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Monday, January 31, 2011

Egypt: March of a Million Planned as Military Promises to Stand Aside.

HISTORY IN THE NEWS:



History never dies. It is reborn every minute of every day.

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DEDICATED TO THE ORIGINS OF CONTEMPORARY EVENTS AROUND THE WORLD.

This installment is in Progress. In the meantime:


TIMELINE FOR THE HISTORY OF EGYPT FROM THE BRITISH TO MUBARAK. 

British Occupation of Egypt opposed by Wafd.

1882- Britain occupies Egypt.
1914- Britain declares Egypt to be under occupation at outbreak of war.
1918- Nov 11- Saad Zaghloul leads a delegation ('Wafd') to the British High Commission in Cairo asking that the delegation be allowed to go to London to argue the case for independence. The British refusal results in riots with periodic talks over the following years.


Formation of Nationalist Wafd Party and Wafd Government.

1919- 'Wafd' organization formed by lawyer Saad Zaghloul with hopes of ending the British occupation.
1922- Britian recognizes nominal Egyptian independence under King Fuad but continues to occupy the country, insist on the safeguarding of foreign interests and the protection of minorities.
1923- Britain's conditions for nominal independence set down in a constitution.
-Wafd wins election and Zghloul becomes prime minister.

-the anti-imperialist movememnt known as the Wafd ('delegation') continues to agitate for the ejection of Britain in Egypt.

Wafd Party and Royalists Opposed.

1927- nationalists split between the Wafd led by Premier Mustafa Nahas Pasha and King Fuad.
1931- King Fuad fires Premier Pasha and suspends the constitution.
1935- start of war between Italy and Eritrea makes Britain the prkimary foreign powere in Egypt with the power to define the imperial relationship, training and equiping the Egyptian army, demanding improvements in communications, building British ari bases.
1936- April- Wafd is re-elected with large majority. A Regency Council reigns on behalf of young King Faruq (1920-1965).


Anglo-Egyptian Treaty.

1936- August- the Anglo-Egyptian treaty reiterates Egypt's independence, drops the provision for protecting foreign interests and minorities but insists Egypt maintain its armed forces and reserves priviledges for Britian such as a military presence in the Suez Canal zone until Egypt is considered capable of guarding the canal. Britain would assume all defence responsibilities in time of war.
-treaty is opposed by Egyptian nationalists.
1938- King Faruq excercises full power at age 18. King pursues policy of attacking the opposition and is soon at loggerheads with the Wafd. Faruq dismisses Pasha, appoints Ali Mahir as premier.

-death of Fuad, former king of Egypt.

King's Support For Italy in  WW II Undermines Royalist Cause.

1940- Italy enters the war against the allies; King Faruq tries to remain neutral but due to Italian advisers and friends becomes pro-Italy. British demand that Faruq dismiss his new, anti-British premier, Ali Mahir and replace him with the more pro-British Nahas Pasha. Faruq refuses.
1942- Feb- as Germans advance on Egypt, King Faruq is about to appoint an anti-British premier but the British ambassador has the palace surrounded by tanks, forcing the king to appoint Nahas Pasha on pain of dethronement. King Faruq complies.
-due to his acquiescance to the British, Faruq's prestige drops sharply in Egypt.
1944- Faruq tries to restore his prestige by dismissing Nahas Pasha

1948-49- the Egyptian military's poor performance in the Palestine war of Israeli  independence (due to corruption and incompetecne of the officers and poor supply)  further lowers the Faruq's status, causing Egyptian officers to plan a coup. Abdul Nasser serves as a major.
-King Faruq agrees to reconciliation with Wafd by offering to call an election- provided both sides ignore the other's incompetence and corruption.

Suez Crisis; Wafd Makes a Push for Full Independence.

1950- Jan- King Faruq orders general election which puts the Wafd back in power. To get popular backing and recover prestige lost during the Palestine War, the Wafd demands that the British withdraw their troops. Britain refuses to respond
-Abdul Nasser promoted to colonel.
1951- Oct- the Wafd annuls the 1936 Anglo-Egyptian Treaty, declares Faruq king of Egypt and Sudan  and demands immediate withdrawal from the Suez Canal Zone. Guerillas and leftist Wafd members begin attacks on the British.

1952-  after riots, King Faruq dismisses the Wafd government.


