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When Nasser Came to Tahrir Square

Contrary to the 1952 revolution, Egyptian protesters who brought down the current regime will not succumb to slogans, but they demand a real change of living conditions and personal freedom.
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Was it a military coup or a popular uprising? The serious efforts that Egypt’s new leaders, both military and political, are investing in the question of how the overthrow of Egyptian President Mohammed Morsi should be defined brought me back to the late Egyptian President Gamal Abdel Nasser’s famous work, Egypt’s Liberation: The Philosophy of the Revolution, which he published in 1955. Egypt has followed along the path set for it by the Free Officers over half a century ago, in 1952, when they planned and launched their coup. Here and there a side road or a detour was paved to help cope with the changes brought by time, but the ideological infrastructure of that path remains the same: The army stands above everything else.

Army officers who kept their senior positions after the fall of former Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak are now the most significant power in Egypt. In every modern state, the army is subject to the authority of the civilian leadership. Egypt, however, continues to follow the path first paved by Gamal Abdel Nasser and the presidents who succeeded him, the late President Anwar Sadat and Mubarak. They rose from the army and followed the same path. In the land of the Nile, the officers’ caste wields the ultimate power. They have the supreme authority to determine what is good and what is bad. They decide what the right path is to ensure Egypt’s military and political future.

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