Dialogue between me and “Newton” has not stopped – despite being intermittent – since I started writing in Almasry alyoum newspaper at the end of October 2012… and perhaps the most heated parts of the dialogue were the ones concerning the July 23rd revolution, Gamal Abdel-Nasser, Nasserism, Nasserists, and also Socialism.
Newton used to always confirm that he believes the most important thing Nasser achieved and that lasted after him was what has to do with the social relations and protecting the poor… in such regard, Newton cites the example that before 1952, as he belongs to a socially powerful family, he could order that a certain peasant leaves the village along with his family and cattle – in case he had any – as soon as possible; meaning “tomorrow morning”… but after the revolution and until now, no one can do such thing to any peasant… away from this, Newton’s opinion of the revolution, its leader, and ideas were and still are severely criticizing.
I, in turn, had the opinion that the revolution, its leader, and ideas were not free of mistakes but it is better that we draw lessons and provide alternatives so that we do not fall in the trap of reproducing the same phenomenon.
In the last week of July 2017, Newton wrote three articles and followed them by a fourth one that, in my opinion, does not only has a special importance, but I also consider it as the most important thing written in the last two decades about an important era of Egypt’s history… of course, I will not rewrite what Newton wrote as the articles are available… all of these articles were about Gamal Abdel-Nasser.
However, I would like to stop for a while at some notices… first, the writer proved that the concepts of objectivity and seeking the common good are two possible things if he wanted to adopt them to prove in the same time that he is away from subjectivity and Ad hominem… as many of those who tackle the mission of evaluating the historic events and public figures sometimes lack the ability to reach the truth for two reasons… first, due to absence of documents and lack of the main sources… second, forcing facts and concealing some aspects in order to serve a certain point of view… and so, if documents were available and sources were provided and the second reason was not there in the first place… then one can find a very good writing like what Newton did about Nasser and his practice of self-criticism and thorough re-evaluation of his regime.
The second notice is Newton’s ability to connect the past to the present through drawing lessons, demonstrating the necessity to benefit from them, and asking why we haven’t benefited from those lessons in the subsequent eras that followed… the writer did not hesitate to give examples, some of them could be very sensitive… which is considered a bravery attributed to the writer.
Third notice is, in the time when “Almasry alyoum” newspaper was publishing what Newton wrote about Nasser and his ability of self-criticism, re-evaluation of policies, and his accuracy in detecting his regime mistakes… it was publishing for others who pick from time to time the occasions related to July revolution and Nasser to “commit a certain kind of writing”… such kind of writing has to do with biology and has nothing to do with history or other social sciences any way.
As those who “commit writing” are closer to be very minute microscopic creatures and very poisonous ones in the same time… in biology, when one dies, his body starts to decompose until it is almost vanished and then come those microscopic creatures that nourish, reproduce, and secrete their poisonous secretions over all that is microscopic of the very remains of the dead body.
However, in the world of history and other social sciences, life and human experiences work in cycles or connected graphical lines… and there is no room for sayings or axioms of any kind that state “a community, a society, or a person are dead… and all what they did or achieved throughout their lives is over by their death”…and that is why we knew continuing serious studies about pre-historic eras and later historic ones when man knew about writing in drawings, symbols, and characters.
One wonders of the audacity – and not bravery – of those who commit such kind of writing and who definitely know that while they deliberately issue judgments of death penalty over historic eras and figures that have different opinions over them, they do, in the same time, issue the same judgments over whole nations that still keep what is positive regarding those eras and figures in their conscience and memory.
Back to Newton, again I tell him, this time in written and published words, that you were lucky… to prove one time after another that you do really belong to the Egyptian Nationalism, liberal ideology that respects the other party, and rules of scientific objectivity… and if someone wanted me to prove what I am saying, I have proofs to provide.
What “luck” is but the unknown that we were told to believe in… or one can say it is unexpected and unseen factors that contribute to the reality and continuity of human phenomena.
Translated into English by: Dalia Elnaggar
This article was published in Almasry alyoum newspaper on August 2, 2017.
To see the original article, go to:
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