Nasser and Officers Overthrow King Faruq, ban Wafd.
1952  July -the charismatic Col. Abdul Nasser and Gen. Muhammed Neguib leading the Free Officers overthrow King Faruq and exile him to Italy. The new Revolutionary Command Council (RCC) is led by Neguib. Neguib, as president and premier, favours parliamentary system but Nasser, at head of the Free Officers, overrules him.

1953 Nasser bans the Wafd party and all other political groups  in favour or the single 'Liberation Rally' and inaugurates a program of industrialization, land reform and regional Pan-Arabism. His Arab socialism gets him the backing of the Soviet Union.
1954- Feb- Nasser and RCC ban the Muslim Brotherhood without consulting Neguib.
-Neguib resigns in protest causing mobilization and near civil war between  Nasser and Neguib
April- Neguib retains presidency in compromise
Nov- FCC dismisses Naguib as president, makes Nasser its chairman.
- full British withdrawal from Egypt.
-opposition to Nasser's Arab nationalism at home and abroad pushes him to the left.
1955- At Bandung Conference, Nasser is infleunced by nonalignment of Jawharlal Nehru of India and Tito of Yugoslavia. Nasser staops pro-western Baghdad Pact from moving further.
-US refuses to sell arms to Egypt so Nasser turns to Czecholslovakia. US refuses aid for the Aswan dam project and get World Bank to do the same.
-Nasser nationalizes the Suez Canal and accepts aid from Soviet Union.

Nasser Leads the Arab World.
1956- with new constitution, Nasser becomes president for a 6 year term. Nasser begins with a nonideological but Arab Nationalist approach.
1956- Oct-Nov- Britain, France and Israel try and fail to seize back the canal in the Suez War, attempting to assassinate Nasser.
1957- March- Britain, France and Israel withdraw in defeat. from Suez.
-Nasser becomes a hero to the Arab world alll the while  moving farther to the left,


Nasser Fails to Lead the Arab World.

1958- Egypt and Syria together form the United Arab Republic (UAR) with Nasser as president- hoping to unite the whole Middle East under his leadership.
-Nasser visits USSR as leader of the Non-aligned Movement.
1961- the UAR splits due to in-fighting. Syria secedes.
-As Syria moves to the left, Nasser moves further nationalizing industry and agriculture and extending land reform to retain leadership of the Non-aligned Movement.
1962- Nasser inagurates the Arab Socialist Union.
1962- after a coup against the king in North Yemen, Egypt helps the republican military to set up a regime there.
1964- Nasser hosts a summit of the Organization of North African Unity.

Nasser at the Height of his Prestige.
1966- Nasser forms a defence pact with Syria so that Syria will not have a monopoly on defence of the Palestinians which it has been arming and supporting.
-Isreal warns Syria to stop supporting Palestinian attack and ridicules  Nasser. Nasser closes the Straits of Tiran to Israeli shipping and signs a defence pact with Jordan.

Nasser's Decline.

1967- through premptive attcks by Israel, Syria, Jordan and Egypt decisively defeated by Israel in the Six-Day War. Nasser loses prestige in his own country.
-Nasser resigns.
1970- death of Nasser. Anwar Sadat becomes president.

Sadat's Failed Attack on Israel Results in Peace Treaty with Israel.

1973- Sadat joins with Syria on a surprise attack on Israel, nearly knocking Israel out of the sky. However, he deserts the Soviet Union for the United States and works out a compromiose peace twith Israel.
1977- June- the Law of the System of Political Parties, a veteran of the old Wafd, Fuad Serag al Din, forms the Neo-Wafd Party.

1979- Sadat and Israeli Prime Minister Begin sign the Egyptian-Istaeli peace Treaty. But his new peace costs Egypt membership in the Arab League.

-due to the unpopularity of the treaty at home, Sadat becomes increasingly autocratic.


Sadat Assassinated by Islamist Officers. Succeeded by Mubarak.

1981- Sadat is assassinated by Islamist officers during a military review.

-Sadat is succeeded by Hosni Mubarak, whose conciliatory approach to the Arab world wins him backing at home and Egypt readmittance to the Arab League.
-while applying the free market to the economy, Mubarak rigged elections as Sadat had done before him.

Mubarak Begins Repression of Islamists.

