Drawing, both literally and metaphorically, on the riches of their magnificent past, the Egyptians blend cultural knowledge both old and new.
A privileged place for the development of political, theological, and reformist theories by Arab intellectuals in the 19th century, the country gained effective independence after the monarchy was abolished and the Arab Republic of Egypt was founded in 1952. The excitement generated by the charismatic Nasser and the ambitious public policies made Cairo the vibrant heart of the post-war Arab world.To learn more:
The ongoing British presence in the kingdom of Egypt after the treaties of independence were signed in 1922 and 1936 reinforced the nationalist demands of the various militant groups around the country. The Egyptian monarchy, which had been destabilized following a disastrous military campaign during the 1948 Arab–Israeli War and due to its ambivalent relationship with the former colonial power, would finally be overthrown by a group of officers in 1952. After becoming president in 1956, Gamal Abdel Nasser led an ambitious program to build new public infrastructure and to develop agriculture and industry. An active member of the Non-Aligned Movement from 1955, Egypt reinforced its international standing after successful diplomatic negotiations with Israel, France, and Great Britain during the Suez Crisis. Nationalization of the canal in 1956 provided the government with the revenue it needed to build the Aswan High Dam in the 1960s. The popularity of Nasser and the Pan-Arab ideology at this time permitted the creation of a union between Egypt and Syria in the short-lived United Arab Republic (1958–1961). Egyptian influence around the world, and in the Arab world in particular, also resulted from the development of its cultural industry. Embodied by emblematic figures such as Uum Kulthum, Salah Jahin, Naguib Mahfouz, and Youssef Chahine, Egyptian productions in music, poetry, theater, literature, and cinema (the country was the third largest producer of films from 1950 to 1970) were broadcast far beyond the country’s borders.Did you know?
The first campaign led by UNESCO was to protect the Abu Simbel temples from flooding following construction of the Aswan High Dam. This led to the creation of the World Heritage Committee and subsequently the World Heritage List at the end of the 1970s.