A Blog by the Editor of The Middle East Journal

Putting Middle Eastern Events in Cultural and Historical Context

Monday, October 6, 2014

October 6, 1973, and October 6, 1981

For Egyptians, the 6th of October is Egyptian Military Day, marking the initially successful assault across the Suez Canal, still celebrated as a victory despite the far from conclusive outcome of the war. The "crossing," (al-‘ubur), as it came to be called, was seen as redemption for the disastrous defeat of 1967 and opened the door to negotiations, the reopening of the Canal, and eventually the Egyptian-Israeli peace treaty.

It is still a holiday in Egypt, celebrated with parades and military fly-bys. But the date is also the anniversary of another October 6, eight years later in 1981, when President Anwar Sadat was assassinated while reviewing the Military Day parade. Subsequent years' celebration of Military Day rarely allude to the double nature of the anniversary


David Mack said...

Many ironies here, which Abdelfattah Al-Sisi would do well to contemplate. Public moods can shift rapidly with circumstances. As economic difficulties mounted, Sadat was taunted with the chant, Ya batil 'uburna, wein faturnah? My translation, which lacks the catchy rhyme: Oh, hero of our crossing, where is our breakfast?

Michael Collins Dunn said...

And my own favorite; "Bonjour, al-ubur; bonsoir, Deversoir."