1993- Mubarak wins his second election to the presidency. However he faces increasing opposition form the Muslim Brotherhood and Gamat al Islamiya. Over the following years his escalating repression of Islamist organizations, with no regard for human rights, causes the increasing concern of the Clinton administration in Washington.
1999- Mubarak is re-nomniated by the legislature for the presidency.

9/11: Mubarak Tries to Persuade US of Pro-Palestine, anti-Terror Strategy.

2001- Sept. 11- after the 9/11 attacks on the U.S., Mubarak takes a two-pronged approach, cooperating fully in President Bush's War on Terror but recommending an international convention on terrorism as well as impartial attention to the plight of the Palestinians under Israeli occupation. On these last two, Mubarak receives no cooperation.



Talks between Presidents Bush and Mubarak; Mubarak supports Palestinians.

2002 February - Hundreds of passengers are killed after their train catches fire south of Cairo.
Sinai bomb
March 2-6 Mubarak begins 4-day cisit to US.  Pres. Mubarek asks Pres. Bush for greater US participation in seeking Middle East peace.
April 3- Egypt severs relations with Israel over JDF offsensive into West Bank.
June 8- US Prs. Bush meets Mubarabak who tells him no peace in the Middle East will be possible until Israel withdraws from Palestine.
Sept 9- a military court sentences 51 Islamists.
2003- Feb 17-  13 CIA agents kidnap Egyptian cleric Hassan Mustafa Osama Nasr in Milan and take him to Egypt where he is interrogated, tortured and released.
June 3-  In Cairo Bush meets Arab leaders who pledge to fight terror but insist that Israel must ease up on Palestine.
Dec. 10- Leaders of Egypt and Iran meet for the first time since 1979, agree on a nuclear deal.

Cabinet Resings  as Mubarak Consolidates Power.
2004- July 9- Jul 9, Cabinet of President Hosni Mubarak's resigns. Ahmed Nazief (Nazif), an outsider, is appointed to replace Atef Obeid as prime minister. This further consolidates Mubarabk's power when there is more pressure than ever for political and economic change. Half of the 26 regional governors were also replaced.


2004 October - Al Qaeda named in 4 car bomb attacks target Israeli tourists Jewish resort at Sukkot on Sinai peninsula; 34 people are killed.
Nov 13- Egypt releases 200 Islamist militants to mark the end f Ramadan


2004 November - Funeral of Palestinian leader Yasser Arafat is held in Cairo.
Dec 8- several thousand Christians protest alleged forced conversion of a Christian woman to Islam.
2005- Feb 1-5- Egyptian security forces clash with Islamists in Sinai while making arrests in Sokkot bombings.
Feb 19- Mubarak and Linya's Ghaddafi agree to an all-African plan for the Darfur crisis.
Feb 21- 500 protest against a further term for Mubarak and also his plans to be succeeded by his son Gamal.

Mubaraks ├Čnitiative for multi-candidate Elections rejected as Insincere.
Feb 26-  Mubarak reforms elections laws and allows for multiple candidates.
March 9- Parliament agrees to electoral changes.
2005 February-April - Pro-reform and opposition activists including Muslim Brotherhood mount anti-government demonstrations.
May 4- thousands in Muslim Brotherhood protest in Cairo and across the Egypt demaind political reform.
2005 May - Referendum vote backs a constitutional amendment that will allow multiple candidates to stand in presidential elections.
May 25- thousands demonsrtrate amid arrests and beatings as protestors reject constitutional changes to allow multi party candidates as merely cosmetic.
June 30-  Mulsim Brotherhood launches political alliance for peaceful democratic reform and the legal and constitutional removal of Mubarak.
July- opposition parties call in unision for boycott of presidential election in September.

Terror Atrtack at Sharm al Sheikh.

2005 23 July - Scores of people are killed in bomb attacks in the Red Sea resort of Sharm al-Sheikh.
July 28- Mubarak announces multi-candidate elections for Sept. 7.
July 30- protestors beaten for demonstrating against Marbarak's announcment that he would run in presidential elections for a fifth time.

