A Blog by the Editor of The Middle East Journal

Putting Middle Eastern Events in Cultural and Historical Context

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

What Will Egypt Do This July 23?

I know this blog has been Egypt-heavy lately but I make no apologies, since major things have been happening in the Arab World's largest country. But amidst all the Egyptian news I've been scanning, I haven't seen much mention of one thing: Saturday is July 23, Egypt's National Day.

This is the third year of this blog. In my first year, I of course reflected on the mixed legacies of the Free Officers' July 23, 1952 coup, or Revolution as it is called, and in my second year, I did one of my historical posts on Egypt's forgotten first President, Muhammad Naguib. Do read them both if you haven't.

But when anyone says "Revolution" today in Egypt the date that comes to mind is not July 23, but January 25. Yet at the same time, Egypt is still ruled by the Supreme Council of the Armed Forces, and the Army sees July 23, 1952 as its finest hour. And since this year, July 23 will fall on Saturday while Friday is the day for intensified protests in the continuing Revolution, it will be interesting to see how the protesters and the Army commemorate National Day.

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