A PIONEER OF EGYPTIAN DIPLOMACY 1923-1947
Certain events that occurred in Egypt between 1936 and 1938 must have given many Egyptians pause for thought. Coloured shirts, worn like banners, had appeared on the streets of Europe for several years by then; Moussa had already encountered the brown shirts of Germany (the Nazis) and the black shirts of Italy (the fascists) when posted in Berlin and Rome. In the early 1930s Egypt also adopted the fashion for coloured shirts. It should nevertheless be emphasised that the violence they incited was nothing in comparison to what occurred in Europe. A people’s movement with an unbridled passion for nationalism, “Young Egypt” (Misr Al-Fatat) founded in 1933 by an inspiring orator, Ahmed Hussein, chose a green shirt as the uniform for its paramilitary wing. Not wishing to be outdone, the youth section of the Wafd adopted blue shirts. To the blue shirts, the green shirt was a provocative symbol of fascism, and scuffles soon broke out. Confronted with such brutality, the Wafd party leaders were obliged to call their young followers to order, reminding them that the party’s watchword was democracy…
Friendship with the Emperor (Haile Selassie)
To see the two of them together, there was little similarity between the Emperor and my father. One was of small build, the other tall and stockily built. Haile Selassie had a thick curly beard, whereas Farag Mikhaïl Moussa sported the squarely-trimmed moustache that was fashionable at the time. What brought the two men together was, on one hand, the Christian faith and, on the other hand, a shared interest in the modern world. They were also from the same generation. Better still, they were born only three weeks apart under the same sign of the zodiac, Leo...
Available April 2017.
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