chapter  10
16 Pages

Regaining Lost Pride: The Impact of the Suez Affair on Egypt and the Arab World

More than 40 years after the Suez affair, Egypt is rediscovering this episode. A film released in August 1996 and called Nasser, 1956 , has been received enthusiastically by the Egyptian people.2 Faced with a harsh reality, they tend to identify with ‘Abd al-Nasser’s boldest challenge against the West - the nationalization of the Suez Canal Company, which took place on 26 July 1956. Through this movie, many young Egyptians rediscovered ‘Abd alNasser - the charismatic leader whose memory has largely faded during the last two decades as a result of an intensive process of de-Nasserization by the Sadat and Mubarak regimes. Both the old and new generations came to realize that it was the Suez affair which had partially restored the dignity (karam ah ) of the individual Arab, which had been lost during decades of Ottoman and Western domination, and after the humiliating defeat by Israel in 1948. From our present perspective, this is perhaps the most important consequence of the Suez affair.