A report on Gamal Abdel Nasser and Pan-Arabism

The Arab world
President Nasser in 1962
Under Egyptian President Gamal Abdel Nasser, pan-Arabism dominated politics in the 1950s and 1960s
Nasser in 1931
States and territories in the Arab League
Nasser's name circled in Al-Gihad
Portrait of Nasser at law school in 1937
Nasser (center) with Ahmed Mazhar (left) in army, 1940
Nasser (first from left) with his unit in the Faluja pocket, displaying weapons captured from the Israeli Army during the 1948 war.
The Free Officers after the coup, 1953. Counterclockwise: Zakaria Mohieddin, Abdel Latif Boghdadi, Kamel el-Din Hussein (standing), Nasser (seated), Abdel Hakim Amer, Mohamed Naguib, Youssef Seddik, and Ahmad Shawki.
Leaders of Egypt following the ouster of King Farouk, November 1952. Seated, left to right: Sulayman Hafez, Mohamed Naguib and Nasser
Nasser (right) and Mohamed Naguib (left) during celebrations marking the second anniversary of the 1952 revolution, July 1954
Nasser and Naguib saluting at the opening of the Suez Canal
Liberation organization in Alexandria invitation to Nasser speech 26 October 1954
Nasser greeted by crowds in Alexandria one day after his announcement of the British withdrawal and the assassination attempt against him, 27 October 1954.
Nasser and Imam Ahmad of North Yemen facing the camera, Prince Faisal of Saudi Arabia in white robes in the background, Amin al-Husayni of the All-Palestine Government in the foreground at the Bandung Conference, April 1955
Nasser submitting his vote for the referendum of the proposed constitution, 23 June 1956
Nasser raising the Egyptian flag over the Suez Canal city of Port Said to celebrate the final British military withdrawal from the country, June 1956
Nasser giving a speech at the opening of the Suez Canal
The signing of the regional defense pact between Egypt, Saudi Arabia, Syria and Jordan, January 1957. At the forefront, from left right: Prime Minister Sulayman al-Nabulsi of Jordan, King Hussein of Jordan, King Saud of Saudi Arabia, Nasser, Prime Minister Sabri al-Asali of Syria
Nasser seated alongside Crown Prince Muhammad al-Badr of North Yemen (center) and Shukri al-Quwatli (right), February 1958. North Yemen joined the UAR to form the United Arab States, a loose confederation.
Nasser (right) and Lebanese president Fuad Chehab (to Nasser's right) at the Syrian–Lebanese border during talks to end the crisis in Lebanon. Akram al-Hawrani stands third to Nasser's left, and Abdel Hamid Sarraj stands to Chehab's right, March 1959.
Nasser waving to crowds in Damascus, Syria, October 1960
Nasser (center) receiving Algerian president Ahmed Ben Bella (right) and Iraqi president Abdel Salam Aref (left) for the Arab League summit in Alexandria, September 1964. Ben Bella and Aref were close allies of Nasser.
Nasser before Yemeni crowds on his arrival to Sana'a, April 1964. In front of Nasser and giving a salute is Yemeni President Abdullah al-Sallal
Government officials attending Friday prayers at al-Azhar Mosque, 1959. From left to right; Interior Minister Zakaria Mohieddin, Nasser, Social Affairs Minister Hussein el-Shafei and National Union Secretary Anwar Sadat
Nasser being sworn in for a second term as Egypt's president, 25 March 1965
Nasser (center), King Hussein of Jordan (left) and Egyptian Army Chief of Staff Abdel Hakim Amer (right) at the Supreme Command of the Armed Forces headquarters in Cairo before signing a mutual defense pact, 30 May 1967
Egyptian demonstrators protesting Nasser's resignation, 1967
Nasser observing the Suez front with Egyptian officers during the 1968 War of Attrition. General Commander Mohamed Fawzi is directly behind Nasser, and to their left is Chief of Staff Abdel Moneim Riad.
Nasser brokering a ceasefire between Yasser Arafat of the PLO (left) and King Hussein of Jordan (right) at the emergency Arab League summit in Cairo on 27 September 1970, one day before Nasser's death
Nasser's funeral procession attended by five million mourners in Cairo, 1 October 1970
Gamal Abdel Nasser Mosque in Cairo, the site of his burial
Nasser presenting prominent and blind writer Taha Hussein (standing in front of Nasser) with a national honors prize for literature, 1959
Nasser speaking to a homeless Egyptian man and offering him a job, after the man was found sleeping below the stage where Nasser was seated, 1959
Nasser waving to crowds in Mansoura, 1960
Anwar Sadat (left) and Nasser in the National Assembly, 1964. Sadat succeeded Nasser as president in 1970 and significantly departed from Nasser's policies throughout his rule.
Jaafar Nimeiry of Sudan (left), Nasser, and Muammar Gaddafi of Libya (right) at the Tripoli Airport, 1969. Nimeiry and Gaddafi were influenced by Nasser's pan-Arabist ideas and the latter sought to succeed him as "leader of the Arabs".
Nasser and his family in Manshiyat al-Bakri, 1963. From left to right, his daughter Mona, his wife Tahia Kazem, daughter Hoda, son Abdel Hakim, son Khaled, son Abdel Hamid, and Nasser.

