at liberating Palestine.

    There is no doubt that the imperialistic hurdles to any attempt to raise Egypt to a level that would allow her to threaten Israel are formidable. Though meeting such a tall order is the yardstick of any successful leader. Nasser gave the Egyptian people high aspirations but he failed to deliver concrete results but his popularity did defy gravity as when the people rose to demand his continued leadership even after the defeat of six days war.

  114. Taxi says:
    @Alfred

    Some facts in your post, sure, but mainly it’s brimming with elite revisionist history of Egypt, inspired by enduring butthurteez, apparently inflicted by Nasser.

    Perhaps your royal pomposity would care to explain how such a wicked and “idiotic” man as Nasser had managed to inspire, well, at least two hundred million more men and women than your fantastically wholesome and ingenious grandfather ever did?

    Your class prejudice and your loathing for the working class, who represent the majority of your nation, btw, has been duly noted and deposited where it belongs: sack of sour grapes.

    No, I won’t be responding to your two-dimensional litany of anti-Nasserite screed. You can have and keep your butthurt Nasserphobia forevermore for all I care. I merely joined in the conversation to add a small measure of historic nuances and dimensions to the storyline, not to indulge with a patent snob. And a silly, catty one at that. I mean your closing paragraph: really now, mister Better Thananyone. “I wish you all good luck.” Laughably insincere. A sad an incurably bitter old man. Yeah, I too “wish you good luck”, buddy. And hey, you never know, I just might wake up tomorrow morning and totally feel like dissecting your bitch bullet points one by one – banging iron frying pan of history over your over-groomed but under-informed head.

    Your family’s experience of Nasser, though a compelling narrative and valid for empathetic reasons, is actually not a commonly shared experience in Egypt. Most Egyptians are not like you: a dual-citizen elite. And history, my dear, is not assessed from a single personal experience, but from the gathering of ALL facts available, contextualizing them, studying their events from all possible angles – and not just from an opaque butthurt side.

    P.S. My current address is in south Lebanon; the one before it was in southern California.

    P.P.S. G’nite y’all from the nuanced Levant.

    • Replies: @Alfred
  115. Alfred says:
    @Commentator Mike

    The Egyptian people must have been glad to have been rid of them at last

    This is another version of the “number of shoes of the wife of Marcos”. Envy of the lifestyle of the wealthy leads to catastrophe. Farouk had many personality defects. For example, he was a glutton. But he did not start any wars. In fact, he was almost powerless.

    Farouk drove himself around Cairo and the Nile Delta in a red Italian open-top sports car. An Alfa Romeo, I believe. He was a reckless driver and the jeep containing his bodyguards frequently lost him. He never told them where he was going.

    Once, without any warning and at lunch time he appeared at my grandfather’s house. He was cordially welcomed and had his lunch with my grandfather. It was a very relaxed and civilised Egypt in those days.

    Personally, I prefer such a world to one where the president goes around in bullet proof cars with masses of police lining the route and with motorcycle outriders. Who lives at the interior of a military camp. But you obviously prefer the latter.

    In any case, the wealth of Farouk was not 1/1,000 that of the hero monopolist of the moment – Bill Gates. If Farouk liked beautiful women, what is wrong with that?

    • Replies: @Commentator Mike
  116. @Alfred

    Your narrative is very much in line with what I heard from many diaspora Egyptians.

    The details you provide are very informative. You have managed to walk a fine line between the popular myth and the hostile imperialist narrative by pointing to facts. Many thanks for your effort.

  117. Alfred says:

    Please excuse if I digress somewhat. It seems to me that many kind readers don’t really understand what I am getting at. Where Egypt has gone, the West will follow.

    The idea that one amazing person can make all the small and large decisions of a country is preposterous. It is bound to lead to failure. Nasser was an excellent example of this. The USSR is another. Centralisation does not work. Socialism has never worked.

    A good leader is a person who knows how to choose a good team of people and to allow them to get on with it. They in turn must do likewise. They must delegate. Strategic economic decisions must be make by consensus. Business people must be consulted. Business people must be allowed to get on with what they are good at. They cannot be expected to spend most of their time in government offices begging or bribing bureaucrats for permits and suchlike.

    The judiciary must be truly independent, fast and cheap. Everyone must know where they stand. In the future, the decline of the US will deem to have started when the judiciary became corrupt. When it ceased to be possible to have a lawsuit against prosecutors or judges. When judges can tamper with evidence. That is why the US is going down the toilet. Egypt and many other countries have been in the toilet for a long time. 🙁

    When There is no Justice – It is Time To Turnout the Lights | Armstrong Economics

    • Agree: Joe Levantine
  118. @Alfred

    Perhaps. But it seems like many Americans are heading to a similar fate if we keep whatever the Hell our current system is.

  119. @Alfred

    The Middle East outside Israel, perhaps.

  120. @Taxi

    ‘…From a local perspective, it was defensive measures against too many enemies to count, all hellbent on eliminating him and re-enslaving Egypt again.’

    That would be an unfair description of the Islamic Brotherhood, even at its worst.

  121. @Alfred

    I don’t care how many shoes the rulers may have as long as none of their people are walking around barefoot or with a hole in their shoe. And it doesn’t bother me how much wealth the rich accumulate as long as it’s by honest and ethical business practices and not by theft and robbery, legalised or otherwise, or by corruption, bribes, and underhand dealings.

  122. Alfred says:
    @Taxi

    Some facts in your post

    Thank you for acknowledging that. 🙂

    I am an engineer by training. I am not a social scientist (if there is such a thing). I deal with facts. Reality is all I care about. The popularity of a tinpot dictator is not of interest to me. The outcome of his policies do matter to me.

    There is absolutely no shadow of doubt that compared to South Korea, Singapore, Malaysia, Vietnam, Taiwan and China the economy of Egypt has fared extremely badly. All these countries were far poorer than Egypt in 1952. Egypt had the advantage of proximity to the huge markets of Europe and the Middle East. The location of Egypt is of great strategic importance – because of the Suez Canal.

    Instead of building an advanced society on the solid foundation that he inherited, Nasser squandered his capital (intellectual, financial, political, military, cultural, educational) in an almost unprecedented way.

    Egyptian writers were renowned and widely read in the Middle East. Because of Nasser’s censorship, all of that went. The current generation has resorted to assassinating elderly writers such as Naguib Mahfouz (1934-2004) and others.

    Egyptian Writer Who Criticized Islamic Extremism Is Assassinated

    Egypt’s film industry was famous throughout the Middle East. Even today, movies from the 1950’s are frequently broadcast from Morocco to Saudi Arabia. Nasser killed it.

    Egypt’s music and lyrics totally dominated the Middle East. Where is it today?

    Here is Umm Kulthoum singing “Inta omry” (“You are my life”). Today, she would be murdered because of the lyrics.

    I already listed the wars Nasser lost. When he was rescued by the Americans in 1956, he turned against them. Do you really believe that this guy was not an idiot?

    Dear Taxi, your experience is of Lebanon. Lebanon is a tribal society. Lebanon had civil wars and plenty of foreign money supported different factions. But Lebanon never had censorship. The Lebanese never needed government permission to leave the country. The phones were not tapped by a central authority with life and death powers. The central government has always been weak in Lebanon – a huge advantage. Nasser’s Egypt was a totally different animal. I realise that many Lebanese worship Nasser, but they had no direct experience. Syria only had 3 years of Nasser and they still detest him.

    In 1952, the Egyptian pound was worth more than US\$3. Today, it is worth 6 cents. A devaluation of 99% against a currency that has itself devalued by 98% against gold. To buy the same amount of gold that could be bought for one Egyptian pound in 1952, today you would need 6000 Egyptian pounds. Do you really think that has been to the benefit of ordinary Egyptians – not to the benefit of regime insiders?

    PS

    When listening to Umm Kulthoum, I was moved to tears. A natural reaction of someone who saw his beloved country become a cesspit of ignorance and corruption. Many Americans will eventually look back at the their past in a similar way.

  123. Sirius says:

    I realise that many Lebanese worship Nasser, but they had no direct experience. Syria only had 3 years of Nasser and they still detest him.

    That is quite true. I don’t think I ever heard a Syrian who remembers that era have a good word to say about the “union”. The more conspiratorial minded would go so far as to say Nasser was an agent who discreetly wanted to discredit pan-Arabism, but I would put it down to misguided policies and good-ole-fashioned incompetence.

    Yet many Lebanese liked him, and to this day I believe there is even a Nasserist political party in Lebanon (someone can help me out on that point). Gaddafi of Libya (who appears in that gif file Alfred posted if I’m not mistaken) was also a big fan of Nasser.

    The one talent Nasser undisputedly had was charisma. He electrified audiences and masses. I believe that was the reason for his popularity combined with an appeal to Arab unity and independence.

    There is absolutely no shadow of doubt that compared to South Korea, Singapore, Malaysia, Vietnam, Taiwan and China the economy of Egypt has fared extremely badly.

    Also by and large true, though I don’t think any of Nasser’s successors were able to pull Egypt out of poverty either, and there has been a half century since the Nasser era.

  124. Alfred says:

    many Lebanese liked him

    Lebanon has a “free” press. It was very easy for the Egyptians to pay off Lebanese journalists to write glowing articles about Nasser. 🙂

    Also by and large true, though I don’t think any of Nasser’s successors were able to pull Egypt out of poverty either, and there has been a half century since the Nasser era.

    They were essentially the same military clique – Sadat, Mubarak and Sisi. There was Morsi for a brief period – the Muslim Brotherhood. Thank heavens that it went back to the military. 🙂

    It is hard to find a country that has dropped so fast in the rankings of nations. The single missing element is widespread famine and disease. But that will sadly come soon enough. The historic population of Egypt was 2-4 million. Now, it is 100 million.

    Furthermore, the Ethiopians are in a position to turn off the Blue Nile – the one with the annual flood. A nightmare scenario for Egypt. The crash there is going to be off the scales. I don’t think Europe will welcome 10 million young Egyptian males. Ethiopia has its own population problem.

    Nile dam row: Egypt fumes as Ethiopia celebrates (2020)

    • Replies: @Joe Levantine
  125. @Alfred

    Don’t forget that Egypt didn’t have Israel in the neighbourhood before, or at least for not long before.

    Anyway, Umm Kulthoum is amazing.

    • Agree: Alfred
    • Replies: @Ray Caruso
    , @Sirius
  126. @TKK

    Despite everything, I believe he is right about the US. Shitholes like Egypt at least are stable. The US is unstable thanks to illegitimate elections, marginalization of the country’s core population, and rapid demographic changes orchestrated by the Uniparty.

  127. Sirius says:

    @Alfred

    That was precisely my point about military men running governments.

    I was, by the way, aware of Nasser’s intervention in Yemen. Some have argued that that distraction set Nasser up for the second loss of Sinai.

    Also, I meant to pick up on your praise of Sadat as well, but that might be another thread and it’s opening up a new topic.

    @Talha

    Your example was from before our technological era. There is far more specialization these days and it takes a lot more expertise to manage military affairs as well as economic and political affairs. Also, our interconnected world makes it even more complicated.

    @Taxi

    If you have a good argument about Nasser’s virtues, or good sources or links, it would be nice to hear it/them.

    The discussion confirms what I said about Nasser remaining a controversial figure. I haven’t really made my mind myself, at least not concerning Egypt (which is why I asked). Concerning Syria, well, that’s something else.

    Ultimately though, the success of a state lies in the strength and effectiveness of its institutions, not in the performance or personality of one person. Post-WWII the Arabic-speaking world generally has been relying too heavily on the latter, instead of institutions.

    • Replies: @Talha
    , @Taxi
  128. @Commentator Mike

    Did you know Mohammed promised molten lead in the ears in the afterlife for anyone who listens to a “songstress”? Umm Kulthum’s fans are in for a bad time.

  129. Sirius says:
    @Commentator Mike

    Don’t be surprised if one day Israel uses Ethiopia’s control of the Blue Nile to squeeze Egypt, should Egypt fall out of line. It seems Israel already used the US to play a significant role in the partition of South Sudan from Sudan.

  130. @Alfred

    There is absolutely no shadow of doubt that compared to South Korea, Singapore, Malaysia, Vietnam, Taiwan and China the economy of Egypt has fared extremely badly.

    Although you certainly seem to be an exception, Egypt is a low-IQ country, while the East Asian countries you mentioned are mostly high-IQ countries. National wealth is strongly correlated with IQ.

  131. @Alfred

    Dear Alfred!

    Was in Cairo, 1981.

    While there I heard music and met a man who told me, “He is Egypt’s Elvis Presley.”

    A question.

    Could this be Umm Kulthoum? At any rate, shall try to listen to him on You Tube.

    Thanks so much for all the information, ⭐Alfred.

  132. Sirius says:
    @ChuckOrloski

    Unlikely, since Umm Kulthum was a she!

    • Replies: @ChuckOrloski
  133. Linh Dinh says: • Website
    @ChuckOrloski

    Umm Kulthum is a woman, Chuck! Her photos appear in countless Egyptian coffee houses, such as here, here, here and here. There are even coffee houses named after her, such as this one, with statues and oil paintings of the singer. And here she is, on a wall. She’s bigger than Elvis, Chuck!

    • Thanks: ChuckOrloski
    • Replies: @ChuckOrloski
  134. @Sirius

    Lol. I goofed, Sirius. Thank you.

    Did listen to her on You Tube. Is great!

  135. Linh Dinh says: • Website
    @ChuckOrloski

    Billie Holiday is like a (miniature) Umm Kulthum of America, Chuck!

    The US hasn’t had a mature singer of stature in decades, only hags (like Madonna) who stumble around pretending to be teenagers!

    • Agree: ChuckOrloski
    • Replies: @ChuckOrloski
  136. @Linh Dinh

    Yo Linh!

    In the Jolie Ville Hotel lobby, Giza, there was a Grateful Dead poster. 1978, they played nearby the pyramids, and below, it appears some young Egyptians liked them.

    Am embarrassed to think Kulthum

    [MORE]
    was a he, and The Dead recorded an L.P. called, “Blues for Allah.” Am glad the Egyptian culture kept Umm as a national star.

    As you know, the obedient Philadelphia 76ers & Flyers stopped Kate Smith from singing God bless America.

    Thank you.

  137. @Linh Dinh

    Yo Linh!

    At Wednesday’s inauguration, Lady Gaga will sing.

    I reckon Madonna’s “Like a prayer” wouldn’t fit with Biden’s advertised Catholic values commitment. ☺️ Iran doesn’t have a prayer.

  138. Today is MLK Day, and I trust no one assembled here will mind my posting one of Kate Smith’s songs, so here is she:

  139. @Alfred

    About many Lebanese liking Nasser.

    Unfortunately, Nasser’s influence in Lebanon was very divisive. On the one hand most Muslims adored him whereas, on the other hand, most Christians looked at him as someone who relentlessly interfered in Lebanese internal affairs. Nasser was at odds with president Camil Shamoun, and was a contributing factor to the first civil war in Lebanon in 1958 with the Egyptian secret service playing an important role in the mayhem. The successor to President Shamoun, the ex army leader Fouad Chehab, a man of great wisdom and integrity, managed to build a relationship of trust with Nasser by reaching a compromise with the Egyptian leader whereby Lebanon’s external politics would be subordinated to the Egyptians but internal politics would be free from any such influence. Under this arrangement, Lebanon managed a stable period between 1958 until 1967 when Nasser, eager to burnish his image after the Six Days War defeat, put pressure on then President Charles Helou to allow Palestinian guerrillas to launch military assaults from South Lebanon into Israel which de facto nullified the Armistice Agreement of 1949 between Israel and Lebanon and pushed Lebanon right into the Arab Israeli conflict, a direct cause of the devastating civil war of 1975. Up to then, Lebanon acted like an international pundit and pulpit for the Palestinian cause but courtesy of the civil war, the Palestine Liberation Organisation ( PLO) became enmeshed in a power struggle in Lebanon that caused it untold harm.

    While Nasser was pressuring Lebanon to open the way for the Palestinian resistance from Lebanese territory, he had formally informed the head of the PLO that he will never subordinate the return of Israeli occupied Egyptian territories to the right of return of the Palestinian people.

  140. @Ray Caruso

    Maybe in Mohammed’s time the songstresses he heard were really really bad and annoyed him so much.

    • LOL: AnonStarter
  141. @dimples

    ‘Dinh does not look at the pyramids!’

    He probably went but won’t admit it.

    • Replies: @ChuckOrloski
  142. Talha says:
    @Sirius

    Your example was from before our technological era.

    Good points.

    Peace.

  143. @Colin Wright

    When one is in Giza, it’s almost impossible to not see the Great Pyramid.

  144. Taxi says:
    @Sirius

    For lack of available time, I can’t respond to all of Alfred and JL’s specifics, but I can quickly respond to you by saying that almost everything that Alfred penned about Nasser is obsessively one-sided and incorrect. His prejudiced point of view is due to his elite family’s loss of profits under Nasser’s rule – a family who were extremely privileged at a time when MOST Egyptians were literally starving WHILE in employment. Alfred does not in any shape or measure present the historic Egyptian experience. He blames EVERYTHING wrong with Egypt today on Nasser’s socialism of fifty years ago: a ridiculous notion, if I ever heard one. And JL reduces Nasser’s influence on Lebanon to a sectarian one, which again is skewed from the reality of the time. Lebanon’s current president, Michel Aoun, is an example of a christian leb who holds Nasser with great affection and respect. Honestly, I don’t know a single Leb Christian who does not admire Nasser, his secular revolution and what he did for the Arab world. There is much to criticize about Nasser’s method and/or timing, but not the equitable principles that he promoted and adhered to till his untimely death.

