A Blog by the Editor of The Middle East Journal

Putting Middle Eastern Events in Cultural and Historical Context

Wednesday, August 29, 2012

Eric Rouleau on Cairo, Hasan al-Banna, Nasser

Eric Rouleau, longtime Middle East expert for Le Monde and Le Monde Diplomatique, onetime French Ambassador to Tunisia and Turkey, was born in Cairo in 1926 as a member of Egypt's once-flourishing Jewish community; leaving Egypt after 1948, he became one of France's greatest Middle East experts. He is without question, in my mind, one of the two or three greatest journalists working on the Middle East in the past half century or so, as well as an accomplished diplomat. His memoir, Le Moyen-Orient au-delà des mythes,will be published in French this year.
Nasser and Rouleau, 1963 (from the article)
The Cairo Review of Global Affairs, the relatively new journal published by the American University in Cairo's School of Global Affairs and Public Policy (its Dean is Ambassador Nabil Fahmy, former Ambassador to Washington) has an excerpt from Rouleau's memoir dealing with his exile from Cairo after 1948 (labeled both a Zionist and a Marxist, and doubly damned) and his return in 1963 with Nasser's blessing, as well as a reminiscence of his interviewing Muslim Brotherhood founder Hasan al-Banna for The Egyptian Gazette in the 1940s, and interviewing Nasser for Le Monde on his first return to his native land in 1963.

A good read from a great writer: the whole memoir should be worth reading as well.

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