Gamal Abdel Nasser


Gamal Abdel Nasser


With emotions high on the night before the coup of 1952, one of Nasser’s associates was close to tears. “Tonight there is no room for sentiment,” said Nasser firmly. “We must be ready for the unexpected.” Some minutes later, when the man had regained his composure, he asked Nasser, “Why did you address me in English?” Nasser laughed. “Because Arabic,” he replied, “is hardly a suitable language in which to express the need for calm.”


I have been a conspirator for so long that I mistrust all around me.

~Gamal Abdel Nasser
Biographical Note: 

Gamal Abdel Nasser was an Egyptian soldier and statesman. A leader of the coup that deposed King Farouk in 1952, he became prime minister (1954–56) and president (1956–70) of Egypt. His nationalization of the Suez Canal in 1956 provoked an unsuccessful Anglo-French attack on Egypt.