On an unforgettable day in the Egyptian and Arab history, an incident that struck Cairo, which radically changed its modern history, had occurred that its impacts on the course of developments have been noticeable until now. It’s July 23, 1952, when the Egyptian Junta stepped out declaring their anger at what was happening all over the country during the corrupt rule of Egypt’s King “Farouk.” At that time Major General Mohamed Naguib, a prominent officer in the Egyptian military, had come to the forefront with a headline in “El-Masry” newspaper reading “Major General Naguib is enforcing a purification movement in the military.”
At the beginning, the 23 July was just a military movement called “Free Officers (FO).” The FO movement not only had been widely known and spread amongst different hierarchical levels in the Egyptian military before that time, but also had been very positively and widely welcomed by the Egyptian people in which “Nagiub” played a very important role.
He was very well respected military officer with long and successful track record in the Egyptian military and the highest rank among the movement members. Nagiub jumped to the spotlight after his participation in the 1948 war in Palestine. His overwhelming victory in the Egyptian Officers’ Club elections in January 1952, a few months before the declaration of the movement, had proved his remarkable popularity.
Naguib had been also very highly perceived and respected by the vast majority of Egyptian people, known to be a sincere and honest Egyptian officer. This was one of the key reasons why this movement resonated very much and had such popular support, to the extent that it has been called afterwards as a “revolution.”
On July 23, Mohamed Naguib played a very critical role . The movement plan had been uncovered at 9:30PM. Naguib knew that an emergency meeting was about to be held by Commander-in-Chief Hussein Fareed at 10:00 o’clock in the leadership headquarters to plot the arrest of all FO leaders. He immediately gave his orders to “Youssef Seddik” to move before the planned “zero hour.” It’s happened that Seddik managed to break into the leadership headquarters; unless such move had happened, the FO movement would have been eradicated even before it came to surface.
Despite the indispensable role that Mohamed Naguib played in order to achieve the movement’s objectives, some attempted to underestimate his role and alleged that he didn’t have any contribution to the revolution but only “rode the wave.” In addition, even some claimed that the FO have used him just as a cover for achieving the movement’s objectives. However, in fact Naguib is the spearhead of the movement , but it sounds that one of his fellows had been more ambitious to hold power, “Lieutenant Colonel Gamal Abdel Naser.” At that time no one can argue that “Naguib” was the mastermind of the basic aims of the FO which are being studied up to now. However, his fellow movement leaders exploited such principles for the sake of obtaining their vested interests surreptitiously and attributing their advantages to themselves in public.
In fact, Naguib would like to form a movement that purifies the army and the regime from the corrupt officials and “King”, thus establishing a new era of democratically elected civilian government and returning the military forces back to their barracks. However, he was repeatedly forced to delay such critical step under massive pressure from his fellows in “Egyptian Revolutionary Command Council,” that had been established shortly after toppling the King, who wanted to go ahead ruling the country themselves till he announced his rejection to such situation explicitly and publicly. At that point, they gradually isolated him from the decision-making circle and tried to lay him off, but their attempt failed due to the public anger; still he was really very popular. As the head of the movement and the Revolutionary Command Council, he had been selected to be the first Egyptian president until November 1954 but his fellows, led by “Abdel Naser,” put “the president” under house arrest till his death and “Abdel Naser” had, thus, been declared as the new president. Since then he started the “Egyptian Junta “era of ruling and tyrannized the state throughout the past 60 years.
Once the “Egyptian Junta” realized that the Egyptian people want to get their will back on January 25, 2011, and saw that the rule of the state will be no longer in their hands, they recalled their experience that they still know quite well: coup d’etat . It is instructive that it took no more than two years from January 25, 2011, to ” July” 3, 2013, for the Junta to retake power, exactly similar to the period from 1952 to 1954.
One shouldn’t be surprised that the military Junta had deposed the democratically elected civilian president, Mohamed Morsi; they did the same with their commander Naguib before.
It’s too simple: let the revolution energy be vented out. We will lose nothing. Let us sacrifice “Mubarak,” who already had spent enough time in the rule to the extent that he was grooming his “civilian” son, Gamal, for taking power! Let the “civilians” have some fun with the so-called democratic process for some time and we will play the same game with them and let’s wait for another “July” to come and we know how to protect the country from those “terrorist” civilians who want to take the power from us that we have been enjoying for the last 60 years.
The major difference that “Egyptian Junta” didn’t realize yet and hopefully may realize soon is that the 25 January was not a military officer’s movement, rather a real people’s revolution. People are feeling agony towards the military regime that continued its oppression and corruption for the past 60 years.
They probably don’t know that when peoples are starting to revolt against oppression and corruption, nothing can stop them but liberty and gaining their rights. They maybe don’t know that peaceful popular revolutions, different from the armed coup, take quite longer time and pass through different stages and that the 25 January Revolution has not come to its final stage yet.
This Article Has Been Published at the Huffington Post in August 1st 2014. Press Here for the link