Gamal Abdel Nasser

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Nasser, Gamal Abdel

 

Born Jan. 15, 1918, in Beni Mor, Asyut Province, Egypt; died Sept. 28, 1970, in Cairo. Statesman and political figure in Egypt.

The son of a postal worker, Nasser graduated from a secondary school in Cairo in 1935 and from the Royal Military Academy in Cairo in 1939 with the rank of second lieutenant. After serving in Egypt and the Sudan, he was sent to the military college of the General Staff in 1942 and graduated with distinction. He took part in the Arab-Israeli War of 1948–49 and was wounded. Holding the rank of lieutenant colonel, from 1949 to 1952 he taught at the military college of the General Staff.

Nasser founded and headed the Free Officers, a secret political organization that planned and carried out an anti-imperialist and antifeudal revolution on July 23, 1952. Nasser became deputy chairman and later chairman of the Revolutionary Command Council. From 1954 to 1956, with brief interruptions, he was prime minister and simultaneously carried out the duties of president. From June 1956 he was president of Egypt. Nasser headed the struggle of the Egyptian people against the Anglo-Franco-Israeli aggression against Egypt in 1956, and from 1956 was commander in chief of the armed forces.

Nasser devoted great attention to the development of Egypt’s economy. In June 1962, the National Congress of Popular Powers ratified the Charter of National Action, which was prepared under Nasser’s direct supervision and which set forth progressive aims for Egyptian domestic and foreign policy. Nasser also actively supported the unity of the Arab peoples in their struggle for national independence. In 1963 he became chairman of the Arab Socialist Union. Despite the Egyptian military defeat resulting from the Israeli aggression against the Arab countries in 1967 and the accompanying economic and political difficulties, Nasser was supported by the masses of the people and continued to implement progressive socioeconomic measures. On Mar. 30, 1968, he set forth a program of action to do away with the consequences of the Israeli aggression.

Nasser convened or actively participated in many international conferences of heads of state and government, at which he defended the cause of all peoples struggling for freedom and independence. He was a consistent advocate of strengthening the friendship and expanding the all-around cooperation between Egypt and the Soviet Union.

WORKS

Falsafat al-thavrah. (Philosophy of the Revolution.) Cairo, 1954.
Khutab wa tasrihat. (Speeches and Addresses.) Cairo, 1960.