Gamal Abdel Nasser on Hijab 1958

How times have changed

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I am 3/4ths Sri Lankan (Jaffna) Tamil, 1/8th Sinhalese and 1/8th Irish; a proper mutt. Maternal: Grandfather a Govt Surveyor married my grandmother of Sinhalese/Irish descent from the deep south, in the early 1900’s. They lived in the deep South, are generally considered Sinhalese and look Eurasian (common among upper class Sinhalese). They were Anglicans (Church of England), became Evangelical Christians (AOG) in 1940's, and built the first Evangelical church in the South. Paternal: Sri Lanka (Jaffna Tamil). Paternal ancestors converted to Catholicism during Portuguese rule (1500's), went back to being Hindu and then became Methodists (and Anglicans) around 1850 (ggfather). They were Administrators and translators to the British, poets and writers in Tamil and English. Grandfathers sister was the first female Tamil novelist of modern times I was brought up as an Evangelical even attending Bible study till about the age of 13. Agnostic and later atheist. I studied in Sinhala, did a Bachelor in Chemistry and Physics in Sri Lanka. Then did Oceanography graduate stuff and research in the US. I am about 60 years old, no kids, widower. Sri Lankan citizen (no dual) and been back in SL since 2012. Live in small village near a National Park, run a very small budget guest house and try to do some agriculture that can survive the Elephants, monkeys and wild boar incursions. I am not really anonymous, a little digging and you can find my identity.

8 thoughts on “Gamal Abdel Nasser on Hijab 1958”

  1. sbarrkum . . . beautiful clip! Have seen it more times than I can count. Arabs and muslims share it all the time; and they love it.

    Of this much I am sure; Nasser’s views on this are quietly a heck of a lot more popular than official public polling implies. Most muslims have to lie when polled for fear that Islamists will retaliate against them and their families. How much more popular? We can only find out when muslims have freedom of art, thought, intuition and feeling. Then the floodgates will open after 14 centuries of the most brutal imaginable oppression and the universe changes overnight. Only then will the truth (actual muslim public opinion) be known. And only then can dialogue with Islamists happen. And only then can extremism die. And not too soon it will be.

    This is the point of these articles:
    Nonmuslims the world over need to stop backing Islamists against good muslims and ex muslims.

  2. 1950s /60s were a high period for Arab Secularism . With Nasserites and Baathists at the helm , those countries could have been taken out of chaos if they had concentrated on the economy . With some education and economic development , the people in the Middle-east could have been convinced they have a stake in the modern world. That would have kept religious extremism and shia-sunni civil war at bay.

    Nasser had a great rapport with Egyptians – there are other clips when the whole crowd laughs with him.

    Full blown democracy is a pipe dream in ME

  3. “Nasser had a great rapport with Egyptians”

    The rapport between Nasser and Nehru was legendary too.

    1. US President Eisenhower (1953-1961) was also a big fan of Nasser and did all he could to support and back Nasser. President Eisenhower directed the CIA to support Nasser too.

      President Eisenhower also tried to reach out to PM Nehru and offered large scale foreign aid. However PM Nehru rebuffed Eisenhower. Does anyone have speculations as to why?

      Perhaps PM Nehru turned down trade, investment and business development because PM Nehru was a fabian socialist and opposed globalization? Maybe he didn’t think the US or business in general had much to offer India?

      It is sad that Nasser and Nehru lost a golden chance to transform their countries into African and Asian Tigers. Rather countries poorer than either Egypt or India were capita became rich developed OECD countries (South Korea, Taiwan, Hong Kong, Singapore, Malaysia). And now even increasingly China. At least India is now catching up.

      Sisi is trying to bring free market neoliberal globalization reforms to Egypt. Pray he succeeds!

  4. AnAn: “President Eisenhower also tried to reach out to PM Nehru and offered large scale foreign aid. However PM Nehru rebuffed Eisenhower. Does anyone have speculations as to why?”

    The offer of help by Eisenhower was true. Easy to guess the answer in hind sight why it was not accepted. Nehru was in the Soviet sphere of influence though he tried to hide it under non-aligned nations front.

    1. hoipolloi, at least PM Nehru, the Indian elite and the Indian Army treated Eisenhower with some respect. Indians respect elders and great generals. And this was a good thing.

      However PM Nehru treated JFK (maybe the most pro Indian President in US history) with great patronizing, condescending, pretentious disrespect. Similar to a young uncultured, immature, unsophisticated, uneducated punk who didn’t know anything.

      I have read several books about JFK and perhaps all his foreign policy speeches during his days in the Senate. JFK was an outright Indophile. He loved India and praised India constantly on a whole series of levels. JFK felt that if India became successful, the example of India would end the cold war, end communism and end socialism. And in this JFK was right. A successful India can and would indescribably transform the world for the better.

      JFK would ask a question and Nehru would ignore him. After a minute of silence, JFK would repeat the same question a second time. After another minute of silence JFK would ask the same question a third time. After another minute JFK would laugh a nervous embarrassed laugh and move on. Nehru played mind games on Kennedy.

      I have never understood why PM Nehru behaved like this with JFK.

      1. AnAn, It is wonderful to read what you wrote about Nehru and Kennedy. Some one no longer alive once described the same thing to me in a similar fashion. I did not realize the implications at the time. A deja vu.

        P.S. The arrogance displayed by Indian elite, political leaders, diplomats, religious representatives, etc. in the international scene in the first half of post Independence years is legendary.

        1. hoipolloi, it is shocking how many wise and great people we both know who are no longer alive. 🙁

          “Nehru was in the Soviet sphere of influence though he tried to hide it under non-aligned nations front.”

          Suspect it is a bit more nuanced than that. Nehru similar to many of India’s elite of the 20th century had a bit of a superiority complex. The Soviets and communists were also seen as inferior and unworthy; and were viewed with great suspicion by India’s elite. But this is an entire article by itself. Suffice to say this arrogance in the Indian elite deeply troubled many Indians at the time and quietly they cried about it. On a related note, see Swami Vivekananda’s quotes at the end of this article:

          To be fair many Americans, Soviets, Chinese, Japanese and Europeans in the 20th century also were full of themselves.

          One very good evolution of Americans is that Americans no longer greatly exaggerate America’s number 1 status in every sphere of temporal achievement, power and influence the way Americans once did. Rather American arrogance now persists in other subtle ways. Mostly in post modernist ways.

          Arrogance and pride are the most dangerous of all sins, especially pride of knowledge and infinitely more so pride of genuine spiritual achievement. A hint of it destroys all.

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