Gamal Abd As-Nasser became the second President of Egypt

After ousting King Farouk of Egypt in 1952, Gamal Abd As-Nasser became the second President of Egypt and ended the dynasty founded by Muhammad Ali in 1805. Once in power, Nasser immediately enacted change in Egypt. Nasser, who was an advocate of Arab National movement, also wanted to unify Arabs all around the Middle East. In World War II, the Arabs were promised a single Arab state, however, this state never came to be. Now, they strived for the Arab League, similar to the united states it would be one nation of people spread throughout areas in the Middle East. Egypt was to be the head location of the Arab League because of its prime geography and demography. This placed Nasser in the center of both Egypt and the Arab League. Although his goal of an infinite Arab Unity was not fully accomplished, by instituting critical changes in Egypt’s politics and economy and encouraging Nationalism, President Gamal Nasser began a movement throughout the middle east and became a symbol of hope for anti-colonialism and anti-imperialism as well as an icon for the Arab world. The Free Officers movement washed away the past regime in Egypt with the goal of bringing political change, and consolidation of its newly acquired power. Nasser described to “embody the social changes already well underway in the region” was the leader of this movement. His presidency encouraged an appreciation of Egyptian culture and history. He took action towards social justice and launched new industrial projects, the most significant being the Aswan Dam. Inorder to build this dam, Nasser went to both America and the Soviets and commits to friendly relations in exchange for their financing of the project. This dam symbolized one of the first Egyptian projects funded by foreign aid that Egypt had control over. Leading a nation as inherently important as Egypt, Nasser’s Egypt was apart of the Non-aligned movement, a movement full of nations who wanted to remain “unaligned” from the colonial power. Egypt, holding the largest standing army and being the most populous country in the Middle East, joining this nationalistic movement was Nasser’s way of making a big statement. Unlike King Farouk, he was not a pro-British leader. He disbanded the monarchy and got rid of a leader who prioritized British interests, and has continued to disregard colonial interest in Egypt by remaining unaligned from these western powers. It was regional politics that would come to define the Nasser Era. He rejected the “business as usual” of past Egypt parliamentary politics, and instituted critical transformations, beginning with land ownership and in the country’s economic organization. He was a charismatic ambitious leader, who wanted to bring the influence of the colonial powers that had restricted past Egyptian potential to an end. Nasser was inspiring people throughout the Middle East, playing on their sense of nationalism. Another one of Nasser’s impacts on nationalism was his decision to take the Suez Canal, a canal funded by the British and Designed by the French, but built by the Egyptians. This decision made him “the voice of pan-Arab Unity”. Despite the fact that in reality, the United States played a large role in the victory, it was a political victory for Egypt and portrayed Nasser as a major power who had beaten out the European Colonial powers and Israel. With this huge win for the anti-colonialism and anti-imperialism movement, Nasser became the leader of the radicalization of the Arab World, influencing coups in Syria, Iraq, Sudan, Yemen, and Libya. This marked the first victory against European Powers and the fact that the U.S. demand the withdrawal of both France and Britain is even more impressive. This achieved not only ownership of the canal but also represents that Egypt was gaining more and more power for itself.. Two years after Suez, the United Arab Republic (U.A.R.) was formed by Syria and Egypt. This was marked as the “pinnacle of pan-Arab nationalism”. It was a real example of this idea of an Arab League and brought two peoples together to unity. Nasser took to the idea of socialism even further and established The Arab Socialist Union in 1962, this would become his “institutional legacy” and marked the beginning of the changes he brought for the people. Nasser’s leadership was bringing good changes to his peoples, the Egyptians had claimed a symbol of pride and hard work for their nation, and the Arab populations in Egypt and Syria had come together to form a republic. Gamal Abd As-Nasser was one of the first leaders who believed his nation could succeed without rendering control to the European powers. He used fear and tension to manipulate both the US and Russia in favor of Egypt, and even after his death in 1970 has continued to impact nations all around the world as country after country fell to Nasserist Forces. Despite the fact that the movement for Arab Unity eventually lost momentum and fell, under Nasser’s lead, the 1950’s-60’s were a period of time in which Arabs thrived. After the complete neglect for the Arab’s in the establishment of Israel as a state in 1948, this marked a period of increase in nationalism of the Arabs and awoke a fight within them, they wanted what they were promised in the early 1900’s. Peoples all around the Middle East stopped looking to the European Powers for direction and began to come together and make decisions for themselves.

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