    What Nasser did, briefly, is the following: he successfully evicted colonialism out of Egypt after some 500 years of Ottoman and British occupation. He also successfully fought Egyptian communism, which led the Soviet Union, his only ally of worth, to treat him with tepid hostility throughout his reign (they wanted communism for Egypt, Nasser wanted socialism). He busted up the Egyptian gang-banging elites (like Alfred’s grandfather), who’d been thriving immensely and for decades off the sweat of the poor. He kneecapped the terrorist Muslim Brotherhood (he offered them power-sharing when he first came into power, and they responded with many failed assassination attempts). He kept israel on its toes and would have defeated it in the war had not the West interfered to advantage israel at the 11th hour of battle. And, just as importantly, he liberated the Arab mind from the shackles of mental slavery after such a long period of colonization. Syrians loved him, and still do (despite the failure of the unification project). Lebanese loved him back then and remain loving him now. Iraqis still love him. Palestinians love him. Sudanese love him. Libyans love him… in fact, all Arabs love him except the Arab capitalist-elites and oil dictatorships, because he was promoting anti-imperial, anti-colonial and anti-monarchy rhetoric and policy, and all this was a threat to their dictatorial seats of power.

    Some of Nasser’s failures can be attributed to bad timing and bad management. Other failures were due to the long list of powerful terrorist-enemies domestically and externally, all working together and against him: succeeding in foiling some of his major plans for change. But one thing is undeniable: he gave the Arab world a successful revolution. This is a really big deal for the downtrodden Arab. Yes, it was a successful revolution against colonialism while Nasser lived, and the spirit of this revolution has indeed lived on after his death. This is his legacy today. This is why, to this date, he remains a much-loved figure in the Arab world.

    Oh and one last thing: Alfred promoting Sadat as the ‘really good deal genius’ for Egypt really had me in stitches lol. Sadat was a dopehead who had the propensity of sprinkling hashish into his pipe whenever the pressure was on at his office and tough decisions had to be made. Sadat the traitor of the revolution and narcissist who preferred to mingle with foreign dignitaries at cocktail parties in Paris, London and DC, instead of giving speeches of comfort to his own suffering people and providing them with genuine, patriotic solutions. Sadat who stupidly supported the Nazi party during WW2 (he could have remained neutral). Sadat, the village idiot who single-handedly and willingly literally gave away the wealth and immense geopolitical powers of Egypt to the fucking jews, in exchange for a cheap Pulitzer. The peace deal he signed with Begin REMAINS the very foundation and reason why Egypt continues to be mired in political and financial limbo.

    And I must here also bring to light the ridiculous and absolute lie disseminated on this thread that Nasser did not allow freedom of movement and travel to Egyptians and Syrians. This is an out and out lie, when in fact, the opposite is true. Nasser encouraged Egyptians to go abroad for work so as to send monies back to their families in Egypt, thus energizing the Egyptian economy. He also encouraged Egyptians to study abroad and return with ‘brains’ that would benefit Egyptian economic and industrial society. And here, I’ll add that, yes, it’s true that Egyptian freedom of the press was curtailed under Nasser, and this is because the ‘revolution’ needed to take hold of the narrative, a narrative that especially saudi arabia, israel and the UK were trying with all their might to takeover at the time. And I’ll add here that under Sadat and other presidents that followed, freedom of the press fared even worse, with literally only insidious zionist and pro cult-of-personality press were allowed freedoms.

    It’s the nuance, stupid!

    Look, you can tell the substance of a leader by who their enemy is. Nasser’s enemies were the following: israel, US, UK, France, Saudi Arabia and oil sheikdoms, communism, political islam, and sectarianism. He fought them all, simultaneously, and he fought them bravely. Nasser’s revolution and its spirit still lives on bigly right across the wide Arab world, some fifty years after his death – and this fact surely must account for something in the mind of any reasonable person. In my book, this is a solid positive, and it cannot be dismissed by his bitter detractors just for the sake of it.

    In the collective Arab mind, the concept of ‘revolution’ comes before whether you are left-leaning or right-leaning. Revolution first, followed by political leaning is the order of the day. Arabs tend to ask you whether you are pro resistance before they ask you whether you are a capitalist or a socialist. In the collective Arab mind, revolution means freedom for the masses: something the captive Arab masses still yearn for. Until Hezbollah came along, Nasser was the only Arab leader who’d given the Arab world a real and successful grassroots revolution.

    This is why Nasser remains by far more loved and respected than Sadat, Mubarak, Morsi and Sisi: all anti-revolution, all treasonous presidents who came after him – all beholden to the corrupt, ruinous and anti-native Peace Treaty with terrorist, klepto israel. All are seen as backstabbers and traitors of Egypt and of the Arab world. Nasser gave his people and the Arab world hope. Other Egyptian presidents that came after him gave ‘surrender’.

    I hope the above clarifies and redresses the imbalance in this thread’s debate.

  145. Alfred says:
    @ChuckOrloski

    “He is Egypt’s Elvis Presley.”

    At that epoque, Fareed Al-Atrash was perhaps they one the man was referring to. Fareed was born in Syria to a prominent Druze family. His family moved to Egypt when he was 9. I read somewhere about how he used to ride his horse across the mountains of Syria to meet a girl near Mediterranean Palestine – in what is now Israel. He had quite a reputation with the ladies. 🙂

    The title of this piece means “Because no one can take your place” (It is in colloquial Egyptian Arabic). Often, Arabic singers “swap sex”. I mean, he singing as though he is a female addressing a male lover. Similarly, in the Umm Kulthoum piece above, she is singing as though her missing lover is a female and she is a male.

    Alshan Malesh Ghairak – Farid Al-Atrash

    BTW, there have always been lots of Lebanese and Syrians in Egypt’s society. Omar Sheriff is best known in the West. He was from a Lebanese Christian family and born in Alexandria.

    • Thanks: ChuckOrloski
  146. @Taxi

    From what I can remember Nasser was immensely popular in the Arab world. And later Gadaffi also, another revolutionary held in high esteem by the common Arabs.

  147. Alfred says:
    @Taxi

    He (Nasser) busted up the Egyptian gang-banging elites (like Alfred’s grandfather), who’d been thriving immensely and for decades off the sweat of the poor.

    My grandfather was the first Egyptian in the modern era to own a factory. This factory supplied paints to the British Army during WW2. Later, it supplied insecticides to Egyptian farmers – in competition with the huge Imperial Chemical Industry of the UK.

    Nasser stole the factory from us without any compensation. Since then, the place has been run down under its government management. Strangely enough, we are still the legal owners of the land on which the factory resides but they won’t vacate it and won’t pay any rent. 🙂

    Try to imagine what the USA would look like if the first factory of Henry Ford were stolen from him by the US government. If all other private factories is the USA were stolen at the same time – without any compensation or forgiveness of debts owed to banks. Is that too difficult for you to imagine with your little brain and Socialist dogma?

    a family who were extremely privileged at a time when MOST Egyptians were literally starving WHILE in employment

    The fact that my grandfather built a huge house with profits made from the British in WW2 somehow resulted in the population of Egypt becoming poor. Hundreds of Egyptians depended on our business for their sustenance and this is somehow proof that we exploited them. They would have been so much better off without employment or working elsewhere for a lower wage.

    BTW, the “starving” Egyptians were averaging 7 kids per woman in 1960.

    “Egypt – Fertility rate, total (births per woman)”

    https://www.indexmundi.com/facts/egypt/indicator/SP.DYN.TFRT.IN

    Have you had any kids Taxi? You seem to me to be a typical frustrated American spinster. 🙂

    “He blames EVERYTHING wrong with Egypt today on Nasser’s socialism of fifty years ago”

    As I explained, the same military clique has been in power since 1952. They all went to the same military schools. They intermarry. They socialise. They have the same mindset. They know absolutely nothing about running a competitive modern business. Nasser built a fake car factory – without any partnership with Fiat, Renault, VW, Ford and all the rest of them. You can guess the outcome.

    “He (Nasser) kept Israel on its toes”

    He lost Sinai TWICE to the Israelis. The first time, it was retrieved by the Americans – who he promptly turned against. The second time by Sadat who you claim was a “dopehead”. The second time, probably 100,000 Egyptian soldiers were killed. Nasser moved the army to Sinai and no one returned. There were no prisoners taken by the Israelis.

    He lost against Yemen – 10,000 soldiers killed.

    ” Iraqis still love him. Palestinians love him. Sudanese love him. Libyans love him”

    Well, Yeltsin was very popular in the West – because he allowed the Jews to loot Russia. Putin is extremely unpopular in the West – because he stopped the looting of Russia. Do you see the similarity with Nasser and Sadat? I am sure you don’t because you could not care about the outcome for the Egyptians. You think that the president of Egypt should work for foreigners against the interests of his own people.

    “the ridiculous and absolute lie disseminated on this thread that Nasser did not allow freedom of movement and travel to Egyptians”

    Your ignorance of what sort of police state Egypt was under Nasser is astounding. I hope you will one day live under a police state so that you will find out for yourself what that entails. It seems that your beloved California is going in that direction. Maybe you should go back to the USA?

    “He also encouraged Egyptians to study abroad”

    That was the loophole that allowed my two uncles and older brother to escape. No one else except regime insiders and businessmen were allowed out.

    FYI, when I was only 11, I was told to report to the headmaster (school principal). I went to see him. He was very nervous. Two strange men in suits were in his office. I immediately realised that they were secret police (Mukhabarat). They started asking me about my parents. I ignored all their questions and said nothing. The headmaster panicked and shouted at me “answer their questions boy!”. They let me go. I went home and told my parents. They were terrified.

    “you can tell the substance of a leader by who their enemy is. Nasser’s enemies were the following: Israel, US, UK, France, Saudi Arabia and oil sheikdoms, communism, political Islam, and sectarianism”

    Yes. Nasser had piles of enemies – especially the educated and productive middle class of Egypt. But that is the precise opposite of the role of a national leader. A leader should try to have friendly relations with as many of his neighbours and other countries as possible. Compare Russia’s Putin to Nasser. By forcing creative people like us to leave, he cut the legs from under Egypt’s economy. A Pyrrhic victory.

    “Revolution first”

    There was no revolution. It was a coup d’état organised and financed by Tito’s Yugoslavia. A faction of the Egyptian army took control. They presented General Muhamed Naguib as the leader – because he was popular with the people. A year later, Naguib was put under house arrest for the rest of his life and Nasser took his place.

    Your ignorance is so profound that you make me dizzy. I have no time for people of your caliber.

    • Replies: @Taxi
  148. Alfred says:
    @Taxi

    I found a Wikipedia entry for Nasser’s car factory.

    Initially, they produced a vehicle that was “all Egyptian”. But of course, all the pieces came from the factories of suppliers in Europe.

    A bit later, when Nasser went to the place reserved for him in Hell, they compromised and started assembling imported designs from Fiat.

    BTW, “Nasr” means “Victory” in Arabic. Nasser was always victorious – especially in his 3 hour long speeches in front of the hundreds of thousands of Egyptians. He never lost a single war. 🙂

    In its 15 years of operation, the factory produced around 7 crap cars per day. That is what Socialism is all about. That is what so many young people in the USA aspire to.

    Nasr (car company)

  149. Taxi says:
    @Alfred

    Your manicured whining is predictable. Egyptian industrialists were the the scum of the earth, and your grandfather was apparently in cahoots with the colonial Brits to boot. Well, what the heck did you expect?! Go cry me a fucking river!

    And btw, all historians, including israeli ones, AND, the whole world as well, all defined what Nasser did at the time as a ‘revolution’. True that he came into power through a military coup, but once the coup event itself was done with, a revolution occurred, masterminded and led by Jamal Abdul Nasser, and this revolution succeeded in evicting an enduring and cruel colonialism from the land of Egypt. Now, compare Nasser’s pro-active and genuine pro-the-people coup, to that of Sisi’s. Yeah, that’s right: chalk and cheese – chalk and cheese, baby.

    Alfred, you are so full of blinding hate, prejudice and resentment towards Nasser that you’re unable to even recognize facts of history for being what they are. You are therefore not a reliable and sound critic of Egyptian political history.

    You demonstrate, yet again, the sage observation that it’s impossible to teach ‘responsibility’ to the arrogant elite class – impossible to teach them the spiritual benefits of fair trade, or, the art of compromise with lower classes. Elites are not even capable of acknowledging the simplest of facts if this fact illuminates their faults or weaknesses. They are sore losers who recoil from gritty reality and become unhinged prisoners of their own lalaland. Nothing more pathetic than the spectacle of an elite clutching pearls and crying ‘victim’.

    And BTW, Nasser’s BIGGEST fan was no less then Umm Kulthum herself. She was a committed nationalist who absolutely worshiped the ground the Nasser walked on. Now why would she feel this way if Nasser was so credibility-barren? Is she “idiotic” too, like you claim Nasser was?

    C’mon, critique where critique is due, and credit where credit is due.

    • Replies: @Malla
  150. Alfred says:

    And BTW, Nasser’s BIGGEST fan was no less then Umm Kulthum herself. She was a committed nationalist who absolutely worshiped the ground the Nasser walked on.

    Again, you display your total ignorance. I pointed out above how Nasser’s Mukhabarat raped and filmed performers who criticised the regime in any way. Egypt is a family-centered society. For such a film to do the rounds would lead to the ostracism of all members of the family of the performer.

    Nasser abolished income taxes for all performers – actors, producers, journalists, singers, technicians etc. It was a neat way to get them to support him in public. The familiar carrot and stick routine.

    Hitler’s Goebbels did the same thing:

    10 Forgotten Movie Starlets Of Nazi Germany

    When the military takes control of a country by force of arms, it is not a revolution. It is a coup d’état. They were not called the “Colonels” for no reason. But you can call it whatever you like. It still remains a military takeover. It was not a popular revolt. And it was financed from outside by Tito. 🙂

    Professional army officers in most Western and Central European countries form an integral part of a more or less organic upper class that includes bankers, industrialists, landowners, the ecclesiastical hierarchy, the higher civil service, important politicians, and many intellectuals and professionals (university professors, writers, newspaper editors, etc. etc.) The officers not only share the outlook of this class, they are tied to it concretely by family and social relations, by a common background and way of life. In Egypt, as throughout all the former territories of the Ottoman Empire, no such integrated upper class emerged, owing partly to the fact that the commercial, industrial, and property-owning classes—along with many intellectuals and professionals—were not Moslems, but Jews and Christians, as well as members of various ethnic groups (Armenian, Syrian, Lebanese, Greek) which had no inner relation with Islam.

    The Colonels and the Communists: The Social Roots of Nasser’s Egypt

    • Replies: @Taxi
  151. Malla says:
    @Taxi

    Taxi, why do you think the Arab Union (United Arab Republic) in between Egypt and Syria by Nasser collapse? What do you know about this?

    • Replies: @Taxi
  152. Malla says:
    @Alfred

    Hey Alfred, check out Lord Cromer’s book on Egypt published in 1916. Very interesting.
    https://archive.org/download/modernegypt00crom/modernegypt00crom.pdf
    Modern Egypt by Evelyn Baring, 1st Earl of Cromer
    During his (British Empire) days, The Turco-Egyptian elites ruled the whole show who were ruthless to the Sheikhs who in turn were tyrannical to the fellaheen. Also according to him, Coptic Christians were very similar in psychology to the Muslims Egyptians around them.
    This exploitation was ended by the British in power which created a lot of resentment among the Turko-Egyptian elites towards the British Empire.

    • Replies: @Malla
  153. @Taxi

    I hope I can be a moderator between you and Alfred.

    Your contention about the masses loving Nasser is true from what I could see and remember. But history is littered with stories about many failed leaders who were very popular despite the nefarious results of their failings. Remember Napoleon, who despite being a military genius and despite having modernised the French state in a way unparalleled since the time of Colbert, was worshipped by most of the French people to the point that the French masses promoted his relative Napoleon III to the status of emperor only to lead France to its most humiliating defeat against Germany. Yet what was Napoleon’s final legacy? I say, objectively, the more than six hundred thousand widows and unmarried woman who lost their loved ones during the French imperial invasion of Russia.

    Closer to home, when President Aoun came back from his banishment, hundreds of thousands of Lebanese went to the airport to greet him oblivious to the fact that his war of liberation from Syrian occupation and his war of ‘ cancellation’ were two disasters that put the Christian community specifically and the nation into the worst trials and tribulations recorded in Lebanon’s modern history. Probing his presidency, Aoun promised the people to fight their worst enemy, corruption, but failed miserably blaming the entrenched power of the corrupt. This I say as once one of his biggest fans who had eventually to come to the reality of his failed leadership.

    What I would like to convey is that the judgement of history does depend only partially on the popularity of the leader especially a gifted one like Nasser who had lots of charisma and magnetism and who could enchant the people with his speeches. But if you were to act as a good historian, you have to assess a leader’s legacy from many angles and the most important criteria is how successful this leader was at reaching his objectives. As far as I can judge, neither Nasser or Aoun were able to deliver on their promises. On the other hand, Bismarck was one of Germany’s most hated statesman but he did delivery unity and victory to the Germans and any historian who tries to belittle Bismarck’s achievements would doom him/herself to ridicule.

    Both Hitler and Nasser were defeated militarily, but at least Hitler did not come to power on a tank and Hitler managed to restore Germany to full employment within two years of gaining power. Nasser’s revolution had the aim of defeating imperialism starting with Western imperialism’s implant Israel but he unfortunately failed. On the Chinese side, Mao was able to liberate China from the imperial powers that tried to enslave it but he blundered into the Cultural Revolution and the Great Leap Forward, which were both the worst human disasters to have hit China in the twentieth century, by the acknowledgment of many young and older Chinese. It took the pragmatist Deng to initiate his economic reforms and a succession of Chinese leaders to build on the momentum of Deng’s reforms to make China one of the most dynamic economies in the world; now this is the hallmark of a successful revolution.

    Nasser and the military leaders who followed him were from the Egyptian military establishment and lacked the knowledge of the business dynamics that makes a truly prosperous economy. Most military people have a propensity to surround themselves with yes men and are quite intolerant of opposing opinions. De Gaulle of France and Chehab of Lebanon were exceptions to the rules and their countries prospered under their leadership. Nasser had national dignity and pride and to my knowledge led an austere life but his legacy was very much compromised by his failures on the military as well as the economic fronts.