Despite setbacks to his pan-Arabist cause, by 1963 Nasser's supporters gained power in several Arab countries, but he became embroiled in the North Yemen Civil War, and eventually the much larger Arab Cold War.

- Gamal Abdel Nasser

It was not until Gamal Abdel Nasser that Arab nationalism (in addition to Arab socialism) became a state policy and a means with which to define Egypt's position in the Middle East and the world, usually articulated vis-à-vis Zionism in the neighbouring state of Israel.

- Pan-Arabism

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Arab world

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The Arab world (العالم العربي '), formally the Arab homeland (الوطن العربي '), also known as the Arab nation (الأمة العربية '), the Arabsphere, or the Arab states''', consists of the 22 Arab countries which are members of the Arab League.

The Arab world (العالم العربي '), formally the Arab homeland (الوطن العربي '), also known as the Arab nation (الأمة العربية '), the Arabsphere, or the Arab states''', consists of the 22 Arab countries which are members of the Arab League.

Salah Zulfikar and Faten Hamama in the premiere of Bain Al-Atlal ("Among the Ruins") in Cairo, 1959
The Great Mosque of Kairouan (also called the Mosque of Uqba) was founded in 670 by the Arab general and conqueror Uqba ibn Nafi. The Great Mosque of Kairouan is located in the historic city of Kairouan in Tunisia.
The Maghreb (Western Arab world)
Abbasid caliphate (750 – 1258 CE)

The Arab League was formed in 1945 to represent the interests of Arab people and especially to pursue the political unification of the Arab countries; a project known as Pan-Arabism.

Arab Nationalist leaders of this period included Gamal Abdel Nasser of Egypt, Ahmed Ben Bella of Algeria, Michel Aflaq, Salah al-Din al-Bitar, Zaki al-Arsuzi, Constantin Zureiq and Shukri al-Kuwatli of Syria, Ahmed Hassan al-Bakr of Iraq, Habib Bourguiba of Tunisia, Mehdi Ben Barka of Morocco, and Shakib Arslan of Lebanon.

The flag of the Arab Revolt against the Ottoman Empire is a prominent symbol of Arab nationalism. Its design and colors are the basis of many of the Arab states' flags.

Arab nationalism

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Nationalist ideology that asserts the Arabs are a nation and promotes the unity of Arab people, celebrating the glories of Arab civilization, the language and literature of the Arabs, and calling for rejuvenation and political union in the Arab world.

Nationalist ideology that asserts the Arabs are a nation and promotes the unity of Arab people, celebrating the glories of Arab civilization, the language and literature of the Arabs, and calling for rejuvenation and political union in the Arab world.