Mubarak`s election to fifth term marked by low turnout, fraud and boycott. 
2005 September - President Mubarak is re-elected for a fifth consecutive term. Mubarak's image as a democratic reformer is marred by electoral fraud and a widespread boycott of the vote. Turnout is 23%
Sept 16- thousands of Gazans break through Palestinian Authority guards at the entry point into Egypt. Ordinary Palestinains take over the crossing point during a temporary opening.
Nov. 7- the EU agrees to monitor border crossing.
2005 December - Parliamentary polls end with clashes between police and supporters of the opposition Muslim Brotherhood. The National Democratic Party and its allies retain their large parliamentary majority. Muslim Brotherhood supporters, elected as independents, win a record 20% of seats.
More than 20 Sudanese migrants die after police break up a protest camp outside the UN offices in Cairo.
Dec 31, In Egypt President Hosni Mubarak swears in  new Cabinet retaining major figures from previous government, adding two pro-American business figures and  Egypt's first minister to wear a headscarf.
Jan 4- two Egyptian border guards shot by Palestinians attempting a forces crossing.
2006 February - Up to 1,000 people die when a ferry carrying about 1,400 passengers from Saudi Arabia to Egypt sinks in the Red Sea.
Feb 14- parliament approves Mubarak's proposed 2-year postponement of municipal elections over objections of the U.S. and the Islamist opposition.
March- crackdown on Muslim Brotherhood begins.

Repression of Judges.
Mar. 17- 1,000 judges mount silent protest against government's refusal of judicial independence.
April 13-16- 3 days of rioting between Muslims and Christians in Alexandria.


2006 April - Bomb attacks in the Red Sea resort of Dahab kill more than 20 people.
May 11- demonstrators in Cairo supporting judges who raised the alarm on election fraud are brutally repressed by police.
May 12- Gamal Mubarak, generally assumed to be Mubarak's successor, meets White House Officials, including VP Dick Cheney.
May 20- Mubarak opens the World Economic Forum meeting in Egypt with strong words, apparently meant for the U.S.- that Egypt has no intention of any quick political reform.
June 19- March to June crackdown on Muslim Brotherhood reaches 700 detained.
2006 August - Egypt praises the way the guerrilla group Hezbollah held out in the war with Israel in Lebanon after earlier questioning its judgement.
2006 November - Egypt is one of at least six Arab countries developing domestic nuclear programmes to diversify energy sources, the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) reports.
-President Mubarak promises democratic and constitutional reform in an address to parliament. Opponents are sceptical.


Crackdown on Muslim Brotherhood.

2006 November - Upsurge in arrests of Muslim Brotherhood members.
March 18- 100 mainly Islamist MPs walk out of parliament in protest against constitutional amendments which strengthen the regime's grip on power.
2007 March - Referendum on constitutional amendments. The authorities say 76% of voters approve changes, opposition groups say the poll was rigged.Turnout was toughtly 10%.
2007 April - Amnesty International criticises Egypt's record on torture and illegal detention.
More than 30 members of the Muslim Brotherhood go on trial, the first time in seven years that members of the group have been tried under military jurisdiction.
May 12- Security forces arrest 59 Muslims for setting fire to Christian shops and homes in a dispute of the building of a Christian  church in Bamha.
2007 June - Parliamentary elections. Governing National Democratic Party wins most votes as police bar voters from polling stations amid allegations of fraud.

2007 October - Independent, opposition newspapers protest against "government harassment" after seven journalists are imprisoned and an editor is put on trial.
-Dustur newspaper editor Ibrahim Eissa sentenced to six months in jail for reporting rumours about President Mubarak's health. Rights groups demand change to law on reporting "false information".

Mubarak Annoints his Son.
Nov 3- Mubarak's son Gamal promoted to a key committee in a move seen to set him on the path to succession.
Dec.- Israeli defence Minister Ehud Barak visits Egypt to protest lax security on arms smuggling to Hamas in gaza.
2008- Jan- tension between EU and Egypt over EU's criticism of Egypt's record on human rights.
2008- March- as protests mount against high food prices, Mubarak complains publicly that Egypts high birth rate is draining the sgtate's budget.
April 6- shops looted andf fires set as rioters protest high food prices and stangnant salaries.


2008 April - Military courts sentence 25 leading Muslim Brotherhood members to jail terms in crackdown targeting the organisation's funding. More than 800 arrested over a month. Brotherhood boycotted municipal elections after only 20 candidates allowed to stand.