    • Replies: @Malla
    , @Alfred
    , @Taxi
  154. Taxi says:
    @Malla

    It was an ambitious project that was attempted prematurely. Plus, it had copious enemies who ardently worked against its materialization and maturity.

  155. Malla says:
    @Verymuchalive

    There is an Egyptian atheist political activist Sherif Gaber who is facing prosecution in Egypt right now for questioning the Koran and Sahih al-Bukhari hadith collection. He was asking for help online to escape Egypt where there are a total number of 5 felony charges against him, each one of them punishable up to 15 years in Egyptian prison. If there is anybody here who can help him escape Egypt, please do.
    However he supports LGBT rights and he claims ISIS is Islamic while I believe it is Zionist. If you are not aware by now, ISIS never attacked Israel and actually apologized to Israel for a freak attack. LOL. There were even cases of IDF doctors helping ISIS/ Al Nusra fighters. But anyways
    Check out his videos in Arabic but with English subtitles (click subtitle button).

    Facts You Don’t Know About the Quran

    The Lies of Al-Bukhary in Islam

  156. Taxi says:
    @Alfred

    Just shut it down already with your twisted and treacherous hate and lies. Classic Egyptian cinema and music reached their height in creativity and freedom of expression during Nasser’s years.

    With people like you, there’s always a bad reason why good exists.

    • Replies: @Alfred
  157. Malla says:
    @Joe Levantine

    You could one day add the idiot Modi to that list of popular leaders who end up screwing their country. Extremely popular among the Indian masses but he is screwing up the Indian economy. Major difference is that unlike Nasser who was a socialist, Modi is selling off Indian economic assets (carefully created and nurtured by the earlier British Raj and the Socialist Congress) to the elite bloodsucking oligarch assholes. That way he is the opposite of Nasser. His appeal to the masses is that he is of poor background (he sold tea as boy in railway stations), cannot speak English that well and is thus a “man of the common masses”. LOL. The truth is he sold tea for only 6 months but it is true he is from a impoverished background.
    He is screwing the more sensible English speaking Anglified intellectual upper middle classes (many of them foolishly supported him too) to the glee of the poor masses while sneakily selling off everything to the traditional mercantile blood sucking elites.
    But only recently, because he put his paws on some powerful kulak farmers to help the blood sucking mercantile baniya/gujrathi/marwari oligarchs, are the rural masses finally beginning to realize their stupidity in rallying around their popular leader Modi. But even now, after all this, a large section of the farmers and urban poor still adore him as a great leader.
    Modi is basically the Indian version of Erdogan. Both hate educated Westernised folk, both are very popular among the traditional religious folk, both are interfering in Universities and pushing their guys as deans. Lots of similarities but ironically both strongman thugs, Modi and Erdogan are clashing against each other in international politics.
    You could also add Chavez (Venezuela) and Lula (Brazil) to that list of popular leaders who screwed their own countries. Duerte (Phillipines) and Wododo (Indonesia) seem to be doing alright for now.

    • Replies: @Talha
    , @ivan
    , @Joe Levantine
  158. Alfred says:
    @Taxi

    Classic Egyptian cinema and music reached their height in creativity and freedom of expression during Nasser’s years.

    It takes a musician or a singer many years of practice and a supportive educated elite audience to reach the peak of his or her art.

    Umm Kulthoum was born in 1898. In the video above, she was over 60 years old. Nasser was 20 years younger than her.

    Mohammed Abdel Wahab, the composer of that piece above, was born in 1901.

    You should try to give us some examples who were born in the 1950’s or later. Your hypothesis is half a century out. 🤣

    It is like saying that the genius of Einstein is due to the US educational system – he went to school in Germany and Switzerland. Egypt was another country before Nasser messed it up.

    • Replies: @Taxi
  159. Talha says:
    @Malla

    This maybe off-topic, but since Umm Kulthum was mentioned in relationship to Egypt. As far as India is concerned, I don’t think anyone tops Lata-Ji as far as females who would be considered the recognizable voice of India of the 20th century, but who do you think was the top male? Mohammed Rafi? Kishore Kumar? Mukesh? Or someone else? I’ve always thought that classic Mohammed Rafi for the songs in a film like “Dosti” were unmatched…there was also his contribution in “Taj Mahal” and “Pakeezah”.

    For people interested, I’ve included on of my favorites that always reminds me of my late father (may God have mercy on him) under the more tag.

    Peace.

    [MORE]

    • Replies: @Malla
  160. Alfred says:
    @Joe Levantine

    I fully agree with you. Thank you.

    Pleasing the crowds is no way to advance the interests of a country. Destroying the most creative and productive classes is not a bright idea.

    Expelling Jews, Greeks (who were there for 2000 years), Armenians, Italians, the British and sundry others is not a work of genius. The Jews, the French and the British were compensated – but not the Egyptians.

    @Malla kindly makes the same point and he presents Modi (India) and Erdogan (Turkey) as examples of megalomaniacs who do not have the interests of their populace in mind.

    India has border disputes with every single neighboring country – not just Pakistan and China. Modi is doing the bidding of the USA and the elites of India. He cancelled banknotes without letting the Reserve Bank of India know in advance. He instituted digital ID’s that are needed for all official documents – in a country where 400 million people don’t have access to a toilet or clean water.

    Erdogan has soldiers and mercenaries in almost every single country within reach – plus Libya and Qatar. He threatens Greece and Cyprus without cease. He was not afraid of killing the Russian ambassador and their military in Syria. But he is more careful with Iran. Quite an achievement for a bankrupt country.

    I fear that we will be seeing more of these leaders in the future. Just look at all the lockdowns which have no scientific explanation. Megalomaniacs everywhere. 🙁

    • Agree: Joe Levantine
  161. Taxi says:
    @Joe Levantine

    Thanks Joe. You regularly exhibit excellent reasoning and fair-mindedness. I recognize and acknowledge your talents for peacemaking and peaceseeking – you are a skilled communicator. But, there’s really no need for your bother on my account. I don’t feel at war with Alfred at all. Only pity at the depth of his ‘Nasser 100% bad 100% of the time’ position. This is an insane level of subjectivity. This is not how history is relayed by investigators and historians. Consequential and historic events and characters are not black and white: they are extremely complex and require an unprejudiced and open mind to investigate them in order to arrive at a reality-based judgement. If the mind of the historian is tainted with prejudice, their content becomes but disposable propaganda.

    You present a cogent proposition in your comment; thank you for a fascinating, cross-referencing amble. But, oooof, halfway through and you dip in message and bring up Nasser coming into power “on a tank” as if it’s a bad thing, under the circumstances. I mean, how the heck else do you expect a revolution against an armed and domineering colonizer to take place? The friendly ballot box? Perhaps a little Kumbaya with your executioner? And why bring Hitler into the picture as comparison? Strawman. No. You began to lose me there.

    But, alright, I can agree with most of what you’ve analyzed of Nasser’s economics with regard to the failure of some his policies and mismanagement, but, not with your take on how the wars were lost. And honestly, I don’t have time to get into it now: it’s just too involved a subject. Already I’ve spent too much of my limited keyboard time on frigging Egypt and Nasser these past two days, wot?! You’ll forgive me therefore for now exiting this debate with a humble bow. I think I’ve already said enough on the subject. I’m Egypted-out.

    Lastly, everything you said about how history judges a leader is true, and I’d like to add the following thought to your list: history also investigates why failures occurred and why successes were reached, and the answers to these questions are fundamental in informing the considerations and assessments of the Historian.

    One must have facts. And one must have context. And one must have nuance. A three-dimensional and accurate picture. Truth.

    • Replies: @Joe Levantine
  162. Malla says:
    @Talha

    Thanks. Yes Lataji is considered the best female singer. As far as male singers of that era, my favourite are

    [MORE]

    1] Mohammed Rafi (very expressive and emotional voice)
    2] Kishor Kumar (manly deep voice)
    3] Mukesh

    reminds me of my late father (may God have mercy on him)

    Thanks , Great Song. And May Allah have mercy on your father. Allah blessed him with an intelligent and gentlemanly son.
    My favourite 2 songs from that era are

    Chalke Teri Aankhon Se Sharab by Mohammed Rafi

    Mere Mehboob Tujhe meri mohabbat ki kasam by Mohammed Rafi
    Later on from a Bengali freind. I found out that this song (Mere Mehboob tujhe) is similar to an earlier Bengali song from a movie about a historical Portuguese guy, centuries back, who loved Bengali singing culture and himself became a top great Bengali poet and singer called Antony Firingee!! Interesting huh!!
    I do not understand the lyrics, but you can see the similarity to the above song (Mere Mahboob tujhe), if you listen for long enough.

    Sung by Manna Dey From historical Bengali movie Antony Firingee

    Peace

    • Thanks: Talha
    • Replies: @ivan
    , @Talha
  163. Sirius says:

    In reference to Omar Sharif, I happened to look him up in the Wikipedia and found this tidbit about him:

    He [Sharif] bridled at travel restrictions imposed by the government of Egyptian president Gamal Abdel Nasser, leading to self-exile in Europe.

    Not that the Wikipedia is the last word on anything, but it seems in line with what Alfred said about exit visas being required.

    (One should note that this was an era when many countries required exit visas, particularly in the Soviet sphere of influence, a practice that hopefully won’t be gaining traction in the Covid era).

    For the description of how actresses were kept under control, that is very horrifying to contemplate, and I never heard that before. It seems too extreme to believe without documentation.

    Another point that I never heard before was Tito’s alleged involvement in the military coup of 1952.* Nasser and Tito did work together in launching the Non-Aligned Movement, but that was after achieving power. In those days, Egypt played a role on the world stage, something almost unbelievable today.

    *What I have read are speculations that Nasser had ties to the US and the CIA before the coup, but I don’t know if these were ever substantiated.

    • Thanks: Alfred
    • Replies: @Alfred
  164. ivan says:
    @Malla

    I don’t understand Hindi. The feeling I get when listening to Hindi songs from the 70s is melancholia. One comes back from a bad day turns on the music and get depressed even more. Like everything else in India there was a mafia controlling the music industry. The worst manifestations were in the Hindi film industry, but it was there to varying degrees in all the vernacular industries. It was only after musicians such as AR Rahman, encouraged by directors such as Mani Rathnam, opened up the field to all comers that the stranglehold of the mafias were broken.

  165. ivan says:
    @Malla

    You got the Modi phenomenon down to a tee. Modi is the greatest liar modern India has ever seen. But that doesn’t stop the petit-burgeous from supporting him since they prefer the illusion to the reality. Add his dog-whistles about the Muslims and his party seems to be on a winning wicket for some time.

    • Replies: @Malla
  166. @Taxi

    Well Taxi, thank you for your balanced reply and your appreciation.

    About Hitler, here I started the comments comparing National Socialism to other socialist revolutions in the world, and despite the extremely biased Western narrative about Hitler, I opted to compare the method of each leader when it came to class relations. What I admire and appreciate about Hitler is how he tried to accommodate the German Aristocratic class despite most of them despising the hoy polloy who ruled Germany, and despite all the contempt they had for him, he bit his tongue and tried to reconcile when he had the power to expropriate their assets the way it happened under Bolshevism. Here I think Nasser should have tried to accommodate the entrepreneurial class to keep Egypt on a solid economic footing. About Nasser coming through a coup, that explains a lack of maturity when he jumped from the military field at a young age to the political one without having organised a party system to take care of the challenges once in power. Khrushchev once commented about how green Nasser was by saying he lacks white sideburns.

  167. @Malla

    Great post Malala, as usual.

    Sometime back, while discussing Modi’s changing the currency in such a short period of time in order to kill the black economy with my Indian supplier, he retorted that he was such an ass to which I replied that this move in addition to letting big agro screw the little farmers with GMO seeds from Monsanto, should make Modi prime target for the boot and for trial as a traitor. The Yuppie Indian guy’s response was that “ don’t bother with Indians, they don’t have what it takes to revolt’. While I have worked with Indians most of my life, I have always viewed them as easier to control than their Pakistani or Bengali or Afghani neighbours, but smarter nonetheless.

    • Replies: @Malla
  168. Talha says:
    @Malla

    Thanks for the links to your personal favorites, yeah, Mohammed Rafi’s voice seems to have just defined that era. I was just wondering, since I was born in Pakistan and didn’t know if people in India felt differently. Very interesting that you mentioned the same exact 3 that I did – those guys were really that top-of-the-game.

    Peace.

    • Replies: @Malla
  169. Malla says:
    @ivan

    Thanks

    Modi’s real war is against India’s English-speaking elite : Aatish Taseer
    Modi while selling the country off to the mercantile oligarch elites and Western Zio companies is slyly attacking the posh but sensible & high IQ upper middle class Anglified elites (Khan Market gang, Luytens India). They are his main target, more than even Muslims (some of them anglified elites are Muslims too).

    But that doesn’t stop the petit-burgeous from supporting him since they prefer the illusion to the reality.

    The poor masses supporting Modi is understandable but even though the Upper Middle Classes are getting screwed, they supported Modi because
    1] They feel guilty of being Westernised and always try to show they are more desi (Indian). Many of them are Westernised because they just prefer it by taste or because they earlier used it to separate themselves from the low IQ or superstitious culture of the masses. But they also feel a bit guilty and at times try to act more Indian than Indian by moving towards Hindutva hypernationalism. Showing the masses, they are “one of them” after all.
    2] They feel angry that India is still a shithole compared to the countries of the West. And now the rise of China pisses them off even more, while India remains a shithole. So the middle classes blame Nehru, our first PM for his socialism. Strangely Nehru was himself a Anglified brown Englishman (even Jinnah of Pakistan was) and in his days socialism was popular among everybody including the Middle classes of those days. But now since Socialism has failed, Nehru is made the fall guy for pushing socialism into India, something what everybody in those days wanted.
    3] Westernised Indians, though westernized get pissed while studying about the achievements of White inventors in their curriculum. Since most modern technological inventions were made by White men, it pisses them off. So they have gone into Hindutva Wakandaism where they go into lalala land where “Hindus had already invented everything” out of racial pride.
    4] Superiority inferiority complex feelings w.r.t Whites and West proper. Basically the West gives them an inferiority complex and makes those arrogant snobs realize they are not anything special. Hence a turn towards hypernationalism. Among Indians they are special.
    But like the farmers they are realizing they as a votebank are getting screwed.

    • Replies: @ivan
  170. Malla says:
    @Joe Levantine

    The Yuppie Indian guy’s response was that “ don’t bother with Indians, they don’t have what it takes to revolt’.

    Actually Modi coming to power is a revolt, a democratic revolt. See the Indian National Congress is getting their karma. The Congress led the independence “struggle” against the British Empire and made many false allegations against the British Raj Govt of India that the British looted us etc….. In those days they Congress had the support of the mercantile population (Gijju, marwaris) as well as the press. Indeed Ambedkar (lower caste leader who wrote our constitution) once remarked that not only is the Indian press anti-British Raj and pro- Indian national Congress, the British press too is anti-British Raj and pro- Indian national Congress!
    Now the Congress is in the place of the British Raj and the BJP Hindu fundamentalists are in the place where the Congress were decades ago. Now the BJP has the support of the press and the mercantile population. Now they spread rumours against Congress (tho the Congress was corrupt) and Nehru, basically what the Congress did to the British Raj, the BJP is now doing to the Congress. When Modi won it was like a Second Independence Movement. Congress is getting a taste of its own medicine but only delayed by decades.
    The Congress used the British Raj and Pakistan (and later China) as bashing boys to keep the country together. They kept Hindu Muslims together. But now the BJP is bashing both British India history AND Islamic India history to unite the Hindus and use Indian Muslims and Christians as bashing boys too. Basically the Marxist bullshit theory of colonial looting has taken a life of its own and now even Islamic Indian history is being attacked in a similar way. This is where lies and bullshit will lead you, at the end.
    Modi is some ways is similar to Obama. Modi is the end result of a lie. India being more nationalist there was this popular dream of a nationalist traditional Hindutva leader who would take the country forwards and make the World respect India. Modi is seen as that guy. While the West being more leftist in nature had the dream of a magic Negro who would heal the country and bring world peace. In that way Obama was a disaster, remember Syria and Libya. He was given the Noble peace prize just after becoming President, even before he could achieve anything for World peace! Indeed for his first term, the leftist press was even scared of criticizing Obama’s war mongering for fear of being called racist. If George Bush Jr. would have done just 10% the same what Obama did, the press would be creaming and screeching.
    Similarly Modi the Nationalist “man of the masses” sells India off to the Western Zio companies, and everybody is quite. If the more posh and westernised Rahul Gandhi (leader of Congress) would have 10% of what Modi would have done, the Indian press would have gone screeching and screaming about Rahul Country “selling off India”. But now in Modi’s case the hypernationalist Indian press (both, the English press and vernacular one) is full of praise with excuses and bullshit to cover up his selling of India’s economic assets.. Double Standards-Very much. Human psychology.
    Modi is not like Donald Trump even if they both are very close friends. Donald John Trump was partly a reaction to the result of the failures of Obama era to heal racial divides, Obama era actually make the divide worse. Donald Trump is more like Jair Messias Bolsonaro of Brazil who came to power partly as a reaction to the disaster of Lula and Dilma Rousseff era.

    • Agree: Joe Levantine, Alfred
    • Replies: @ivan
    , @Joe Levantine
  171. ivan says:
    @Malla

    Indians and Chinese are textbook cases of those who hide their massive, canyon sized inferiority complexes when it comes to the West. I am not suggesting that all are, but the fellows making the waves definitely are.

  172. ivan says:
    @Malla

    I agree with the content of what you write. The general thrust is reflects current reality. But please don’t make the Pakistanis or Chinese to be some sort of good guys. The Pakistanis and Indians were born of the same mother. Yet they drove out the Hindus in far greater numbers than India did in the opposite direction. Modi in fact got much of his traction by playing on the obvious fact that while minorities were being oppressed in Pakistan, in India the Muslims were being carried like kings by the Khangress.

    Pakistan has always sought, to render India impotent by playing on Muslim sentiments.

    That a country the size of India could be held together in the face of such odds, is a testament to the spirit of the Congress. Compare this with such countries as Nigeria or India.