The flag of the Arab Revolt against the Ottoman Empire is a prominent symbol of Arab nationalism. Its design and colors are the basis of many of the Arab states' flags.
Coat of arms (emblem) Hawk of Quraish: It is one of the Arab national symbols that have been used in many Arab nation states.
The Aqaba Flagpole in Aqaba, Jordan bearing the flag of the Arab Revolt. The Aqaba Flagpole is the sixth tallest free standing flagpole in the world.
Soldiers in the Arab Army during the Arab Revolt of 1916–1918, carrying the Flag of the Arab Revolt.
Syrian rebel leader Hilal al-Atrash at a ceremony marking a prisoner exchange with the French Mandate authorities during the Great Syrian Revolt, 1925
Arab rebels during the 1936–1939 Arab revolt in Palestine
King Ghazi of Iraq was a strong supporter of Arab nationalism. He died in a car accident in 1939, but his death was blamed on the British by Iraqi army officers loyal to him.
Amin al-Husseini (center, wearing headress) and Rashid Ali al-Gaylani (to al-Husayni's left) commemorating the anniversary of the 1941 Iraq coup in Berlin, Germany.
Egyptian president Gamal Abdel Nasser returns to cheering crowds in Cairo after announcing the nationalization of the Suez Canal Company, August 1956.
Egyptian president Gamal Abdel Nasser signing unity pact with Syrian president Shukri al-Quwatli, forming the United Arab Republic, February 1958
Gamal Abdel Nasser

Personalities and groups associated with Arab nationalism include King Faisal I of Iraq, Egyptian President Gamal Abdel Nasser, the Arab Nationalist Movement, Libyan leader Muammar Gaddafi, the Palestine Liberation Organization, the Arab Socialist Ba'ath Party which came to power in Iraq for some years and is still the ruling party in Syria, and its founder Michel Aflaq.

Pan-Arabism is a related concept, in as much as it calls for supranational communalism among the Arab states.

Islam by country
 Sunni
 Shia
 Ibadi

Pan-Islamism

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Political movement advocating the unity of Muslims under one Islamic country or state – often a caliphate – or an international organization with Islamic principles.

Political movement advocating the unity of Muslims under one Islamic country or state – often a caliphate – or an international organization with Islamic principles.

Islam by country
 Sunni
 Shia
 Ibadi

Pan-Islamism differentiates itself from pan-nationalistic ideologies, for example Pan-Arabism, by seeing the ummah (Muslim community) as the focus of allegiance and mobilization, excluding ethnicity and race as primary unifying factors.

Egyptian president Nasser considered the idea of Muslim unity as a threat to Arab nationalism.

Gaddafi, pictured shortly after his seizure of power, on a visit to Yugoslavia in 1970

Muammar Gaddafi

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Libyan revolutionary, politician and political theorist.

Libyan revolutionary, politician and political theorist.

Gaddafi, pictured shortly after his seizure of power, on a visit to Yugoslavia in 1970
Egyptian President Nasser was Gaddafi's political hero.
The flag of republican Libya used by Gaddafi's government from 1969 to 1972
Gaddafi at an Arab summit in Libya in 1969, shortly after the September Revolution that toppled King Idris I. Gaddafi sits in military uniform in the middle, surrounded by Egyptian President Gamal Abdel Nasser (left) and Syrian President Nureddin al-Atassi (right).
In 1971, Egypt's Anwar Sadat, Libya's Gaddafi and Syria's Hafez al-Assad signed an agreement to form a federal Union of Arab Republics. The agreement never materialized into a federal union between the three Arab states.
Gaddafi (left) with Egyptian President Nasser in 1969. Nasser privately described Gaddafi as "a nice boy, but terribly naïve".
Gaddafi with Romanian communist leader Nicolae Ceaușescu in Bucharest, Romania 1974
Gaddafi in 1976 with a child on his lap
Flag of Libya (1977–2011)
Construction for the Great Man-Made River Project
Gaddafi wearing an insignia showing the image of the African continent
People protesting against Gaddafi in Dublin, Ireland, March 2011
Pro-Gaddafi protests in Tripoli, May 2011
A gold-plated and engraved Browning Hi-Power handgun. Of the few created, one of these models was in the possession of Gaddafi during the attack and later appropriated by rebels after his death. The engraving references the Khamis Brigade.
Gaddafi (right) with Nimeiry and Nasser in 1969
Gaddafi with Spanish Prime Minister José Luis Rodríguez Zapatero in 2010
13th Anniversary of 1 September Revolution on postage stamp, Libya 1982
An anti-Gaddafist placard being displayed by demonstrators in Ireland in 2011
A poster of Gaddafi in Ghadames

Strengthening ties to Arab nationalist governments—particularly Gamal Abdel Nasser's Egypt—he unsuccessfully advocated pan-Arab political union.

