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Write 28 page essay on the topic President Gamal Abdul Nasser of Egypt.Download file to see previous pages... He was born in the Bacos district of Alexandria on Jan 15th 1918 (Aburish 2004). He was th

Write 28 page essay on the topic President Gamal Abdul Nasser of Egypt.

Download file to see previous pages...

He was born in the Bacos district of Alexandria on Jan 15th 1918 (Aburish 2004). He was the first born of thirty-year old Abdel Nasser Hussein who had been transferred to Alexandria as a postal clerk. The fact that his father's position merited transfer from one part of Egypt to another suggests a middle-class status. During that time, only upper classes had family names, the remainder of the populations, peasantry and non-aristocrats, were named after their fathers. Without a family name, he had to use his father's name, Abdel Nasser Hussein. Gamal's grandfather, Hussein Sultan, belonged to the small class of local notables and owned a few acres of land in a village where most of the inhabitants tenanted the land of rich pashas in Cairo.

The pashas who comprised less than 2 percent of the population in the 1930's owned more than 65 percent of the land and employed and exploited over four million peasants who tenanted for them. A tenant farmer usually lived off two acres of land and his small share of what they produced. He hardly had any rights and when elections were held, was told to vote accordingly to the pasha's wishes. There was little social mobility since banks did not deal with the poor. As a result very few overcame their peasant background.

Egypt has been rightly described by historians as a "hydraulic society", totally dependent on irrigation from the Nile river. Five percent of the land was intensively farmed and it happened to be the only part that was cultivated. Apart from agriculture, the country had no other resources. Years of drought and the threat of crop failure forced many farmers including Hussein Sultan who owned small plots of land to adopt other vocations to protect themselves.

Adbel Nasser Hussein married above his class. Adbels wife was the daughter of a wealthy coal merchant, Mohamed Hamad and seemed to be homely person who did the duty of a wife. When she died in 1926 leaving eight year old Gamal and his three younger brothers, Gamal had been living in Cairo with his paternal uncle Khalil (Aburish 2004).

According to rumour Gamal's father did not tell him about his mother's death for months and did not get a chance to attend the funeral. It is still left to speculation as to why Gamal was in Cairo. If Fahima was ill then she could not look after him. Or, Gamal showed much promise in academics and his parents decided to send him to a better school in a bigger city. Whatever the truth, there is little doubt that Fahima was a major influence in her son's life and contributed to his education. Her forty dollar monthly income, received from her family, went to educate her four children. Fahima's noble gesture was returned with Gamal's interest in his studies. There is also speculation that Fahima was responsible for sending Gamal to a school superior to the Koranic one in Beni Mur.

Gamal felt deeply saddened at not being informed of his mother's death when his father remarried two years later. In the Arab world it is not unusual for widowers to remarry after their spouse's death. It's quite common to see the children of widowers to be looked after by relatives and other people. The carrier of bad news is usually frowned upon. Even after learning of his mother's demise Gamal continued to live with his relatives but the event left a deep mark in his psyche.

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