    Then along comes the Chicoms who after swallowing Tibet whole have ever since triangulated against India with their all weather Pak friends.

    That is why while the Islamic world hyperventilates about Muslims in India, they give a rats ass about the Uyghyurs

    And don’t get started about St Reagan who looked the other way as Islamic fundamentalism established and entrenched further in Afghanistan and Pakistan, while Iman Bush and policy wonk Obambi , who poured billions into the same, only to have much of the monies and energy of the Muslim fundoos , direct it all against India.

    • Replies: @ivan
  173. Talha says:
    @Malla

    Another question if you would indulge me. A peculiar (or maybe not) aspect in Urdu I have noticed is that you cannot really say something like “I love my house” or “I love your shoes”. You can only say you “like” those things. Words used for “love” like “muhabbat” and “pyar” or “ishq” (do they still use that in India?) make no sense if you try to use them in Urdu to refer to something that isn’t deserving or cannot reciprocate love. Is that the same in Hindi? Or is there a way to actually say something like; “I love this coffee recipe”?

    Peace.

    • Replies: @Malla
  174. ivan says:
    @ivan

    Nigeria or Indonesia…

  175. @Taxi

    ‘…I hope the above clarifies and redresses the imbalance in this thread’s debate.’

    I’d guess you go too far to the other extreme. However, Alfred’s version seemed equally unbalanced — if illuminating. So it works out.

    • Replies: @Alfred
    , @Taxi
  176. @Malla

    While the West is committing collective suicide, it seems the Indians are eager to join the party and who better than Modi to replicate the crazy policies of the Democrats or Demonrats to be more precise.

    • Replies: @Malla
  177. Malla says:
    @Talha

    Another question if you would indulge me

    No problem, anytime.

    A peculiar (or maybe not) aspect in Urdu I have noticed is that you cannot really say something like “I love my house” or “I love your shoes”. …“muhabbat” and “pyar” or “ishq” (do they still use that in India?)

    Very true. Very interesting you noticed, I noticed it right now because you wrote about it. Same in Hindi. Hindi and Urdu are 80 to 90 % same. In Urdu/Hindi the term for non living beings is always “like”, the word ‘pasand’ is used. Mujhe mera car pasand hai –> I like my car. It can never be “I love my car” as in English. It is the same in Hindi.
    The term “pyar” is the most commonly used for love. Mohhabat and Ishq are rarely used but understood, they are like very “high language”, something like Shakesphere English, super cultivated, flowery, high civilized terms. Though “Ishq” is used more often than “Mohhabat” but far less than “pyar”. You find “Mohhabat” more in old songs or shero shairi.

    “I love this coffee recipe”?

    It is normally always “I like this coffee recipe” “Mujhe yeh coffee recipe pasand hai” not much “Mujhe iss coffee recipe se pyar hai”
    Peace.

    • Replies: @Talha
    , @Alfred
  178. Talha says:
    @Malla

    In Urdu/Hindi the term for non living beings is always “like”, the word ‘pasand’ is used.

    Thanks for confirming. I had figured as much, but wasn’t sure. It’s interesting because even “pasand” comes from Farsi:
    https://translate.google.com/?sl=fa&tl=en&text=%D9%BE%D8%B3%D9%86%D8%AF&op=translate

    Mohhabat and Ishq are rarely used but understood, they are like very “high language”, something like Shakesphere English, super cultivated, flowery, high civilized terms.

    These come from the introduction of Persian into the subcontinent, since practically all of the later invasions were done by Persianized Turks or Afghans and their descendants like the Mughals formed the elite culture. The two terms are originally from Arabic. “Mohabbat” and “mahboob” being related terms from “hubb”:
    https://translate.google.com/?sl=ar&tl=en&text=%D8%AD%D8%A8%D9%91&op=translate

    It’s the same in Urdu, a lot of the high-civilized language are borrowed-Farsi terms. I’d often have to ask my late father to translate when I came across something in hearing a verse or stanza, he knew a lot of these terms since he was a fan of Urdu poetry.

    Though “Ishq” is used more often than “Mohhabat” but far less than “pyar”.

    That’s interesting. In my experience, “ishq” is used far less, because it’s more of a deep, longing, very passionate and even maddening love. It’s that Romeo & Juliet kind of love – the one where your cousin says; “Man, what is wrong with you?” And all you can respond with is; “Juliet…Juliet.”

    Other than in poems (ghazals) or tales about Layla and Majnun, you don’t see much use of it except in the writings of the Sufis talking about Allah swt.

    “Mujhe iss coffee recipe se pyar hai”

    LOOOL!!! When you actually write it out, it sounds so ridiculous, but “I love this coffee” is totally normal in English. So weird. It’s amazing how certain aspects and usages are built into a language’s intuition.

    Again, thanks for the information.

    Peace.

    • Replies: @Malla
  179. Alfred says:
    @Sirius

    For the description of how actresses were kept under control, that is very horrifying to contemplate, and I never heard that before. It seems too extreme to believe without documentation.

    It is simple, cheap and 100% effective. What is not to like about it? 🙁

    Not so long ago, someone put a video of an Egyptian policeman putting a truncheon up the anus of a man on the ground. It led to a riot. It is common practice in Egypt’s prisons to sexually molest men and women. The same thing went on in the Shah’s Iran.

    The Shah’s Savak were trained by Israel’s Mossad.

    The most horrific practice in Iran was the following. A young well-presented man would move into a villa in a nice neighborhood. The house would be done up properly before he moves in. There would be a subterranean dungeon. He would drive in perhaps with a couple of “friends” in a nice big car. They would unload the prisoners into the dungeon where perhaps 20 prisoners were kept. He would torture the victims, rape them and do whatever comes into the evil minds of psychopaths. The prisoners would witness what is about to be done to them.

    The adjacent houses would see or hear nothing. They would notice the smartly-dressed young man driving expensive cars (import duties 200+%). They would wonder if he might be a suitable husband for their daughters.

    The big advantage of distributed torture centres is discretion. Everyone assumes that torture only takes place in prisons. The Red Cross and all the rest of them won’t have a clue.

    I really think that people in the West have been insulated from a lot of this information for decades. What has been done elsewhere is coming home. The “color revolution” has gone full circle.

    Torture still scars Iranians 40 years after revolution

    • Replies: @Talha
    , @Sirius
  180. Talha says:
    @Alfred

    Torture and threatening family members by the state security apparatus is fairly common place in much of the Middle East. Very sad state of affairs.

    Peace.

    • Replies: @Colin Wright
  181. Alfred says:
    @Malla

    Pasand is from Persian. An Iranian can joke about a girl that she is “Arab pasand” which suggests that she has an anatomy similar to Shakira (Lebanese grandparents). An Arab preference. 🙂

    Mohhabat is from Arabic.

    Here is a Turkish song. It is not used by Turks.

    Atiye – Ya Habibi

    And here is a North African ./ French song. These guys don’t even speak Arabic

    Mohamed Ramadan & Gims – YA HABIBI

    As you can see, it has become international. 🙂

    And here is the most famous of all – “ana bahabak ya Mustafa” (“I love you Mustafa”)

    “Ya Mustafa”

    • Replies: @Malla
  182. Sirius says:
    @Alfred

    Well, clearly it’s not 100% effective, as torture by SAVAK turned many people against the Shah’s regime, and the regime eventually fell.

    It seems to me anyone who is self-respecting would not allow such abuse to take place, though clearly it happens. The sexual abuse used by US soldiers against Iraqis at Abu Ghraib was also horrifying and disgusting, and we even got photo evidence for those.

    In the article you linked, there was mention of using such harsh measures in Iran because the Shah’s regime lacked a popular base:

    “Following the coup, the shah’s regime sank into a legitimacy crisis and it failed to get rid of the crisis until the end of its life,” said Hashem Aghajari, who teaches history at Tehran’s Tarbiat Modares University. “The coup mobilized all progressive political forces against the regime.”

    It seems to me Nasser didn’t have that problem. So why use such measures, assuming that one is unethical enough to do so?

    • Replies: @Alfred
  183. Alfred says:
    @Colin Wright

    Alfred’s version seemed equally unbalanced

    I was an Egyptian living in Egypt at that period. I had a son of Nasser in my class at one time. My grandfather was recognised and respected by Nasser. The military camp where Nasser’s house was hidden was 30 metres from the wall of my school. Thousands of soldiers surrounded his house 24/7/365. A real man of the people. 🙂

    This lady is I believe an American living in Lebanon. She repeats what the Lebanese tell her. These Lebanese were probably not born at that time and never lived in Egypt. For them, the loss of hundreds of thousands of Egyptian lives was of no import. The economy of Egypt was even less important. Indeed, many of the productive people who fled from Nasser’s Egypt moved to Lebanon. The chaos in Egypt was to their direct benefit.

    The Lebanese and Palestinians had no skin in the game. The important thing was that the dictator of Egypt cursed and threatened Israel regularly in all his lengthy speeches – 3+ hours.

    Lebanon has a “free” press and “free” TV channels. It costs almost nothing to pay journalists, editors and producers to present a fictitious version of Nasser to the Lebanese public. The Egyptian government spent vast amounts on propaganda with the biggest transmitters in the Middle East at that time. All the media in Egypt was censored – books, radio, TV. The government and its cronies owned all the TV channels, newspapers and magazines.

    This lady clearly does not like the idea of people investing their meagre savings in factories and building dams and suchlike for a living. Saving the crops of peasants from pests is not a wholesome activity. Exporting minerals (manganese) at great risk (31 workers were killed by the Israelis in 1956) is neither here nor there. All these facts don’t matter. The presentation and propaganda is all that matters.

    Nasser lost every single war he undertook. Sadat recovered Sinai and put an end to these wars. These facts are indisputable. Whether that pleases a foreign audience or not is irrelevant. The leaders of Egypt and every other country should protect their own country first. Is that too much to ask?

    Egypt is an incredibly vulnerable country. At the extreme south of Egypt lies a huge earth dam. It is essentially rubble with a thin clay membrane within it – the clay is to prevent leakage. One single large bomb penetrating this dam would lead to water getting through. This water would rapidly make the breach huge. The lake behind the dam contains the equivalent of several years of Nile water. Around 90% of Egypt’s population lives downstream of the dam. They would all be killed. Egypt would cease to exist.

    The volume of water in this dam is in excess of 100 cubic kilometres. This is one of the largest man-made lakes in the world.

    Obviously, if any of these wars of Nasser had any chance of success against Israel, the Israelis would do the unthinkable. Only an idiot can think of taking that risk.

    • Replies: @Colin Wright
  184. @Alfred

    ‘Thousands of soldiers surrounded his house 24/7/365. A real man of the people. ‘

    Hey. Biden had twenty five thousand for his inauguration. Are you trying to say something?

    Anyway, I read your retort with interest — if not conviction — and appreciate you remaining civil whilst standing your ground.

    Others could learn from that.

    • Agree: Talha
    • Thanks: Alfred
    • Replies: @Alfred
  185. @Talha

    ‘Torture and threatening family members by the state security apparatus is fairly common place in much of the Middle East. Very sad state of affairs.’

    I think that’s one thing these dicks who violate norms of behavior so cheerfully — antifa, the whole Left — fail to appreciate.

    Once Humpty-Dumpty has fallen off the wall, you can’t put him back together again. What are they going to say to their torturers and executioners? What are any of us going to say?

    If you went thus far, what’s to stop others from going further still? Don’t like what somebody says? Why stop with his Facebook page?

    • Replies: @Talha
  186. Talha says:
    @Colin Wright

    These people have no clue what life is like in countries where you can disappear. I see the kinds of sentiments on both sides; each wouldn’t mind disappearing people on the opposite side and assume their side will be the ones in charge of doing the disappearing. Wishful thinking. Reminds me of one of my favorite scenes from a classic film:

    Peace.

    • Agree: Commentator Mike
  187. Sirius says:

    Actually I appreciate the stories you posted about your experience in Egypt and as a witness, you are a primary source.

    But sometimes your analysis looks unfair. You wrote:

    Obviously, if any of these wars of Nasser had any chance of success against Israel, the Israelis would do the unthinkable. Only an idiot can think of taking that risk.

    Nasser never launched the wars with Israel. On both occasions, 1956 and 1967, it was Israel that surprised him and Nasser played defense. So when you refer to him as an “idiot”, what risk are you referring to? Certainly Nasser wasn’t pushing Israel to do the “unthinkable” as you call it.

    Otherwise, if you’re saying that Nasser’s mistake was to be unprepared militarily, I would agree. Egypt was also unprepared in 1948, and supposedly one of the main complaints of the 1952 coup plotters, including Nasser, was that very unpreparedness.

    • Replies: @Alfred
  188. Alfred says:
    @Sirius

    Nasser didn’t have that problem. So why use such measures, assuming that one is unethical enough to do so?

    In the fake elections of Nasser – where he was the only candidate – they reported 99+% vote for Nasser. It was all quite brazen. Everyone had to celebrate afterwards. If you did not, that was a black mark against you. Not only were phones tapped but even the porter in front of our house worked for the Mukhabarat. My father would not replace him because any replacement would be the same.

    This “popularity” of Nasser was as fake as the popularity of Biden and his-soon-to-be replacement Kamala Harris. She dropped out before the primaries with a 2% vote by Democrats.

    Kamala Harris Quit Presidential Campaign Before Primary Voting Even Started

    The case of my family was repeated 100,000 times. Perhaps one million middle-class and elite people left Egypt. We lost almost all our assets and money but we have thankfully rebuilt. Many were wiped out and could not leave the country.

    My two uncles moved to Canada with my two cousins. They built several condominiums in West Vancouver. Not a bad move. My father never recovered his self-confidence. He had been the one running the business. All his subsequent ventures were failures. My older brother became the youngest ever VP of the World Bank. He was responsible for over 100,000 fake privatisations in Eastern Europe and the Stans. He is well-off to put it mildly. I am ashamed of what he did. My younger brother built the Ministry of Defence building in Jeddah. Later, he built the first housing complex at Jebel Ali. Later still, he did very well out of renovating houses in London. As for me, I have already said too much.

    Without a doubt, if Egypt had not gone full Socialist/dictatorial, we would have all been much better off and created far more wealth for Egypt. Multiply that by tens of thousands and you will understand what an idiot Nasser was.

    Soon enough, Americans and Europeans will learn for themselves all about Socialism. Bill Gates will be smiling on his private jet.

    • Replies: @Colin Wright
  189. Alfred says:
    @Colin Wright

    Anyway, I read your retort with interest — if not conviction — and appreciate you remaining civil whilst standing your ground.

    I have had to listen to Socialists from a very young age. I know how envious and avaricious they are. They always present the same arguments. Here are a few of them.

    1- People not being able to afford shoes for their kids is the fault of the factory-owner – nothing to do with the fact that the underclass has an average of 7 kids (Egypt 1960).

    2- Starting wars against any country that has a different ruling class is the Holy Grail.

    3- The military is so good at running businesses that they should make all big and small decisions. The fact that they lose all the wars is no impediment.

    4- People should not be allowed to travel abroad for their own good. Even better, they should not go more than a certain distance from their homes.

    5- Real history should not be taught at school.

    6- School curricula should be decided centrally.

    7- Religion should only be tolerated provided it can be channelled in the appropriate direction. Religious leaders should be government employees.

    8- The judiciary should be an extension of the civil service. Politicians should be able to choose judges.

    Any thinking person can see some of these things in the USA, Europe and Australia. The fake virus is a pretext.

  190. Taxi says:
    @Colin Wright

    Pompous troll. You’re like them theater critics from the Muppet Show.

    Go ahead and swallow up Alfred’s unsubstantiated, sour shit with relish for all I care lol.

    • Replies: @Colin Wright
  191. Alfred says:
    @Sirius

    Nasser never launched the wars with Israel. On both occasions, 1956 and 1967, it was Israel that surprised him and Nasser played defense

    In 1956, Nasser nationalised the Suez Canal. There was a 99 year lease on it with France and the UK. It is hard to imagine a more provocative act. Don’t forget. The French and the British had huge experienced armies, navies and air forces at the time – not like today. World trade was far more dependent on the Suez Canal than is the case today – ships were much smaller. It was like a dwarf kicking a huge guy in the balls without expecting any reaction. Idiotic. Eisenhower made a huge mistake and saved Nasser. Later, Nasser insulted the USA as a “thank you”

    In 1967, after many years of making provocative and insulting threats against Israel, building up a huge army and air force, Nasser moved his army into northern Sinai – near the border with Israel. He also closed the shipping in the Gulf of Aqaba – cutting off the only Israeli port on the Red Sea.

    Of course, Nasser had no intention of invading Israel, but being a complete and utter idiot, he failed to understand that he was offering on a platter a perfect excuse for Israel to destroy his air force on the ground. And annihilate his army in north Sinai. Nasser’s planes were warming up nicely in rows so that the Israeli planes could hit them with heat-seeking missiles.

    Look guys. This is getting a bit tedious. Nasser was an idiotic scumbag through and through. He was a gift to Israel. They could have assassinated him at any time – despite his massive protection force.

    Have any of you guys ever played board games like Chess or Monopoly or Go or Diplomacy? Surely you know that one should look at least one step ahead. 🙂

    23 May 1967 – Nasser closes the Straits of Tiran to Israeli shipping

    • Replies: @Taxi
    , @Sirius
  192. The essence of the problem discussed here is in inheritance. Without the institution of inheritance,
    the discussion between socialism and capitalism is essentially moot. ‘Accumulation of capital’, one of the central ideas of Marixism, is inheritance, too.
    Alfred may have overlooked that the real opponents to his grandfather were not stupid, hungry fellahs, but skillful, clever fellahs who may wonder why they did not get the equal opportunity to prove their skillfulness due to their lack of capital.
    The only state which delegalized inheritance was Sparta. It did function, for a time.
    You could see socialism as a similar attempt.

    As far as I know, Islam saw the problem too as it instutionalized zakat (which is a form of tax) as the percentage of wealth, and not as the part of revenue as usual in the West.