Abdul Salam Arif and Abd al-Karim Qasim, the leaders of the revolution

14 July Revolution

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The 14 July Revolution, also known as the 1958 Iraqi coup d'état, took place on 14 July 1958 in Iraq, and resulted in the overthrow of the Hashemite monarchy in Iraq that had been established by King Faisal I in 1921 under the auspices of the British.

The 14 July Revolution, also known as the 1958 Iraqi coup d'état, took place on 14 July 1958 in Iraq, and resulted in the overthrow of the Hashemite monarchy in Iraq that had been established by King Faisal I in 1921 under the auspices of the British.

Abdul Salam Arif and Abd al-Karim Qasim, the leaders of the revolution
Leaders of the 14 July 1958 revolution in Iraq, including Khaled al-Naqshabendi (front row, left), Abd as-Salam Arif (back row, second from left), Abd al-Karim Qasim (back row, third from left) and Muhammad Najib ar-Ruba'i (back row, fifth from left). Also included is Michel Aflaq (front row, first from right).
The mutilated corpses of Prince 'Abd al-Ilah of Hejaz (left) and Prime Minister Nuri al-Said (right). Arabic text: "Prince 'Abd al-Ilah hung and cut up by shawerma knives, Pasha Nuri al-Said pulled around."
Crowd of men and soldiers in downtown Amman, Jordan, watching a news report about the deposition, 14 July 1958

Schools served as instruments to internalise Pan-Arab nationalist identity as the leaders and the designers of the Iraqi educational system in the 1920s and 1930s were Pan-Arab nationalists who made a significant contribution to the expansion of that ideology in Iraq as well as the rest of the Arab world.

Similarly, Pan-Arab sentiment grew across the Arab world and was promoted by Egypt's Gamel Abdel Nasser, a rising politician and staunch opponent of imperialism.

Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) in Raqqa, Syria, 2014

Islamism

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Political ideology which posits that modern states and regions should be reconstituted in constitutional, economic and judicial terms, in accordance with what is conceived as a revival or a return to authentic Islamic practice in its totality.

Political ideology which posits that modern states and regions should be reconstituted in constitutional, economic and judicial terms, in accordance with what is conceived as a revival or a return to authentic Islamic practice in its totality.

Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) in Raqqa, Syria, 2014
Jamal-al-Din al-Afghani
Sayyid Qutb (سيد إبراهيم حسين قطب; 1906 – 1966) was an Egyptian Sunni islamist author and a leading member of the Egyptian Muslim Brotherhood in the 1950s and 1960s.
Ruhollah Khomeini(Persian: سید روح الله خمینی), anti-secularist leader of Islamic Revolution of Iran was a student of a mystic Sheikh, Muhammad Ali Shah-Abadi.
Flag of the Taliban
The FIS emblem
The Hamas flag
Necmettin Erbakan, elected in 1996, was the second Islamist Prime Minister of Turkey after Şemsettin Günaltay, but was removed from power by a "postmodern coup d'état" in 1997.
ISIL's territory, in grey, at the time of its greatest territorial extent in May 2015
Protests against Basuki Tjahaja Purnama, Christian governor of Jakarta, 2 December 2016
Salafi-Islamist protest against anti-Islamic film Innocence of Muslims in Sydney, 15 September 2012
Afghan mujahideen representatives with President Ronald Reagan at the White House in 1983.
Muhammad Kazim Khurasani (1839 – 12 December 1911), commonly known as Akhund Khurasani is one of the greatest theorists of Usuli Shi'ism in modern times.
The trio: (left to right) Akhund Khurasani, Mirza Husayn Tehrani and Abdullah Mazandarani
Sayyid Muhsin al-Hakim (سيد محسن الطباطبائي الحكيم; 31 May 1889 – 2 June 1970) was a student of Akhund Khurasani.
Ayatullah Sayyid Mohammad Hadi al-Milani (July 1, 1895 – August 7, 1975) was a student of Ayatullah Na'ini.
Ali Shariati (1933 – 1977).
Sayyid Abul Qasim al-Khoei (Persian: سید ابوالقاسم خویی), 1992-1899 was a student of Ayatullah Na'ini.
Syed Abulhassan Shamsabadi was killed by Islamists in 1976.
Murtaza Mutahhari (31 January 1919 – 1 May 1979) was a moderate islamist. He believed that a jurist only had a supervisory role and was not supposed to govern.
Sayyid Mohammad Kazem Shariatmadari (Persian: سید محمد کاظم شریعتمداری), 5 January 1906 – 3 April 1986, died under house arrest.
Ruhollah Khomeini in Tehran with Ahmad Khomeini and Mohammad-Ali Rajai.

