Before sciences of strategic and geo-politics related to the national security of Egypt came to exist, the ancient Egyptians defined the frame for the security of their country and put it in clear short sentence saying: “The king led the army to secure the land – meaning Egypt – starting from the reversed resources of water until the Horn of Land”. The water resources meant here are those of the Tigris and Euphrates at the Anatolian Taurus Mountains. They were called reversed for they run in opposite direction to that of the Nile; meaning from north to south while the Nile runs from south to north. And the Horn of Land intended is the peninsula of the Horn of Africa including Mandeb Strait and the lands from where predators and materials of mummification, like Frankincense, Myrrh, incense and sandalwood, come. It’s also connected to the Nile resources including Land of Punt; meaning Ethiopia, Eritrea and parts of Somalia.
This is what we call the main and principle constant in the equation governing the national security of Egypt. Therefore, all who ruled Egypt had to know this truth and deal accordingly as per the variables changing with eras and necessities of up-to-the-time circumstances. Here we notice that the political evolvement of relations among countries and nations has witnessed a new necessity; that is the necessity to have an ethical cover and a cultural and ideological justification to gain control over that equation of national security which was once known as the vital domain, another time as the international and regional role and a third one as the cultural and civilization influence…etc.
Then July 1952 revolution, led by Gamal Abdel-Nasser, erupted for that genuine leader to outline Egypt’s vision regarding the circles defining its international role; the Arab, African and Islamic circles, and for Egypt to set off in a strategic vision to achieve liberation and development. This vision wouldn’t have come to exist in a way or another if it wasn’t for the concept of the three circles which, according to that time period of history, were mostly colonized and dismantled. Therefore, the cultural, ideological and ethical cover for achieving the national security for Egypt consisted of two great values in the human consciousness in general and the individual human in the three circles in specific. The first value is fighting colonization, putting an end for long centuries of exploit, injustice and underdevelopment for all the peoples who suffered that, and working hard to achieve the Arab unity, African unity and establishing an entity gathering countries of the Third World aspiring for liberation and development, and so, concepts of Positive Neutrality and later Non-Alignment Movement emerged.
In addition, there was a set of cultural ideological ethical objectives included in Egypt’s vision for achieving its national security to stay away from any conflicts of race, colonization, exercising clout or subduing others. Therefore, I do not exaggerate when I say that those who did not cease to accuse Nasser of wanting to build an empire and that this empire was nothing but strong desires for leadership and uncalculated risks did not and will not know about or understand the facts of history, necessities of geography or the cultural and civilization contexts.
As Nasser did not come up with the vision outlining the strategic and geo-political frame of Egypt, rather his true accomplishment was the braid in which he weaved Egypt’s security and role with the Arab World’s security and independence along with liberating Africa, Asia and Latin America. Through this braid, he used the African, Arab and Egyptian components in establishing a third route; that was the Non-Alignment Movement, also it’s the unity of the cultural civilization domain bringing the small nations together.
Also, the cultural and political Arab-national orientation of Egypt was connected to the Egyptian dream of having an independent liberated country, innovative free human, social equality and productivity, since the productive free independent Egypt needs – in addition to its human and economic resources – energy resources, capital surplus and markets to sell its agricultural and manufactured products, also markets making use of the manpower ready to work abroad. The market, energy and capital surplus were available in the Arab domain and obtainable in the Third World and African arenas. In all ways, a cultural, ideological and ethical cover was needed to give this Egyptian ambition a deep human essence, and so, the Arab-nationalism came along with the Arab affiliation and hope of having an Arab unity and the steps taken to achieve this.
Translated into English by: Dalia Elnaggar
This article was published in Sabah Al-Khair magazine on January 2, 2018.
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