    On the deepest level, it is about a sense of just society, not reality of society. So maybe more people felt that society is just during Nasser than under the king Farouk, and hence Nasser popularity.

  193. @Another Polish Perspective

    Obviously, the discord comes from the fact that death which extinguishes our consciousness and will, at the same time does not destruct our material posessions.
    I do not see any better (more just) solution that the one proposed in Sparta: to grant a property by lot to a member of the class of similar individuals.
    How do you define ‘similar’ (intelligence, education, experience, cross among all of them) is another question. However, it must be decided in such a way that the solution is neither trivial nor obvious.

    Disclosure: I am the great fan of Jorge Luis Borges story ‘Lottery in Babylon’.

  194. @Alfred

    ‘In the fake elections of Nasser – where he was the only candidate – they reported 99+% vote for Nasser. It was all quite brazen. Everyone had to celebrate afterwards. If you did not, that was a black mark against you…’

    Subtlety. What they lacked was subtlety.

    • Replies: @Talha
  195. @Taxi

    ‘Pompous troll. You’re like them theater critics from the Muppet Show.

    ‘Go ahead and swallow up Alfred’s unsubstantiated, sour shit with relish for all I care lol…’

    There you go. I’m about to continue my conversation with Albert. To what extent he’ll convince me remains unknown.

    I can tell tell you to what extent you’ve just convinced me. Would you like me to do that?

    You know what you can do. Make it about two feet long, and with prickly things on it.

    • Replies: @Taxi
  196. @Alfred

    ‘I have had to listen to Socialists from a very young age. I know how envious and avaricious they are…’

    Yeah, but on the other hand, I have been in at least one country where the rich triumphed — and appear to be riding high, wide, and handsome.

    …specifically, modern Chile. There’s a decidedly unpleasant undertone.

  197. Taxi says:
    @Colin Wright

    Oh you wanna go all asshole-shafter on me, cunt? LOL! I’ll make you eat your “two feet long, and with prickly things on it” fast as lightening and you WILL enjoy it and beg for more – filthy, misogynist sisterfucker!

    Fact is, you and that pathetic, hateful fantasist, Albert, or is it Alfred(?) deserve each other: he’s full of steaming shit, and you’re stuffed with cold shit. Yin and Yang, baby, yin and yang.

    Frigging pseudo intellectual cunt! You either engage me in respectful discourse, or I will cunt you up till you cry uncle!

    • Replies: @Colin Wright
  198. Talha says:
    @Colin Wright

    Agree. Might as well just declare yourself king, it’s just much easier that way and a lot more honest. Or I guess you can run it in the family and have one of your sons become president with a 95% vote. Same optics as far as I’m concerned. 🥸

    Peace.

    • Agree: Alfred
  199. @Taxi

    ‘Oh you wanna go all asshole-shafter on me, cunt? LOL! I’ll make you eat your “two feet long, and with prickly things on it” fast as lightening and you WILL enjoy it and beg for more – filthy, misogynist sisterfucker!’

    I think we have different tastes.

    • Replies: @Taxi
  200. Alfred says:

    Might as well just declare yourself king

    Before the coup of 1952, Egypt had a functioning democracy with political parties and real elections. The king was politically-powerless. The British gave him the script.

    The Wafd Party (lit. ‘Delegation Party’; Arabic: حزب الوفد‎, Ḥizb al-Wafd) was a nationalist liberal political party in Egypt. It was said to be Egypt’s most popular and influential political party for a period from the end of World War I through the 1930s. During this time, it was instrumental in the development of the 1923 constitution, and supported moving Egypt from dynastic rule to a constitutional monarchy, where power would be wielded by a nationally-elected parliament. The party was dissolved in 1952, after the 1952 Egyptian Revolution.

    Wafd Party of Egypt (Jewpedia)

    People constantly bring up King Farouk. He was a wealthy but politically powerless man. The British arranged for his sister,Princess Fawzia Fuad of Egypt, to marry the Shah of Iran. She was his first wife. The British had exiled the father of the Shah to Mauritius. They were the kingmakers of the epoch.

    They had one daughter, Shahnaz Phlavi

    I once saw Shahnaz Pahlavi. It was at the entrance of the famous Ramsar Hotel and Casino. She got out of her VW Beach Buggy and entered the hotel. She was unescorted and without bodyguards. It was around 1976. I would never have known that she was a princess. My Persian girlfriend of the time told me. She came from a famous family that owned much land in that province – land that had been confiscated by the Shah. The so-called “White Revolution” of Iran was organised by the CIA. It was designed to weaken hereditary rulers and landowners. To centralise power in the hands of the unelected Shah.

    Sorry guys, you have been subjected to “Fake News” about Egypt for so long that I really don’t know whether it is worth continuing this thread. Of course, the whole of the Middle East has had generations of fake news about Egypt. Indeed, young Egyptians today are the most misinformed of the lot. 🙂

    • Replies: @Malla
  201. Alfred says:
    @Another Polish Perspective

    The essence of the problem discussed here is in inheritance. Without the institution of inheritance, the discussion between socialism and capitalism is essentially moot.

    Here we go again. You have a fundamental problem understanding the meaning of the word “capital”. You think it is land, money, shares, houses, bonds, company ownership, oilfields, ships and suchlike. I have news for you. We are in the 21st century.

    The guys who own Google, Apple, Microsoft, Facebook, Amazon, Pfizer and so on have something called “intellectual property”. Also, they often have a “legalised monopoly”. Apple would be worth very little if people were allowed to clone their phones or to make their own version of Apple Store. Apple, Amazon and Google used these monopolies to kill Parler last week.

    Real capital is in brains and experience. Nasser grabbed all the wealth that he could touch. He and his cronies pocketed much of it. The children of Nasser were a lot wealthier than king Farouk – but they kept their wealth in Switzerland. The widow of Yasser Arafat, the famous leader of the Palestinians who always had stubble on his chin, lived in Paris in luxurious style. Contrast that with the life of his followers in the Palestinian concentration camps.

    Because my family was able to escape from Egypt, we managed to rebuild because we had intellectual capital.

    Our exit from Egypt was really cloak and dagger stuff. I was 12. I went to bed with my younger brother. In the middle of the night, our parents woke us up. We were taken to the airport and put with our mother on a plane to London. They never told us that we were leaving. They were afraid our friends might tell their parents and the Mukhabarat would stop us. Of course, we had exit visas and the pretext for the trip was to visit our grandparents in Ireland.

    Brains and experience are passed down in families. If I have kids with a woman who is thick, I should not expect any kids we have to be smart. But Socialists have an answer for that. They want to control reproduction. They want to control the family. That is what the so-called welfare state is all about. That is why the white Europeans with brains have been in decline for 150 years. That is why so many people are incapable of understanding what Socialism is all about.

    In the mid-1990s following international sanctions against Iraq, Nasser received \$16.6 million worth of Saddam Hussein’s oil vouchers in the Oil-for-Food Programme, more than anyone else in Egypt, according to the list of beneficiaries.

    Khalid Abdel Nasser (first son of Nasser)

    The son-in-law of Nasser was spying on behalf of Israel. I guess they threw him off the balcony when he was no longer of any use to them.

    The son-in-law of former Egyptian President Gamal Abdel Nasser, named by Israeli officials as a source for the Israeli intelligence service Mossad, died in London on Wednesday and the Egyptian state news agency quoted reports he had fallen from the balcony of his home.

    Nasser son-in-law and intelligence agent dead in London

    I could not find anything about my ex-classmate, the second son of Nasser. But he was another very wealthy individual.

  202. Sirius says:
    @Alfred

    I don’t think there’s any doubt that Nasser made a huge series of mistakes in 1967; he himself admitted it.

    The story of the 1956 war and its aftermath is quite interesting in that it was the only time Israel was ever forced by an American president to stand down and withdraw. In the US, the whole episode has been memory-holed. But not for Israel; its Zionist friends or agents in the US made sure this would never happen again.

    Nasser didn’t seem to learn any lessons from 1956. Considering that Israel did its best to sabotage Egyptian-American relations, as in 1954 with the Lavon Affair, Nasser in my view should have done more to cultivate better ties with the US.

    It appears Nasser did learn some lessons from 1967, starting with the reorganization and better preparedness of Egypt’s military. He also kept up resistance with the War of Attrition. But he didn’t live to see that through to the next stage of the conflict, the 1973 war.

    Sadat did indeed launch that war, but I believe he squandered a victory. The Israelis were basically defeated in 2 days, yet Sadat did not press his advantage. Sadat was probably surprised by how well Egyptian troops performed crossing the Suez Canal and the supposedly impenetrable Bar-Lev line.

    He allowed the Israelis to concentrate 85-90% of their forces against the Syrians, allowing Israel to push them back on the eastern front and then transferring their forces to the west, with a massive US airlift of equipment to bail them out of a very tight spot.

    There are still many secrets from that war and mysteries as to why all this happened. Some say Israel threatened a nuclear strike. Others that Sadat had limited objectives and didn’t tell his Syrian allies. Yet others that Kissinger manipulated the process.

    We may never know for sure, but what we can know is that Sadat’s separate peace hurt both his Syrian allies and later on the Palestinians. It was always Israel’s dream to impose separate deals on each party one by one, not to allow them to leverage their collective power.

    It later paved the way for two Israeli invasions of Lebanon, in 1978 and 1982, with hardly a protest from Egypt. This was something unlikely to have happened had Nasser still been around.

    All in all, it seems to me you come down too hard on Nasser and too soft on Sadat, but then you had directly negative experiences under Nasser’s rule.

    I see that you prefer an “Egypt-first” policy that Sadat pursued, but I think he ultimately weakened and marginalized his country, whereas perhaps Nasser over-projected Egypt on the world stage, and ultimately overestimated its power until the failure of 1967.

    Anyway, to me it’s an interesting discussion.

    • Replies: @Alfred
  203. @Alfred

    Looks like you have written the Socialist Manifesto.

    But we have to admit that COVID-19 is a worldwide coup that has never been achieved even by the worst of the Bolsheviks. The control freaks have scored big this time and we are inches away from Aldous Huxley’s “ Brave New World”. Yet, I still believe that resistance is not futile.

    We are truly living in interesting times.

    • Replies: @Alfred
  204. Taxi says:
    @Colin Wright

    [Comments that are crude vacuous insults, heavy with slurs and profanities, are less likely to be published.]

    • Replies: @Taxi
  205. Taxi says:
    @Taxi

    When a cowardly male goes below the belt at a women, it’s the woman’s right to treat him likewise.

    • Replies: @Colin Wright
  206. Alden says:

    King Dinh is such a great writer.

  207. Alden says:
    @Alfred

    Thanks very interesting

  208. @Taxi

    ‘When a cowardly male goes below the belt at a women, it’s the woman’s right to treat him likewise.’

    You should review the conversation. You appear to be under the misapprehension that you can abuse people with impunity.

    • Replies: @Taxi
  209. Alden says:
    @Temporary Insanity

    I don’t think Vietnam really needs American aid. And is probably much better off without it. There’d probably be diversity requirements not just for gays but 57 varieties of trans and other weirdos. Plus gay pride month. Anti fa BLM

    • Agree: Biff
  210. Alfred says:
    @Sirius

    I see that you prefer an “Egypt-first” policy that Sadat pursued, but I think he ultimately weakened and marginalized his country, whereas perhaps Nasser over-projected Egypt on the world stage, and ultimately overestimated its power until the failure of 1967.

    Egypt was a wealthy country when the military took power in 1952. The Egyptian pound was more valuable than Sterling and backed 100% by gold. Just imagine!

    The UK had severe rationing until 1952 – just to give you an idea of the difference between the two places.

    1952: Tea rationing to end

    The people below were queueing for cigarettes.

    Don’t forget that General Naguib was nominally the first president. He was displaced by Nasser after he performed his function – as we will see with Biden and Harris. 🙂

    By 1973 – after 6 years with little tourism, a closed Suez Canal and massive military spending, Egypt was on its knees. Sadat was forced to settle for the best deal he could get. The USA was supplying by air armaments to Israel – a massive amount.

    Please forgive me for pointing this out. War is an expensive business. A very expensive business. History books never delve into the flow of funds in wars. Israel had a blank cheque not only from the USA but from the diaspora. At that time, Egypt had almost no foreign remittances. Egypt was in debt to the IMF and Russia. It was a most unequal struggle.

    It is very easy for the Syrians or Lebanese to say that Sadat should have done this or that. But the resources were simply not there.

    Sadat was assassinated indirectly by the Israelis. They hated and feared him. Nasser was their favourite and they did not touch him.

    How exactly did Sadat weaken and marginalise his country?

    He retrieved Sinai and gave the Egyptians pride in their country once more. As for the opinions of the Lebanese, Palestinians and Syrians I am really not interested in that. It is not the job of the Egyptians to sacrifice themselves for foreign interests.

    In the words of Count Bismark “The Balkans aren’t worth the life of a single Pomeranian grenadier.”

    Why the fuck should Egyptians sacrifice themselves for other peoples. There is no such a thing as “Arab unity”. Just look at what is happening today in Syria, Yemen, Saudi Arabia, Qatar, Libya, Morocco, Iraq, Western Sahara, Algeria, Sudan and Chad.

    Egyptians are not even Arabs. They speak Arabic and they are mostly Muslim – but so are many other countries. It is all fake. The name of the country “United Arab Republic” was inspired by Nasser’s ambition to take over Syria, Yemen and Saudi Arabia. He was a little Hitler.

    After over 10 years of analyzing DNA samples from hundreds of people, the National Geographic Genographic Project (NGGP) surprisingly uncovered the fact that Egyptians are not Arabs as most of them believed.

    DNA analysis proves that Egyptians are not Arabs

    • Replies: @Colin Wright
    , @Sirius
  211. Alfred says:
    @Joe Levantine

    We are truly living in interesting times

    I agree.

    I read daily the blog of Martin Armstrong. He gives a good analysis of what is really going on. I have followed his writings from the time he was in prison.

    He thinks that we have to reach the bottom before things start to improve. The dollar will cease to be a reserve currency by 2028. In 10 years, the world’s financial centre will be Shanghai.

    I am trying to move to Russia at the moment. I have no trust in all the countries whose passports I possess. 🙁

    Most readers of Mr Unz’s amazing website have no idea what is going to hit them. For me, the lights have been flashing red for some time. One never forgets what tyranny is like. I try to keep my kids updated but they probably think that I an old fool.

  212. Alden says:
    @Taxi

    Your praise of Nasser reads like a lecture by every 1960s idiot communist American college professor.

    Nasser’s UAR was nothing more than an idea. Why would the elites and politicians of 10 or so countries have accepted rule by Nasser and Egypt? Especially as he was confiscating property ? Comparing the proposed UAR with the USA is ridiculous. USA grew slowly and organically over 300 years from the first European settlement.

    UAR proposed a fast political ideological conquest of long established existing countries. But everyone knew it wouldn’t have been an easy political ideological conversion.

    The entire world knew Nasser was a Soviet Union front man. And none of the other Arab countries wanted rule by a soviet frontman. And behind Nasser’s political fantasy was the very real threat of war and conquest by a soviet/Egyptian army. UAR was Nasser’s fantasy. No other Arab country wanted it.

    There’s an old French proverb. Don’t listen to what he does. Watch what he does.

    Nasser said he should be the ruler of the Arab world. None of the other Arab countries wanted rule by Nasser and Egypt. It was about 70 years since Turkish rule ended. Then 50 years of European colonialism. The other Arab countries were adjusting to independence and developing. Why would they want to become quasi colonies of Egypt and a soviet frontman?

    Egypt was only a quasi colony of Britain for about 100 years, hardly long enough to do any damage. Before that a real actual Turkish colony for a lot longer than 500 years. All during Ottoman and British rule Egypt had many Turkish Italian Greek Lebanese and business people living there, some families for centuries.

    UAR was Nasser’s fantasy.

    • Agree: Alfred
    • Replies: @Taxi
  213. Taxi says:
    @Alden

    You sound like an ignoramus when talking about Nasser. If you don’t like his enduring popularity, take it up with the Egyptian majority who still love him. In any case, your cardboard opinion is utterly inconsequential. When you die and go to Alden Heaven, I wonder how many and for how long people will love and remember you for?

    • Replies: @Alden
  214. Taxi says:
    @Colin Wright

    You’re the one who first took the discussion below MY belt. That’s why you got the belt.

  215. @Alfred

    ‘…After over 10 years of analyzing DNA samples from hundreds of people, the National Geographic Genographic Project (NGGP) surprisingly uncovered the fact that Egyptians are not Arabs as most of them believed…”

    Nu? They’re predominately Berber, at a guess. I wouldn’t be too surprised to learn I’m wrong about that, though.

    More to the point, ‘Arab’ in the usual sense isn’t a genetic so much as a linguistic and cultural identity.

  216. Sirius says:
    @Alfred

    You’re reading into what I said a lot more than I actually said.

    Syria and Egypt were allies who fought together in 1973. They coordinated their forces. And by October 7, the second day of that war, they both had achieved amazing successes. Syria had expelled the occupiers from nearly the entire Jolan and I mentioned Egypt’s successes already. That should have been an overwhelming victory. To this day I don’t think anyone knows why the Egyptian forces stopped when they had an open field. Israel was defeated. Sadat threw away that advantage and allowed the Israelis to recover. Instead of outright victory, it was a stalemate.

    Was it treachery? Was it incompetence? Was it a nuclear threat? Was it a superpower threat? That is what I find worth investigation.

    Also, Egypt could never have undertaken that war without Arab cooperation, not only Syria’s. It did receive funding from the Gulf, particularly Saudi Arabia under Faisal (who was himself assassinated, another topic of controversy). The Soviets rearmed Egypt paid for by Arab funds, Sadat having signed a Treaty of Friendship with the USSR in 1972, which he broke not long after the war.

    He did not reverse Egypt’s economic decline. In fact his policies resulted in bread riots.

    It’s irrelevant to this discussion whether Egyptians share Arab DNA or not, anymore than British and French shared it when they fought together. You’re mixing topics on that point.