Mubarak Attempts Strategic Economic Reforms.
Nov 1- Mubarak promises to press ahead with financial reforms and action against poverty.
2008 November - The governing NDP says it will privatise some state firms and distribute free shares to citizens. State will retain majority stakes in strategically important assets such as iron, steel, transport and tourism.
-Security forces redeploy in Sinai after clashes over smuggling into Gaza Strip with local Bedouin left several tribesmen dead.
2009 February - Leading opposition figure Ayman Nour freed after serving three years of five-year sentence on forgery charges that he said were politically motivated.
-Bomb attack in popular tourist area of Cairo kills a French student and injures 24 other people. Authorities arrest three suspects, say small Islamist cell thought to be responsible.

Egypt Remains close to Sudan`s Bashir despite Darfur.
March 25- Egypt welcomes Sudan's Al Bashir despite international censure of Bashir for his brutal policies in darfur.
April 4-6th- demonstrators from Islamist and pro-democracy groups in nation-wide protests arrested by police.
2009 April - Egyptian authorities say they arrested 49 people the previous year on suspicion of helping Hezbollah send money and aid to Hamas in Gaza.
2009 May - Egyptian police clash with Coptic Christian pig farmers trying to stop their animals being taken away for slaughter as a precaution against swine flu.
Interior Ministry says seven people with suspected links to al-Qaeda arrested in connection with Cairo bomb attack which killed a French student in February.

Obama`s Cairo Speech.
2009 June - US President Barack Obama makes key speech in Cairo calling for a new beginning between the United States and the Muslim world.
-75 people sentenced to death in June- a record for one month- compared to 86 for all of 2008.

2009 July - Egyptian officials say 25 militants suspected of having al-Qaeda links were arrested for plotting attacks on ships in the Suez Canal.
2009 August - Twenty-six members of an alleged cell of the Lebanese militant group Hezbollah go on trial in Cairo on charges of plotting attacks in Egypt and helping to send weapons to Hamas in Gaza.
Oct 9- Egypt`s Grand Mufti of Sunni Islam bans veils from Egypt`s main Sunni relgious university- Al Azar.
2009 November - Row between Egypt and Algeria following violence at football matches.
2009 December - Foreign activists protest in Cairo against Egypt's refusal to let aid convoys into Gaza.
2010 January - Coptic Christians clash with police at a massive funeral after an apparently sectarian shooting outside a church in which 3 gunmen killed 6 Christian worshipers on Jan 6, the Coptic New Years Eve.
Jan. 16- Muslim Brotherhood`s new leader is appointed- Mohammed Badie, from a the Brotherhood`s conservative wing.

ElBaradei Returns to Egypt; forms Opposition Coalition.
2010 February - Former UN nuclear chief Mohammed ElBaradei returns to Egypt and, together with opposition figures and activists, forms a coalition for political change. ElBaradei says he might run in presidential election scheduled for 2011.
March 2- ElBaradei calls for constitutional changes.
2010 March - President Mubarak undergoes gall-bladder surgery in Germany, returning to Egypt three weeks later.
April 2-6- at a public gathering Elbaradei calls for change in defiance of an emergency decree banning gatherings opposed to the government; police then crack drown on Baradei supporters.
April 12- Elbaradei calls for  boycott of upcoming elections.
May 11- Egypt calls for a 2-year extension of its emergency law.
June 13, 20, 25- Police brutally repress opposition demonstrations which killed a man, culminating a massive June 25th protest led by ElBaradei.
2010 June - Muslim Brotherhood fails to win any seats in elections to the Shura consultative upper house of parliament; alleges vote was rigged. Vote suffers from boycott and apathy as ruling party wins massive `majority`.

Crackdown ahead of November Elections
Oct 5, 12- journalists and the Muslim Brotherhood accuse the government lof cracking down ahead of parliamentary elections.
Oct 13- government tightens controls over television  broadcasting.
2010 November - Coptic Christians clash with police in Giza over construction of church.
-parliamentary polls, followed by protests against alleged vote rigging. Muslim Brotherhood fails to win a single seat, though it held a fifth of the places in the last parliament.
2011 January - 21 killed in bomb at church in Alexandria where Christians had gathered to mark the New Year.

Huge Anti-Mubarak Demonstrations inspired by Tunisian Revolt.

Jan 24-30- massive demomstrations in Cairo and all over Egypt set off by the revolution in Tunisia. The police pull back and army intervention is minimal as millions call for Mubarak`s resignation. ElBaradei is put forward as interim leader of an entirely new and democratic government.
Feb. 2 Wafd and other opposition parties agree to deal with government to manage peaceful transtion to a new regime. 
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