Olivier Roy argues that "Sunni pan-Islamism underwent a remarkable shift in the second half of the 20th century" when the Muslim Brotherhood movement and its focus on Islamisation of pan-Arabism was eclipsed by the Salafi movement with its emphasis on "sharia rather than the building of Islamic institutions," and rejection of Shia Islam.

Salafi activism originated in the 50s to 60s Saudi Arabia, where many Muslim Brothers had taken refuge from the prosecution by the Nasser regime.

Damaged Egyptian vehicles

Suez Crisis

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The Suez Crisis, or the Second Arab–Israeli war, also called the Tripartite Aggression (العدوان الثلاثي) in the Arab world and the Sinai War in Israel,

The Suez Crisis, or the Second Arab–Israeli war, also called the Tripartite Aggression (العدوان الثلاثي) in the Arab world and the Sinai War in Israel,

Damaged Egyptian vehicles
The location of the Suez Canal, which connects the Mediterranean and the Indian Ocean via the Red Sea.
Port Said, at the entrance to the Suez Canal from the Mediterranean.
Australian Prime Minister Robert Menzies led an international committee in negotiations with Nasser in September 1956, which sought to achieve international management of the Suez Canal. The mission was a failure.
Israeli AMX-13, shown here from the rear and side
Anglo-French para drops on the Suez Canal and Israeli conquest of Sinai
Israeli M4A4 Shermans were also used in the Sinai campaign.
An Israeli Air Force Meteor in flight
Israeli paratrooper near the Mitla Pass
Israeli soldiers in the Sinai wave at a passing French plane
Israeli paratroopers dig in near the Parker Memorial
Israeli AMX-13 Light tank
Ibrahim el Awal after its capture by the Israeli Navy
A battle-damaged de Havilland Sea Venom on
A Hawker Sea Hawk of 899 Naval Air Squadron, armed with rockets, about to be launched from the aircraft carrier HMS Eagle for a strike on an Egyptian airfield
Smoke rises from oil tanks beside the Suez Canal hit during the initial Anglo-French assault on Port Said, 5 November 1956.
Troops of the Parachute Regiment escort a captured Egyptian soldier at Port Said
2ème RPC paratroopers patrol in Port Said, October 1956
A British link up between the 3rd Battalion, The Parachute Regiment, and the Commandos at the Coast Guard barracks in Port Said. The paratroopers have with them a captured SU-100 tank destroyer, and the Commandos a Buffalo amphibious assault vehicle.
Presidents Eisenhower and Nasser meeting in New York, 1960
Statue of Ferdinand de Lesseps (a Frenchman who built the Suez Canal) was removed following the nationalisation of the Suez Canal in 1956.
An Israeli soldier stands next to an Egyptian gun that had blocked the Tiran Straits.

The aims were to regain control of the Suez Canal for the Western powers and to remove Egyptian president Gamal Abdel Nasser, who had just swiftly nationalised the foreign-owned Suez Canal Company, which administered the canal.

The most important factors that drove Egyptian foreign policy in this period was on the one hand, a determination to see the entire Middle East as Egypt's rightful sphere of influence, and on the other, a tendency on the part of Nasser to fortify his pan-Arabist and nationalist credibility by seeking to oppose any and all Western security initiatives in the Near East.

United Arab Republic

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Sovereign state in the Middle East from 1958 until 1971.

Sovereign state in the Middle East from 1958 until 1971.

Nasser shaking hands with al-Bizri
Nasser signing unity pact with Syrian president Shukri al-Quwatli, forming the United Arab Republic, February 1, 1958
Nasser addressing the masses in Damascus, 1960
Nasser and Sarraj in Latakia, 1959

The republic was led by Egyptian President Gamal Abdel Nasser.

The United Arab Republic was established on 1 February 1958 as the first step towards a larger pan-Arab state, originally being proposed to Egyptian President Gamal Abdel Nasser by a group of political and military leaders in Syria.