    • Replies: @Alfred
  217. Sirius says:
    @Alfred

    That’s another set of interesting topics that I would take you up on, but I think it strays quite a bit from this thread (like the earlier discussion on Modi 🙂

    I agree about the flashing red lights, whether for the same reasons or not, I don’t know. I will look up Martin Armstrong. How did you find him and why do you recommend him?

    • Replies: @Alfred
  218. Alden says:
    @Taxi

    Are you one of his grandchildren? He ruled Egypt for 14 years. He was no messiah. He should have tended to Egypt instead of his grandiose campaigns for international fame.

  219. @Alfred

    Don’t go to Russia, Alfred.
    As we say in Poland, ‘love the Russian people, hate the Russian/soviet/tzarist state’
    By the way, isn’t the Coptic Church under the Pope? It won’t count well in Russia….

    Before the dollar tanks, a very special deus ex machina will appear.
    If you had greater interest in the antiquities of your country than in its businesses, you would know.
    Strange how knowledge is not in the wedlock with race (reflection in the context of info you provided that Egyptians are not Arabs).
    Like the famous line from the Polish play ‘Wesele’ (The Wedding) by Wyspianski says: ‘Peasant!/
    You had the Golden Bullhorn/ Now you are left with just a rope’

    The play itself is a poetic rebuttal to the idea that Polish peasants on their own are able to free and to build a new Poland. The mythical Golden Bullhorn is an Excalibur-like prop in the play. They got it, they did not know what to do with it, they lost it: back to the dreams!
    I wouldn’t be surprised if there were similar Egyptian stories about fellahs, too.

    • Replies: @Sirius
    , @Alfred
  220. @Alfred

    I see… the argument of mythical “know-how”, again.
    I listened to it the first time in Poland during transformation, when the usual American stories “from a shoe-cleaner to a millionaire” lost their magic. Still I had some doubts: what is “Know-how” which cannot be described in books, which – I was told – must necessarily come with managers from the West…?

    Some time after I befriended a scion of Milanese bourgeois/aristocratic family, himself actually an aspiring Marxist (he had a Lenin’s bust in his room). One day he mentioned that his grandfather, the main capitalist of the family (the aristocratic part, with typically Roman hatred towards ‘negotio’, just lived off from their well-located real estates in Milano), had exclusive Italian import/export rights for some kinds of wood from Slovenia. Initially, I thought it to not be a big deal, but it was explained to me that those rights are more valuable than the rest of the firm, and that they meant that whoever wanted to import this Slovenian wood to Italy, had to pay some share to my friend’s grandfather.
    Clever! Oh so clever! If anything it made me aware what know-how can be, that instead selling a product you can sell rights to it, for example! Oh, the joys of rent!
    After that experience, I have become more respectful of know-how. On the other hand, this entire story did not sound like something to brag about when you advertise capitalism for new converts, the typical stories about people who started with one store and ended with the international chains etc. The story was not about creation, a new product/idea to make life better, easier, happier etc. The story was about acquiring exclusive rights of rent.No wonder I have never heard about it before. So maybe this is why it did exist “know-how” you couldn’t read about in books. Similarly, you could not read about the fact that state/socialism is the biggest possible monopoly ever (which I mention to show you that I am critical of socialism as well).

    And yet, in this system Nicola Tesla could not succeed. I would like to have a system in which Tesla could have at least an accidental chance of success.
    You see, he wasn’t interested in money in se, but was nevertheless motivated to work on his inventions, to make useful things. It is a pity that he was so helplessly dependent on capital of others, more entrenched market participants, isn’t it?

  221. Sirius says:
    @Another Polish Perspective

    Actually the Coptic Church has its own pope, currently Pope Tawadros II.

    Which deus ex machina are you talking about?

  222. Malla says:
    @Alfred

    Yes agreed, there are a lot of Persian and Arabic words in Hindi and Urdu, more so in Urdu than Hindi. Both are a combination of Arabic/Persian/Central Asian elements and old Sanskrit/Prakrit elements, Hindi more Sanskrit than Urdu.
    The term ‘Urdu’ comes from Mongol word for tent, ‘Ordo’. The Mughals tho very Persianised still had many old Mongol (+Uzbek+Uighur+Kazakh+Turkish etc ) traditions like Mongol banners.Here we see first Mughal Emperor Babur’s army raising trident like standards in India after victory like those of traditional Mongol and Manchu armies of the Far East.
    Interesting that as the Mughals (Uzbek-Mongols) conquered India and created the Mughal dynasty and Empire in India, across the mountains, in the other big populated place China, some time later, the Manchus would raise similar standards after creating the Qing Dynasty Empire of China. Two people of similar backgrounds ended up ruling two of the most populated of places on Earth!!
    This is what makes the Hindutva nationalists desire to make Hindi the official national language (India has no national language) comedy. Their “National language” Hindi, has loads of Persian, Central Asian and Arabic words and it was created and formalised from primitive Khariboli by an English linguist John Gilchrist of the British East India Company. Even the decision to use Devnagri script for Hindi was taken by another British academic. LOL. Hindi and Urdu as we know today were born in Fort William, Calcutta, the British EIC India headquarters. LOL.

    • Thanks: Alfred
  223. Malla says:
    @Talha

    Agree with you about everything.

    LOOOL!!! When you actually write it out, it sounds so ridiculous,

    Wait for something even more funnier.
    “Mujhe iss coffee recipe se isqh hai” or “Mujhe iss coffee recipe se mohhabat hai”
    LOOL.

    Peace and laughter.

    • LOL: Talha
  224. Malla says:
    @Joe Levantine

    who better than Modi to replicate the crazy policies of the Democrats or Demonrats to be more precise.

    Modi is more uber Republican than Republicans but the methods are more like the Left. He represents forces far more right winged than the Republicans of the USA or the Conservatives of the U.K. But the tactics his people use like taking over the media and all institutions as well as thaggards on the street bullying anyone who does not agree with their madness reeks of the Western left. In the West you have low IQ and deranged Leftist anti-fa thaggards and in India you have low IQ “Gau rakshak” cow protection squad thaggards.
    His party the BJP takes order from the hyper-nationalist ideological party RSS, BJP is just their political wing. Similar to how the AB (Afrikaner Broederbond or Afrikaner Brotherhood) was the ideological core to its political party, the National Party (NP) of Apartheid South Africa. Similarly RSS is to BJP. Of course, later the AB itself got infiltrated by Globalists and Communists after the assassination of prime Minister Hendrik Verwoerd and thus eventually Apartheid collapsed. That is the main reason why Apartheid collapsed. Mandela and the ANC owned by the same globalists and Communists were just a show.
    My comparison of Trump and Obama was that they were both messianic figures. Obama was an end result of the Leftist narrative which dominates the West and Modi of the Right winged narrative which dominates India.

    • Replies: @Malla
  225. Malla says:
    @Alfred

    ,Princess Fawzia Fuad of Egypt

    The Shah and princess Fawzia, never got along well with each other. Fawzia never liked Iran very much. She considered Iran too backward compared to Egypt at its time!
    The Shah’s true love was Soraya Esfandiary-Bakhtiary, his second wife in between Fawzia and Farah.
    In 1979, after their divorce (because she could not have kids) and his third marriage to Farah, Soraya wrote to the Shah Mohammad Reza as he was dying of cancer in Panama, saying she still loved him and wanted to see him one last time. The Shah was greatly moved by her letters, and wrote back to her saying he also still loved her and wanted to see her one last time as well, but said Empress Farah could not be present, which presented problems as she was constantly by the former Shah’s bedside as he lay dying. In 1980, it was agreed that Soraya would visit the Shah in Cairo, but he died before she could make the trip, which led the famous Iranian historian Abbas Malekzadeh Milani to comment that Shah Mohammad Reza and Soraya were true “star-crossed lovers”

    The so-called “White Revolution” of Iran was organised by the CIA.

    It is likely the Western powers were behind deposing the Shah as well.

    • Replies: @Alfred
  226. Alfred says:
    @Sirius

    Was it treachery? Was it incompetence? Was it a nuclear threat? Was it a superpower threat? That is what I find worth investigation

    I already pointed out that it takes one large conventional bomb to destroy Egypt. To wipe the country off the map. The Israelis were certainly capable of doing that if they believed that the Egyptians would move into tiny Israel. Read my comment 187 above.

    He did not reverse Egypt’s economic decline.

    Yes. He continued the policies of Nasser. I already explained why military people are incapable of running a sweet shop. Properties like ours were not returned. They were allowed to deteriorate further. The cronies of the military ran everything like before.

    In fact his policies resulted in bread riots

    Nasser brought in bread subsidies. As result, Egyptians feed their chickens on the crap bread that the government bakes for them. Just imagine!

    Bread riots simply mean that instead of bread costing almost nothing, it would cost 1/10 of the cost of making it.

    As a result of the policies of Nasser and his frequent exhortations to Egyptian women to have more kids – because the kids will have well-paid factory jobs when they grow up – the population of Egypt is today 100 million of overwhelmingly low IQ people.

    Egypt is today the biggest importer of wheat in the world. In 2019, 13 million tons of wheat were imported. Guess what is going to happen when there is a shortage of wheat. Currently, Argentina, Russia and Ukraine are limiting exports.

    Wheat Imports by Country in 1000 Metric Tons

    You have yet to tell us why Egypt should sacrifice itself on behalf of the Palestinians, Syrians and Lebanese. Do you think that is a sensible policy for a poor country?

    Let us imagine that the Jews take over the USA and mistreat the Christians and Muslims of the USA. Is Mexico duty-bound to try to liberate the USA and sacrifice its youth and its economy?

    What is there that is so difficult to understand? Are you all incapable of analyzing a rather simple strategic situation.

    I think the real problem is that you have had decades of brainwashing by the Zionist media that managed to convince you that Nasser was a great guy and that Sadat was a knave who deserved to be assassinated.

    I repeat, the Israel loved Nasser. He got the Jews out of Egypt. Many went to Israel.

    My dad’s bank manager was a Mr Mazrahi. He worked for the British Barclays bank. Today, one of the biggest banks in Israel is Bank Mazrahi

    Mizrahi-Tefahot – the third largest bank in Israel

    • Replies: @Sirius
  227. Alfred says:
    @Sirius

    I will look up Martin Armstrong. How did you find him and why do you recommend him?

    The best recommendation for Martin Armstrong that I can make is that the financial press of the West ignores him. 🙂

    In 1998, just before the Russian financial crisis, the Financial Times tried to make a laughing stock of Armstrong. They pointed out that whereas everyone else was expecting a second Asian financial crisis, Armstrong was saying that the crisis will happen in Russia.

    Of course, Armstrong was correct. For many years, the FT has stopped mentioning him at all. 🙂

    QUESTION: Mr. Armstrong; I did my own research on the 1998 Russian collapse. All the big names lost billions. Even the New York Times reported that George Soros lost \$2 billion. You were the only one who made money so it made sense that you were named hedge fund manager of the year in 1998. My question is this. Since all the big names were involved in the Russia trade which took down Long-Term Capital Management, is this why you call them the “club” for they all do seem to be involved in the same trade?

    The Club and Why the Majority Must Always be Wrong

    He predicted the 1987 crash to the day. He predicted that Trump would win in 2016. He predicted that Trump would win in 2020 but that it would be stolen. Lots of other thing.

  228. Alfred says:
    @Another Polish Perspective

    Don’t go to Russia, Alfred

    We all have to make guesses about how we will survive over the next few years. I tend to be a contrarian. I think countries like Russia and Eastern Europe are unlikely to want a return to totalitarianism anytime soon.

    Today’s rulers of Poland are corrupt vassals of the USA. If Russia is attacked from Polish territory, Poland will be destroyed. Putin has stated that the next war will not be conducted on Russian territory. Putting American missiles in Poland aimed at Russia is the most stupid thing imaginable.

    Let’s not forget that in 1848, the peasants of Poland supported the Russians in putting down the revolt by the upper classes of Poland. The serf laws the Russians imposed on their Polish subjects were less onerous than the ones on Russian peasants. These peasants preferred Russian masters.

    The failed colour revolution in Belarus was organised from Poland and Ukraine. So much stupidity in this world. Poland always seems to make bad strategic decisions. It seems to be in their elite’s DNA. 🙁

    US and NATO military bases in Poland

    isn’t the Coptic Church under the Pope?

    The Coptic Church is an Orthodox church. The pope is chosen by chance from 3 candidates. A little boy picks the correct choice.

  229. @Alfred

    ‘The serf laws the Russians imposed on their Polish subjects were less onerous than the ones on Russian peasants. ‘ You said it yourself: Russia colonies were known for having better life than Russia itself. One more reason not to go to Russia. Germans, and I don’t mean 1941, Baltic Germans, Wolga Germans, already tried, and lost.

    There was no uprising in Poland in 1848. There was one in 1863: peasants did not respond to the call to arms on the side of Polish nobility, basically keeping neutral, in few incidental cases it was indeed the Russia-friendly neutrality.

  230. @Alfred

    The very fact that Russia is on board of the covid scam (up to producing its own ‘vaccine’) should make it clear to any thinking person that Russia is on board of many other globalist enterprises too.
    Russia is made to look different, but it is not really different.
    The goal is a conflict in certain areas: for this reason, Eastern Ukraine has never been annexed by Russia. Almost no war ends now, wars just stay in certain areas: this is by design.

    As a know-how specialist, you must have heard about ‘rule by conflict/conflict management’ idea, once known as divide et impera.

    • Replies: @Malla
  231. @Sirius

    What about your name… ?
    I do wonder that Sirius is asking this question.

  232. Alfred says:
    @Malla

    The Shah and princess Fawzia, never got along well with each other

    Correct. It was a political marriage arranged by their British handlers. Fawziah considered Iran to be primitive compared to Egypt. It was so at that time. I have no axe to grind as I love Iran very much. I have spent some years there.

    Shah Mohammad Reza and Soraya were true “star-crossed lovers”

    Soraya was half German. She was a beautiful women.

    Actually, it was a bit more complicated than that. After Farah Diba, the Shah had another wife. She was Gilda Soufi. She is a cousin of my ex-girlfriend (we were briefly married). They look quite similar and my ex was sometimes mistaken for Gilda. The shah very much loved Gilda and lavished presents on her. My ex shares the same family name but I prefer not to mention her first name.

    Online, I found a reference to this. The writer is criticising the book “Our Man In Tehran” – a book I have never read.

    On page 8 this author stated the shah had indeed married the girl, Gilda Soufi… Ottawa obliged. Not even the KGB knew that the shah had taken a fourth wife.” According to historical fact, King Mohammad Reza PAHLAVI married three times, and at each time of his marriage, there was monogamy relationship. Thus, this author’s claim that the King was involved in a polygamy relationship was false. In addition, this author was reverberating the theocratic regime’s propaganda in Iran that the King had a mistress. After careful consideration, this author left a taste that he has a connection with the regime in Iran.

    Our Man in Tehran: Ken Taylor, The CIA, and The Iran Hostage Crisis by Robert Wright

    In reality, the Shah did have a fourth wife who was even prettier than the preceding ones. 🙂

    After the death of the shah, Gilda married the son of a famous Ayatollah. She got total protection that way.

    It is likely the Western powers were behind deposing the Shah as well.

    Correct. Khomeini made lots of promises to the British, French and Soviets. He did not keep his promises. 🙂

    • Replies: @Talha
    , @Malla
    , @Eagle Eye
  233. Talha says:
    @Alfred

    Khomeini made lots of promises to the British, French and Soviets. He did not keep his promises.

    Brits, French & Soviets (BF&S), to potential local autocrat: “Aye, so we can trust you to cheat and screw your own people for us, right?”

    Local Aspiring Autocrat (LAA): “Yeah, dude – totally.”

    BF&S: “Well a’right then, homie!”

    LAA gets into power cheat and screws them instead.

    BF&S:

    Peace.

  234. Malla says:
    @Alfred

    Correct. Khomeini made lots of promises to the British, French and Soviets. He did not keep his promises.

    Very true, the “Islamic Revolution” was one of those fake Western engineered revolutions to get rid of the Shah after the Shah was becoming very independent and making Iran too strong. Today’s Iran is far weaker than what Iran would have been had the Shah’s plans would have worked. Under him, Iran once clocked 40% economic growth, one of the highest economic growth rates in history. Higher than even Manchuria under Japanese Rule which clocked close to 30% growth. The BBC went totally against him.

    In reality, the Shah did have a fourth wife who was even prettier than the preceding ones.

    Wow, thanks! The facts one comes to know on unz.com. Thanks for this remarkable inside info.

    Fawziah considered Iran to be primitive compared to Egypt.

    Very hard to believe how backward Iran was in those day, Persia has always been one of those high civilization places on Earth. Or on the other hand, it just goes to show how good life in Cosmopolitan Egypt was in those days.

    • Agree: Alfred
  235. Malla says:
    @Another Polish Perspective

    The very fact that Russia is on board of the covid scam

    I always have this suspicion that Russia, China, N.Korea and Iran are fake oppositions to the Globalists. We already have NWO.
    One country which does defy the NWO many a times is actually Mahatir’s Malaysia.

  236. @Malla

    Not so much fake as managed opposition.
    It is very hard toil – especially spiritual toil – to speak such great lies consciously. A single person can sometimes do it, but not a nation.
    I recognized it again few weeks ago when suddenly Polish PM Morawiecki lost his composure and said: ‘If anyone is to blame here… it is only me…. me…. I am the only man to blame!’
    This is not what a politician (he wasn’t one before) usually says. But it seems he knows the truth, and he is not Trump. And yet it is a reminder that honour and conscience exists so a man at least can feel well with himself.
    Nevertheless, the guy’s children go to the Chabad school, despite him not being born Jewish (how this is possible to send gentile children to Chabad school I do not know).
    But I am afraid that in the eyes of gods the fact of allowing yourself to be cheated is not an exculpatory one. Our souls and consciences became slothful and sluggish, and not “hot-hot, cold-cold” as it is advised.

    Never heard about Mahatir before, so it may be a hint that he indeed was a true opposition. Contrary to what people think, true secrets are not talked about. I noticed that he left government at the beginning of the covid scam, too.

