In the 60th anniversary of the July 23 1952 Revolution, almost all writers in Egyptian newspapers have written about the accomplishments of the rebellion while attempting to conduct compact comparative analysis with the January 25 2011 uprising. Many have highlighted the bright side of the 1952 revolution declaring that the occasion’s mission is not yet completed. Other columnists criticized Morsy and his Muslim Brotherhood for countering anything attained in the aftermath of the 1952 revolution and neglecting to embrace the 2011 revolutionary goals that strive for freedom and social justice.
July is not just for the Military
Al-Masry Al-Youm newspaper
As the July 23 1952 revolution hits its 60th anniversary this year, Amr Al-Shobaki condemns calls that refute the celebration as it praises the military rule. The writer starts his column asking why those who calling for the denunciation of the revolution neglect the achievements that followed from the 1952 revolution. The occasion does not solely celebrate a military coup d’état, but rather a manifestation of genuine Egyptian struggle for freedom and independence – a journey of endeavor which began with the military under Ahmed Orabi and was continued by civilian leaders like Saad Zaghloul and Mustafa Al-Nahaas until it ended with former President Gamal Abdel Nasser.
The writer concedes that not all experience of the military junta has been democratic. Citing the examples of Gamal Abdel Nasser and Al-Sadat in Egypt and Charles de Gaulle in France, Al-Shobaki states that not all of these experiences constituted an entirely military political component. Many of these examples have included more civilian ingredients. Some of these episodes, despite being described as military, are not related to junta except for its army costume. As for the July 23 1952 revolution, it was indeed unique especially with regards to its techniques. Celebrating our other revolution does not necessarily have to mean a condoning of its means, but can allow for appreciating the accomplishments it reached.
The revolution’s concepts
Al-Masry Al-Youm newspaper
Thanks to the July 23 Revolution, political conceptions like freedom and independence have stretched to knock the at doors of the third world, namely Africa, Asia and Latin America. In his column, Mohamed Salmawi attempts to present a compact comparative analysis between the Egyptian 1952 revolution and the French revolution. France’s uprising generated slogans of liberality, equality and fraternity, whereas the Egyptian 1952 Revolution called for independence, social justice and nationalism. Both revolutions have suffered many predicaments right after their inception.
In 1789, France strived to pass through a phase when blood spread through the streets of its cities, but its concepts remained engraved in stone and nothing succeeded in tarnishing its righteous goals. Similarly in Egypt’s revolution, the country remained attached to its three noble missions after leaving behind the coup d’état and its practices.
Salmawi criticises those who intend to focus eyes only on the gloomy side of the 1952 Revolution and estimates that they do have neither a proper understanding of history nor revolutions. Even the Muslim Brotherhood is not calling for the negation of the achievements of the 1952 revolution. Who can say that Egypt’s political decisions do not strive to keep the nation independent from Israel or the US? Who can ignore a concept like social justice or that of nationalism, which still guides the country in its foreign policies? Wrapping up his column, Salmawi stresses that the January 25 Revolution came to place emphasis on the concepts of the mother revolution of 1952.
Emad Al-Din Hussein
They attack the July Revolution only to get closer to Muslim Brothers
Emad Al-Din Hussein chides those who tend to criticise the July 1952 Revolution as doing so to move towards President Morsy and his Muslim Brotherhood group. He salutes parties and figures that initially had a stance against the revolution and carried on with this position unchanged. Hussein described others as ‘hypocrites’ for suddenly attacking the 1952 uprising after Morsy’s presidency. Revisiting July’s revolution, Hussein declares the many major faults of its legacy, including the 1976 war, violations of human rights, and the absence of a public political party system. However, the fair assessment of this revolution must come within a context of the societal, political and economic conditions from which the uprising stemmed.
The writer denounces analysis that limits the July 1952 revolution to mere military rule. He states that Mohamed Ali was a military person, as too were France’s Charles De Gaulle and America’s Eisenhower, unlike Hitler who was civilian. He considers whether or not a leader has devoted himself and offered his country the utmost benefits and interests to be of the greatest importance. Finally, the writer once again condemns figures that stand against the 1952 revolution just to confront the Muslim Brothers.
Wael Abdel Fatah
Down with the masked republic
A debate about whether the July 1952 revolution was a genuine uprising or a military coup d’état still exists. In his column, Wael Abdel Fatah states that what occupies his mind at this stage is the difference between January and July revolution, stressing that the 2011 uprising is still regarded as an incomplete one. Sixty years ago, the rules of monarchies vanished whereas the military generals continue to exert their power. Is it possible that Egypt can now removes the mask of a free republic and act within the dominance of genuine civilian leadership? The first step to answer this question might come in repairing the relationship between the July 1952 Revolution and considering it as a cornerstone for the first post-occupation state.
Exploring Gamal Abdel Nasser’s revolution, Abdel Fatah stresses that the free officers were not angels, but were not devils as such. The main concern in this discussion is that Nasser could not establish a state that would survive without a father or a leader to embrace. He rather focuses his efforts on granting legitimacy to this revolution. Since then, Egypt has been breathing without a father, despite efforts of Sadat and Mubarak. The writer affirms that those who have inherited the July 1952 revolution still strive to proceed with their war in their masked republic.
The July that Morsy is not aware of
Celebrating the 60th anniversary of the 1952 revolution, Gamal Fahmy puts his eyes on the achievements of this revolution stressing that the 25 January uprising and its goals are the progeny of the former. Highlighting its accomplishments, the writer recalls Gamal Abdel Nasser’s agricultural reforms that allowed thousands of peasants to own parts of the agriculture land in which they have spent their lives. He also commends the 1952 revolution’s accomplishment in pushing away foreign occupation of the country’s economic and political resources; thus paving the way for many regulations to come into effect and drive Egypt into a renaissance of prosperity.
It remains doubtless that the July revolution is incomplete, in Fahmy’s estimation. Its goals, however, which have been kept on hold, remain the kernel of 25 January Revolution. Thanks to the 2011 uprising, the mother revolution of 1952 has come back to life in order to proceed with the struggle and complete its mission. The writer ends up his column condemning Morsy and his once banned Muslim Brotherhood group, who do not pay gratitude to the 1952 revolution. Fahmy writes, “it is only that they do not want to declare realities of this revolution. They even counter to learn this reality”.