    • Agree: Malla
    • Replies: @Malla
  237. Sirius says:
    @Alfred

    I already pointed out that it takes one large conventional bomb to destroy Egypt. To wipe the country off the map. The Israelis were certainly capable of doing that if they believed that the Egyptians would move into tiny Israel.

    That seems an exaggeration. If it’s true what you say about one bomb, Egypt should never have built the Aswan Dam and found some other way to harness the waters of the Nile.

    You have yet to tell us why Egypt should sacrifice itself on behalf of the Palestinians, Syrians and Lebanese. Do you think that is a sensible policy for a poor country?

    I never said that it did. What I said is that Syria and Egypt were allies, and Egypt under Sadat just left Syria in the lurch. You never addressed that point, instead diverting the issue to one of sacrifice.

    What is there that is so difficult to understand? Are you all incapable of analyzing a rather simple strategic situation.

    Let me reverse that, are you incapable of analyzing the situation, which is not so simple. Israeli policy has been to divide and conquer, targeting Arab/Islamic countries one by one, using the US as its proxy force. That was the original “Wag the dog” reference before that boring movie by the same name redefined the term.

    The Israelis haven’t fought a proper conventional war since 1973. If you follow the Saker (who features on this site), he says that the Israeli army is just tough when it comes to shooting Palestinian civilians, but they fail in front of an unofficial, non-conventional army like Hizbullah, which in reality beat them twice. So the US, led by Zionist puppets, comes in very handy, especially with regards to Iraq.

    But anyway, back to Egypt. Do you suppose it is really in Egypt’s interest to go it alone and ditch all its “Arab” or regional allies? Do you suppose that Israel, having eliminated or disempowered Iraq, Syria, Libya and not yet successfully Iran will not turn against Egypt again one day? That is the strategic analysis I am considering, not some “sacrifice” on Egypt’s part.

    I think the real problem is that you have had decades of brainwashing by the Zionist media that managed to convince you that Nasser was a great guy and that Sadat was a knave who deserved to be assassinated.

    Come on, you can give me more credit than that. I’m a big fan of Antun Saadeh. Check the Zionist media and see what they have to say about him, if you can even find anything.

    What is it about so many people here think that when someone disagrees with anything it must be some result of brainwashing?

    First of all, I’m not a fan of Nasser’s. I humbly asked your opinion of him, since you were a witness to his policies. I admitted that I knew little of his internal policies in Egypt. I am, however, much more familiar with the geopolitical situation.

    Further, I was highly critical of what he did to Syria during that ill-fated “union”. The more I learn about it the more critical I get. He absolutely destroyed not only that “union”, but discredited unity in general. Why the Syrians, especially Shukri al-Quwatli who signed the act of union and handed over Syria to Nasser, would do so is still a mystery to me. Quwatli throughout the 40s and 50s was always concerned with maintaining Syria’s republic as a parliamentary democracy, refusing union with Transjordan and Iraq (which were monarchies), yet he gave that away to an authoritarian Egypt. That was the end of democracy and freedom of speech in Syria, and Nasser was key to ending it.

    I was simply looking to taking a balanced approach to analyzing Nasser’s 14 years in power, not being partisan one way or the other. You seem to think Nasser was 100% bad; I’m saying that situations are never that black and white.

    Second of all, Zionist media, at least the media that I am aware of, doesn’t praise Nasser. If anything, it is more apt to praise Sadat. On the other hand much of Arab media does. Mohamed Heikal, who you never mentioned but remained a prominent analyst of Arab affairs, definitely did (he was jailed for a while by Sadat by the way. Sadat wasn’t exactly committed to free speech either).

    When Nasser died, millions of Egyptians mourned him in the streets. The pictures and films are all there to prove it. When Sadat died, hardly a whimper. Do you suppose all those people were brainwashed by Zionist media? Again, I’m not praising Nasser. I’m just trying to better understand the history of it all.

    • Replies: @Taxi
    , @Alfred
  238. Taxi says:
    @Sirius

    Why bother with unhinged ideologues? There’s absolutely no need for you to justify your even-handed rationality in the face of such utter stupidity, like this here for example:

    I think the real problem is that you have had decades of brainwashing by the Zionist media that managed to convince you that Nasser was a great guy and that Sadat was a knave who deserved to be assassinated.

    LOL absolutely hilarious when the opposite is blatantly true.

    The mind of an ideologue is like a bowl of spaghetti: full of floppy twists and turns and un-streamlined by ordered rationality.

    Clearly, the Egyptians, with the majority of the righteous Arab world, have always preferred Nasser to that stoned idiot traitor Sadat. And they always will. And Alfred can write his hateful shit lies about Nasser till the cows come home and it won’t make one bit of difference. Sadat was hated in both life and death, and Nasser was loved in life, as indeed he remains loved in death.

    One does not have to even like Nasser to acknowledge this simple, telling fact.

    • Replies: @Sirius
  239. Taxi says:
    @Alfred

    Try moving to Apartheid israel. You’ll fit right in.

  240. Eagle Eye says:
    @Alfred

    Thanks, fascinating background.

    Interesting (and quite believable) that Iran/Persia was regarded as less sophisticated than Egypt back then.

    • Replies: @Alfred
  241. Malla says:
    @Another Polish Perspective

    Not so much fake as managed opposition.

    Yes that is what I meant.

    Nevertheless, the guy’s children go to the Chabad school, despite him not being born Jewish (how this is possible to send gentile children to Chabad school I do not know).

    Yeah, weird. Thanks for this info. But atleast Poland is resisting WMM (Weapons of mass migration )for now.

    But I am afraid that in the eyes of gods the fact of allowing yourself to be cheated is not an exculpatory one. Our souls and consciences became slothful and sluggish, and not “hot-hot, cold-cold” as it is advised…….
    snip…..
    ……It is very hard toil – especially spiritual toil – to speak such great lies consciously. A single person can sometimes do it, but not a nation.

    Very true. Excellent comment.

    Never heard about Mahatir before, so it may be a hint that he indeed

    Malaysian Prime Minister Dr. Mahathir Mohamad was the guy who came openly and spoke about Jews running the world and making others (dumb goyim) fighting and dying for them (something which Hitler had earlier lamented). That the Jews control powerful countries and having invented Communism and “human rights” (human rights only when it suits them).
    He had guts to say that in the open. Much respect. Some theorists believe the various Malaysia Airlines mishaps may have been some kind of payback but only God knows best.

    • Agree: Alfred
  242. Malla says:
    @Malla

    My comparison of Trump and Obama was that they were both messianic figures.

    Sorry I meant Modi and Obama.

  243. Alfred says:
    @Sirius

    That seems an exaggeration. If it’s true what you say about one bomb, Egypt should never have built the Aswan Dam and found some other way to harness the waters of the Nile.

    I was originally a civil engineer (Imperial College). My father was a mining engineer (Imperial College). His father was a civil engineer (Kings College, London). His father was the biggest civil engineering contractor in Egypt (no university) who built the final stage of the old Aswan Dam. We know our engineering. My father was dead against the High Dam at that time and for that reason. I was only a kid.

    It is necessary to first understand what is an earth dam. Here is a simple explanation. Egypt has no clay. The stuff you think is clay is probably silt. Clay is a very different material. It can be as hard as rock. It is almost impermeable to water. It is expensive and used sparingly. The High Dam of Egypt has a thin core – for obvious reasons. It is tapered. Very narrow at the top and gradually widening as the depth of water increases. The core is made with the attention one pays to brain surgery. The water content and everything else must be correct. A large number of specialist soil engineers are needed. As for the rubble on either side of this think membrane, any old fool can place that.

    Where there is only limited supply of soil for the impervious core but plenty of pervious material for the embankment, the designer has no option but to decide on a thin core dam. However, where there are plentiful supplies of pervious and impervious material, a thin core dam may be more economically or easily constructed for a number of reasons:

    These dams are designed to withstand earthquakes. That is about all. If the thin clay membrane is pierced, the water will rush through. It will rapidly expand the breach and soon enough 100 cubic kilometres of water will rush downstream at over 100 kilometres per hour. It would wash Cairo into the Mediterranean.

    I won’t bother answering your other points as you seem to assume that Egypt has some sort of moral obligation to sacrifice itself for people who live elsewhere. Just look at how the USA ignores treaties with no repercussions. The reality is that Israel had a loaded pistol at the head of Egypt all the time.

    I am not continuing this thread because people here don’t seem to like reality. 🙁

  244. Alfred says:
    @Eagle Eye

    Interesting (and quite believable) that Iran/Persia was regarded as less sophisticated than Egypt back then.

    It really is quite simple. Egypt was a place where the British tried to reproduce the comforts and luxuries of their Asian dominions – Imperial India, Burma, Malaya, Singapore and Hong Kong.

    Cairo had the English Sporting Club, the Gazira Sporting Club, Heliopolis Racing Club and many luxurious hotels, palaces and private residences. The same goes for Alexandria. They had generations of excellent cooks, waiters, gardeners and porters. One could hop across the Mediterranean by ship or plane.

    Tehran was completely different. It had none of these things. It is much further away from Europe. It was not the centre of international trade like the Suez Canal. The British tried to make Abadan, where the Anglo Persian Oil Company (BP) was based, a bit more comfortable.

    The link below shows a part of Abadan that the British left behind. Note how all the houses have gardens and the streets are lined with trees. Note the park, swimming pool and tennis courts. Compare with other parts of Abadan that were added more recently. 🙂

    https://tinyurl.com/AbadanOilCompany

  245. Alfred says:

    Here is what the British did in WW2 to the Möhne Dam in Germany with some puny bombs. It was a concrete dam – not a clay core surrounded by sand and rubble.

    with its four basins stores as much as 135 million cubic metres of water.

    The High Dam stores 1000 times as much water. It is at a much higher elevation above sea level. The dam alone is 111 meters high. Its base is around 300 meters above sea level. Just imagine how much energy is stored in it.

    Everyone who is half informed knows all of this. The fact that the media never tell you this sort of stuff is because you are being constantly lied to. You are brainwashed – but you are not alone. 🙂

    You can bet that the Israelis were celebrating on the quiet when Nasser decided to build his own scaffold.

    Möhne Reservoir

    FYI, when I lived in Cairo, before the High Dam was built, Much of the centre of Cairo got flooded every Autumn.

  246. @Alfred

    Do you have any pictures of Cairo-as-Venice…? Could be interesting.

    So why the dam was built at all, actually? Who made the decision? There was already one dam, ‘The Old Dam’, AFAIK. What had happened to the old dam?
    I don’t think much agricultural land could be gained, it is a valley (actually a tectonic rift) after all, and water would have to be pumped upwards to irrigate a desert if you really wanted to have substantial land gains; extremely energy intensive. And as you said yourself, Egypt is still one of the largest wheat importers in the world. So what was the expected gain…?

    Was this a Soviet idea? Soviets used to go big on hydroelectric power at the time.

    • Replies: @Alfred
  247. Alfred says:
    @Another Polish Perspective

    Good questions. The dam was built in order to stop the annual flood. The flood came from the rains of Ethiopia feeding into the vastly more important Blue Nile. The White Nile largely loses its waters in a vast swamp. The British and Egyptians tried to make a channel to bypass this swamp

    The Sudd is a vast swamp in South Sudan, formed by the White Nile’s Baḥr al-Jabal section. The Arabic word sudd is derived from sadd (سد), meaning “barrier” or “obstruction”. The term “the sudd” has come to refer to any large solid floating vegetation island or mat. The area which the swamp covers is one of the world’s largest wetlands and the largest freshwater wetland in the Nile basin.

    Sudd (South Sudan)

    Several attempts to build this canal took place in the 20th century. They failed for many reasons.

    The Old Aswan Dam could not prevent the floods. It could only moderate them somewhat. The flood covered all the soil of Egypt. It added a fresh layer of valuable silt and nutrition. This enlarged the Delta and prevented Mediterranean salt water from encroaching (a big problem).

    The problem was that this restricted Egypt to one or two crops per year. By preventing the flood, 3 crops were possible. But water had to be raised to water the fields and there was a need for artificial fertilisers. As you can perhaps see, Egypt has no future with 100 million people. It should be pretty obvious. Importing 130 kilograms of wheat alone per inhabitant per year is not a long term strategy.

    Here is an article about the Nile flooding in 2020. This could only have happened because the reservoir of the High Dam was dangerously high. That means they underestimated months ago how much the rains in Ethiopia would be.

    Egypt prepares for Nile floods, warns citizens

    Here is a photo of the Old Aswan Dam with most of the gates open – which they had to do during the annual flood.

  248. Sirius says:
    @Taxi

    and @Alfred

    Well, there were some interesting insights, but the overall analysis weakened as we went along.

    I mean, I’m supposed to believe that Sadat had to hold back and then to betray the Syrians in 1973 because the Israelis might bomb the Aswan Dam? He had to pursue a separate peace treaty for the same reason? Otherwise, I must be brainwashed? Or that Egypt has the right to break deals because the US does so routinely? All are weak arguments.

    Alfred:

    I won’t bother answering your other points as you seem to assume that Egypt has some sort of moral obligation to sacrifice itself for people who live elsewhere.

    That was a cop out. How many times did I have to say it wasn’t about sacrifice? It was in Egypt’s own interest to stand by its allies, as the Zionists would pick them off one by one. When they come for Egypt, no one should be surprised. Is that so difficult to grasp?

    But the personal stories were fine. Everyone has the right to be upset by bad experiences.

    • Replies: @ForeverGone
  249. Alfred says:

    That was a cop out

    Using words like “betrayal” proves that you have no idea how international diplomacy works. Pleasing the rabble of the Levant is not a part of the job description of the presidents of Egypt. 🙂

    No nation has friends only interests

    Charles de Gaulle and many others

    • Replies: @Sirius
    , @Taxi
  250. @Sirius

    Please follow this link for an exposé of the vile creatures you’ve seemingly made it your lifes work to defend. This exposé pertains to Muslim acts of savagery in mainly one Western country over a short period: https://www.unz.com/kbarrett/donald-trump-another-false-messiah/#comment-4427518

    • Troll: Sirius
    • Replies: @Sirius
    , @Malla
    , @Malla
  251. Sirius says:
    @ForeverGone

    So you followed me from Kevin Barrett’s post and a totally different thread? So that other poster was right, you are indeed a Zionist or Israeli troll. Why don’t you report something you know about, like the rents in Tel Aviv and if you can afford them?

    • Replies: @ForeverGone
  252. @Alfred

    Just a thought:

    Maybe this Sudan swamp is a form of filter, which absorbs heavier salty water of some of Nile tributaries.
    Nile is a strange river, having its sources actually in Great African Rift lakes, some of which are either salt water lakes, or close to having salt water (Lake Albert).

    • Thanks: Alfred
  253. @Sirius

    You have nothing to say about the butchers the link brings you to, the ones you fight so hard to defend? The ones that drive children from their homes and rape and butcher them.

    You’re OK with that? You’ll lie to protect that?

    Don’t hide behind the lie I’m Israeli. You and your prick friend project that to hide your own idiocy.

    • Replies: @Taxi
  254. Taxi says:
    @ForeverGone

    Oh so you’re sore that your ‘holy link’ to your stupid-stupid islamophobic comment isn’t taken seriously by readers? If I thought a piece of turd like you is worth it, I’d make the effort and link you to at least a million atrocities that the ‘Christian West’ has committed against, well, EVERYBODY ELSE ON THE PLANET! Fact is that you’re a pathetic islmophobe AND a fascist hypocrite, who, according to your own words on Barrett’s thread, is a supporter of free speech EXCEPT for Trump’. LOL! Man, I ain’t no supporter of Trump but you either give free speech to EVERYBODY or you just stfu! Clearly, you don’t even understand the fundamentals of democracy! And, as to your knowledge of history, well, bwahahahahaaaaaa!

    Yeah seethe and froth away in your decrepit little booth of a brain! Pathetic, witless git!

    • Replies: @ForeverGone
  255. Malla says:
    @Malla

    Another interesting book on Egypt by Sir Valentine Chirol
    https://ia800203.us.archive.org/9/items/egyptianproblem00chiruoft/egyptianproblem00chiruoft.pdf
    The Egyptian Problem by Sir Valentine Chirol
    Published 1921.

  256. Malla says:
    @ForeverGone

    Muslim acts of savagery in mainly one Western country over a short period: https://www.unz.com/kbarrett/donald-trump-another-false-messiah/#comment-4427518

    Yes some Muslims do act with barbarity and what happened to that French girl was horrendous. All those responsible should be kicked out of France. But maybe you can write something about Israeli barbarity when IDF soldiers shoot pregnant Palestinian women through the womb and then wear T-shirts to celebrate it.

    Blue: Pregnant Palestinian woman with a sniper crosshair on her belly, under it: 1 shoot 2 kills
    White: Palestinian child and slogan: “The smaller, the harder” (harder to hit)

    • Replies: @Taxi
    , @Malla
  257. Malla says:
    @ForeverGone

    AlsoIsraeli soldiers have depraved “fun” making “Rachel Corrie pancakes”
    Rachel Corrie is the young American woman murdered by an Israeli soldier who crushed her to death with a bulldozer as she tried to prevent the demolition of a Palestinian family home in the occupied Gaza Strip on 16 March 2003.
    The depraved joke that these men were presumably making is a play on the English idiom “flat as a pancake.” Their celebration and joking about Rachel Corrie’s death is utterly vile and barbaric.

  258. Taxi says:
    @Malla

    Malla, you should already know that islamophobes love it when innocent muslims are murdered – and it doesn’t matter who kills them.

    These horrid crimes referenced are politicized and framed by prejudiced hypocrites. Stats for christian French-on-French rapes are by far more numerous than muslim rapist stories. That aside, rape has NOTHING to do with religion! Rape is defined as a ‘violent crime’ all over the world, and this crime is committed in EVERY SINGLE COUNTRY, regardless of the nation’s declared religion.

    Reject the attempted redefinition of rape as only a ‘muslim’ crime!

    • Replies: @Malla
  259. Malla says:
    @Malla

    Sorry, the pic did not load

    Blue: Pregnant Palestinian woman with a sniper crosshair on her belly, under it: 1 shoot 2 kills
    Green: Palestinian child and slogan: “The smaller, the harder” (harder to hit)

  260. Sirius says:
    @Alfred

    Actually the quote is “Nations have no permanent friends or permanant enemies…”

    But again you evade the issue. Let me rephrase it yet again:

    1. Is it wise for Egypt to abandon its regional allies as the Zionists pick them off one by one?
    2. Do you suppose that Egypt isn’t on the list of eventual Israeli targets anyway?

    Try to focus on those 2 questions. While you’re at it, read the Yinon Plan if you’re not familiar with it already. It’s not even a secret; it’s in the public domain.

    If you don’t have an answer to those 2 questions together, there is no shame in admitting it.

    I invite anyone else to answer those 2 questions as well, but they must be taken in tandem!

    • Replies: @Alfred
  261. @Taxi

    Hello Antifa, or is it the moron @BuelahMan with one of his other handles?

    Whatever, it’s great to hear from you. Lovely to see you display your high IQ (ROTFL).

    It’s a big effort to write a comment that has more than one ungrammatical sentence, isn’t it?

    Keep in touch. Oh, and by the way, please don’t reproduce, there’s enough inbred sh*t in the world as it is.

    • Replies: @Taxi
  262. Taxi says:
    @Alfred

    So the brave Levant resistors are “rabble” in your beady eyes? Thanks for that tel aviv memo.

    There is an enduring and palpable trait called ‘Uruba’ in people of the middle east. This Uruba (Arabicness) is felt by all Arabs of all nationalities (apart from Alfred, apparently). All Arab children from all Arab nations are taught it at home and in school and in social society. This Uruba is the shared Arab experience of their common history, traditions, language and Abrahamism. The colonialist/imperialist West and israel (with Alfred’s help too, evidently) have endeavored to remove this ‘Arab brotherhood feeling’ from Arab consciousness itself, because Arab unity represents a significant and major threat to their looting of ALL Arab resources.

    Before Sykes-Picot, there were no borders between Arab nations. None. Arabs could move about the vast Arabian lands that extended from north Africa, right across Arabia and all the way to the Levant: Arabs were free to trade with each other, and to live wherever they wished in this vast Arab scape. This Arab way of life and of relating to one another had been going on for thousands of years, and it was only some 107 years ago, with the application of Sykes-Picot, that restrictions in free-trade, free movement and free contact were imposed on Arabs by the usurping and mass-murdering French, British and Italian colonials (all supported by the Rothschilds). Yet, this Uruba transcends the Sykes-Picot map lines even today, which is why the act of Arab nations supporting the Palestinian cause back in 1948 (and onward) was more of a natural Uruba reflex than a ‘no nation has friends, only interests’ motto. Arabs, (apart from Alfred and a nano portion of other self-hating Arabs), though they fight much with each other, do actually adhere to the Arab principle of ‘my brother and I against our cousin, and my cousin and I against the stranger’. This saying is common and often used in the Arab world. It springs from the Uruba tradition. I mention all this Uruba info so that readers understand better ‘what is an Arab’. In the middle east, when you want to praise a man’s reputation, you say ‘he’s full of Uruba’. This makes him ‘caring, brotherly, honest, brave, and noble’. Kushner’s ‘normalization’ project aims to remove this Uruba sensibility, else the terrorist jews cannot divide and rule with ease. Fortunately, despite the ‘normalization’ program, Uruba still exists aplenty. But not in Alfred – for whatever reason. He views other Arabs, especially ones whose nation is under hostile attacks by israel and the West, as ‘separate’ to him. He has lost his Uruba – if he ever had one in the first place, that is. It is common knowledge that Arabs with least levels of Uruba are the corrupt, klepto Arab elites. And please nobody now give me this ‘Egyptians are African, not Arab’ malarkey. Of course, they’re from the African continent, but they’re Arabs too. If we’re to go by Abraham’s life story, it clearly says that his second wife, Hagar, was an Egyptian servant who ended up bearing Ishmael, the first of Abraham’s sons. Ishmael, in adulthood, went forth to propagate the Arab masses. This makes Ishmael the first Arab child, and thus makes Hagar, Ishmael’s Egyptian mother, the first Arab matriarch. Worthy of mention also is that the people of modern Egypt have had the distinction, over other Arabs, of being the very soul of Uruba itself, especially when under Nasser, who passionately promoted Uruba domestically and across the Arab region. This earned him powerful and livid enemies in the West, in Gulfie kingdoms, and amongst Egyptin elites. Nasser could have been an ardent vulture capitalist and he would have still attracted the exact same enemies who hated and feared him: feared him not so much for his socialism, but for his strong sense of Uruba and his promotion of it. Uruba was by far a bigger threat to the West than experimental socialism.

    Alfred, your incurable hate of Nasser aside, your narrative and attitude towards Palestine and the Levant in general reeks of kushner’s ‘normalization’ scam. Stupid, repulsive, hostile, insidious and intentionally divisive. Also, your whining that Egypt’s economy today is the result of Nasser’s economic policies that remain in place after 50+ years of Nasser’s death is THE biggest lie you’ve peddled here on this thread. If you knew ANYTHING about Egypt’s economy for the past 50 years, you would know that Egypt today REMAINS RUNNING ON SADAT’S ECONOMIC POLICIES, NOT NASSER’s. Yes, dear Alfred, poor little rich kid, Alfred, yes, Egypt’s current economy is 100% Sadatist. All presidents who followed him thereafter were beholden to these ruinous Sadatist economics, as they are part and parcel of the malignant Peace Deal contract signed by the treasonous Sadat. This is why Sadat’s policies remain in place: any president who breaks them risks the wrath of Israel and the US. Sadat, your own personal Jesus and hero is the very fucker responsible for Egypt’s current financial woes. Go listen to an Egyptian economist instead of the hateful voice in your head. Sadat continues to betray the Egyptian people, betray their Uruba and their belly even from the grave.

    In your face now, like it or not: Nasser is considered to be the greatest Arab leader of the 20th century. Go take it up with historians! And stop this bullshit cut-and-paste from wiki and shwiki about Egypt’s modern history. You’ve posted so fucking much of this garbage that you’ve become like this dopey dog who goes around spraying his scent on every inch of the fenced garden.

    Upsetting, isn’t it? Oh alrighty then, I’ll be nice now: let’s hold hands and watch this video together, shall we? (And for non Arab speakers, it’s a video of a song that Umm Kulthum dedicated to her beloved president, Jamal Abdul Nasser: yet another song by her that praises Nasser as a great nationalist leader of Egypt .

    *(sorry for any typos, no time to edit)

  263. Taxi says:
    @ForeverGone

    LOL you’re definitely not smart, not psychic, and most certainly NOT funny. Astounding how wrong you are about EVERYTHING lol!

  264. RobinG says:

    Mr. Dinh,

    This ex-pat Egyptian (under a pseudonym) was published by the MSM today. This stuff sells well in the US, but things in Egypt are indeed very grim. However, this part was amusing:

    [From Tahrir Square]… I took a microbus home. The driver wanted to increase the regular fare, exploiting his passengers traveling late at night.
    … The passengers urged the driver not to raise the fare. They argued for a new Egypt with no avarice and no favoritism; an Egypt where justice prevails. The driver complied, and we did not pay extra. I, too, believed hope was born that day. I daydreamed of breaking out of the cage of corruption.

    That seems more like capitalism than corruption, eh? In fact, it’s the whole scheme of Lift, Uber, and the new toll roads here in metro DC.

    Here’s the whole op-ed – – –
    https://www.msn.com/en-us/news/world/opinion-egypt-is-synonymous-with-hopelessness/ar-BB1d3O58?ocid=msedgdhp

  265. @Taxi

    Before WWI the French military doctrine was based on hallucinations of some Ardant Du Picq. This officer is partly responsible for mass charges against machine guns during WWI, as his main proposal was superiority of morale/high spirits over everything else.
    I would caution you not to think about uruba (it reminded me about asabiyya of Ibn Khaldun: is this the same?) in similar way. You seem to think that high levels of uruba/morale will automatically set everything right. This is not the case. Besides motivation, war is an art and skill, and treaties on war were written in Europe as well as in Far East. I haven’t heard about any serious Arab war treaties, though.

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ardant_du_Picq

    It may be easier for you to understand Alfred’s considerations on strategic vulnerability of Egypt due to Aswan Dam, if you think in more military ways: not in terms of countries, but in terms of fronts. In this perspective, even if the Arab World is one khalifat/space from Atlantic Ocean to Persian Gulf, an Egyptian Front and a Syrian Front are not the same. Fronts are self-contained entities, a bit like countries. You can relieve a front B by putting stress (offensive) on a front A, but you cannot directly win battles on a front B by winning battles on a front A.

    During the war of 1967, few Polish merchant ships were stuck in the Great Bitter Lake of Suez Canal. For a few days before Israeli patrols reached coast and barred them from going offshore, the Polishs crews tried to organize help for stragglers from Egyptian army who were coming from Sinai. The soldiers were without water, without maps, without any directions, without any idea what to do: clearly, they were left to themselves by their officers and commanders. The Poles saved around 500 of them (they later got medals from the Egyptian government for that), but said to have seen many more dead in the desert.
    Nevertheless, this experience made clear even to them a low level of preparation of the Egyptian army, which seemed to have no idea about controlled withdrawal and regrouping in case of a defeat. It was also clear that officers did not care much about their soldiers. So it is a kind of riddle for me, how Egyptian army can have such a high standing in Egypt despite rather humiliating defeats (Yemen was another).
    I mean, the Polish army has relatively high standing in Poland, but that is due to its long track of high performance ON AVERAGE. I may add that in contrast to Arab armies with their own castes of officers, the Polish army had developed a close connection between officers and their soldiers, demanding that officers are to be close to soldiers, even by mandating that officers sleep together with soldiers in dormitories etc. Such an approach helps to create a flexible tool from an army, above all a tool that is not easy to shatter.

    • Replies: @Taxi
    , @Alfred
  266. Taxi says:
    @Another Polish Perspective

    Thank you, dear APP.

    A “strategic vulnerability” exists in all the nations that neighbor klepto-terrorist israel. This is the security status quo that has existed since 1948. Many military blunders by Nasser were committed during his presidency. He himself admitted to them, and furthermore, submitted his resignation over these blunders. This is not the issue here. The issue is the singular and obsessive hate for Nasser that Alfred exhibits – a hate that is his prerogative, of course – but a hate that should not be substituted for facts of history.

    Blaming EVERYTHING on Nasser, including the blunders of other presidents that came after him, is just simply not true or rational – let alone honest. And blatantly omitting the facts of the mass crimes of Egypt’s elites towards the majority of Egyptians does not wash either. Elites are victims only of their own insatiable greed, arrogance and overreach.

  267. Malla says:
    @Taxi

    you should already know that islamophobes love it when innocent muslims are murdered

    Yes true, Islamophobia is a problem but Whitophobia and Westophobia is amuch bigger problem and many Muslims unfortunately are part of this.

    Stats for christian French-on-French rapes are by far more numerous than muslim rapist stories

    Are you sure? Again White French are a majority so obviously the numbers will be larger. What are the numbers per capita? And does these numbers include date rapes?

    That aside, rape has NOTHING to do with religion!
    Reject the attempted redefinition of rape as only a ‘muslim’ crime!

    Agree with you on this. Indeed many Muslim women have been victims of rape for example what happened in Gujrat during the anti-Muslim attacks, Muslim women were raped, pregnant muslim women had their wombs cut out. Truly barbaric. Also recently a BJP honcho was caught after raping a poor muslim underage girl. In India, with the rape epidemic, Muslims do not rape more than Hindus.
    However after saying that, in Europe, we really have a problem of foreign men (many a times Muslim men being well represented) preying on local women. Check out what happened in Colonge, Germany. Of native Europeans being attacked by foreign immigrants many a times Muslims. This is a serious problem and can lead to a dangerous blow back. Actually Europeans are very tolerant. If something like this would have happened in India, riots would have broken out.

  268. Alfred says:
    @Sirius

    Are you a Zionist troll?

    If not, why do you always plug the line the Zionists want to sell?

    • Replies: @Sirius
  269. Alfred says:
    @Taxi

    By not allowing Egypt to be destroyed, Sadat and subsequent presidents ensured that the Syrians and Lebanese would do their own bit of self defense. Of course, at the beginning, fighting, like everything else, is tough. But after a time, you get quite good at it. Like learning to ride a bicycle.

    It seems to be working quite well in both countries. I congratulate president Bashir al Assad and Hassan Nasrallah. They both doing a magnificent job. 🙂

    This is further proof that the strategy of Egypt was correct. Sadat would be proud.

  270. Alfred says:
    @Another Polish Perspective

    this experience made clear even to them a low level of preparation of the Egyptian army

    The arrogance and incompetence of the officer corps of the Egyptian army was unbelievable. My father once bought an American Chrysler ’48 for a low price from an Egyptian officer who knew nothing about cars (we already had 3 Chrysler ’48’s including one stretch version for my grandmother). It was a very solid and dependable car.

    The officer wanted to sell the American car in order to buy a Soviet Moskvitch. Just imagine!

    My best friend at school was always at the top of the class. I was always in second place. He was really smart. I lost touch with him for many decades. Recently, we found each other on Facebook. He told me that he had been married for only 3 days – a coded way of admitting that he was homosexual and that he had not penetrated the girl. He only got married because his mother insisted. He entered the army and became the general responsible for the dental service. Just imagine how many young guys who were totally powerless he must have fucked. 🤣

    It is known that during the 1967 war, a relative who was a doctor told us that surgeons opened the Soviet gear for the first time. They did not recognise some of the tools of the trade. Almost all of them had been trained in Western-style medicine.

    I recently saw online a comment by an Egyptian pilot instructor. He was one of the few who managed to take off during an Israeli raid on his airfield. When in the air, he did not know whether his MIG was carrying armaments or not. He could not keep up with the faster Israelis planes and returned to the airfield. He found that another pilot instructor had exactly the same problem. Idiots. Sorry. I could not find the link.

    The list of blunders is unbelievable.

  271. Alfred, your comments on Egypt bring back my own memories of Cairo where I spent seven years working in the 90s. The landlady of our house in Mohandessin was of that old highly educated pre-socialist stock. She spoke French, German and a beautiful English. She dominated her retired police general husband and in our last encounter when I informed her that I would be deducting my due rent from the deposit I had made she did not like it a bit and went on to icily say “proceed”. I respected her but did not find her a very likeable person.

    Last traces of this highly educated middle class could still be found in the 90s in the form of books. These people had probably sold their libraries for pennies before leaving and these books could sometimes be found in run-down bookstores around Khan-e-Khalili. But I was a latecomer, others had probably made a killing in the 70s and 80s. The same with the the old Harley Davidson police motorcycles which some clever people snapped up and shipped to the West in containers. Egyptian Customs probably could not imagine that there would be any value in a heap of iron, so they let them pass.

    • Replies: @RadicalCenter
  272. Sirius says:
    @Alfred

    When you are sober, have another look at my posts and you should realize the absurdity of your question. I can’t imagine you were in your right mind when you wrote that.

    Otherwise, it’s you who looks like the Zionist troll.

  273. @Ray Caruso

    What kind of person (mohammad) thinks of things like that, has time to consider, and then writes them down anyway?

    Ultimately, though, it’s a religion of peace, and you had better stop publicizing the violent, demented, and pro-torture verses or they will have to kill you.

  274. @Mirandaman

    Maybe it’s time we stopped “respecting” people who live in luxury while the great majority of their supposed countrymen life in perpetual squalor and anxiety with little hope of ever getting out.

  275. @Verymuchalive

    If you must include personal slights in your screeds, you will find them more effective as your conclusion rather than as your preamble. However paradoxical that may seem.

    Another proven method is to skip them entirely.

  276. @tgordon

    The homogeneity of Christianity (much like Sunni and Shiite in Muslims) was a bit lacking. It wasn’t only Muslims and Jews slaughtered by the Inquisition, and beyond the Catholics vs Protestants (underscoring the politics of the 16th thru 18th century, was always good to rile up the populaces for the crazed rulers’ military adventurism). Sects appeared and everyone took religion seriously (Huguenots, Puritans, Quakers, and many others were forced to convert, emigrate or die).

    I remember as a kid in a rural area, I asked my father why there were so many churches there. He replied the people all hated most of the others and the congregations were mostly tribal/ extended families. “And you can always raise money to build another church.” At least we didn’t have a Cathedral in every major town like Europe! Beautiful, but not really useful.

  277. Just saw ‘young Egyptian potatoes’ per 1.20 Eur/kg in a grocery here in Europe. What’s their price in Egypt, Linh?
    Why a land which does not produce enough food to feed itself, is exporting food? I can see why grapes come from Egypt, but potatoes? What a waste of an Egyptian arable land…

    • Replies: @Malla
  278. Jazman says:
    @Alfred

    Thank you Alfred for all information about Egypt
    I wish I knew all about this when visited Egypt . There is so many things to learn from you

  279. Malla says:
    @Another Polish Perspective

    Why a land which does not produce enough food to feed itself, is exporting food?

    Maybe they get a better price in Europe. Waiting for Linh to enquire from a local vegetable seller.

    BTW not only is Ethiopia damming their part of the Nile river (and bribing North Sudan with cheap electricity to get them on their side), Turkey is damming rivers which flow to Iraq. Both Egypt and Iraq, two countries where ancient civilizations flourished thanks to rivers like the Nile, Euphrates and Tigris, facing similar problems. Already China, India, Bangladesh, Pakistan as well as many South East Asian countries are getting embroiled in similar issues. In India, two Southern States Karnataka and Tamil Nadu are embroiled in conflict over the use of water of the Kauvery River.
    Water will be a big issue in the future in between nations.
    It is best to have your rivers entirely in your own country. Island nations like Great Britain, Japan or Australia (Murray-Darling) do not have to worry about this.

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