September 18, 2021

National Youth Film Festival

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The map of Egyptian politics after the 1919 revolution

Over the course of three years since the 1919 revolution until 1922, and despite the popular and political rigidity, which forced the Milner Commission to return to Britain after only three months of starting its mission in Egypt, even Lord Milner himself recommended the British government to lift the protection of Egypt; Because the Egyptians will not accept otherwise, except that this popular and political rigidity did not lead, as expected, to more political cohesion, but it did lead to a policy of division and division, especially within the most prominent group in the country at this time, namely the Wafd group!
Adly was always inclined to be flexible in negotiating with the British, and he often persuaded Saad Zaghloul to negotiate with the Milner Commission and show some flexibility. It is true that Adly insisted in the end on the abolition of the British protection against Egypt, but he saw that the way towards the abolition of protection is through flexibility with The British, although Saad had initially trusted in Adly, so that when he was entrusted with the latter to form the government, Saad called it the “government of confidence” and began to support it. However, with the passage of time, differences began to increase between Saad and Yakan, a division that did not only affect the unity of Al-Wafd, but it reached all the Egyptians, so historians mention that the country was divided at that time into Saadi and Adliya, in reference to the division between supporters of Saad and supporters of Adly Yakan.
The conflict between the two increased, especially when Yakan insisted on leading negotiations with the British in his capacity as prime minister, while Saad insisted that it is his right to lead the delegation, and thus the dispute escalated between the two, so that Saad Zaghloul threatened to withdraw confidence from the Adli government and described it as a “deterrent to the British.” Saad was attributed to saying that when Adli negotiates with the British, King George V negotiates with King George V! And even Saad’s supporters went to say that the occupation with Saad is better than independence with Adly! Despite that, Adly used to think that the threat to withdraw confidence from him would not succeed because the majority of the delegation was in his ranks and was already negotiating with the English away from Saad and his comrades, and he was helped in this by the British exiling Saad to Seychelles and then to Gibraltar after his health deteriorated!

After rounds of negotiations between Adly and Britain, the latter announced its famous statement on February 28, 1922, which stated:
1- An end to the British protectorate over Egypt and for the latter to be an independent and sovereign state.
2- The abolition of martial law imposed on Egypt in 1914.
3- Until a final agreement is reached between the Sultan of Egypt and the King of Britain, the latter’s government will keep securing its transportation in Egypt, defend Egypt against any aggression or foreign interference in its affairs, and protect foreign interests in Egypt, in addition to managing the Sudan file!
Thus, although the statement appears on the surface to be a victory for the Egyptian cause, on the ground it did not significantly change the reality of the British protection, as the latter remained the command and the ultimate in all Egypt’s internal and external affairs, so what was of the people was to continue their struggle for independence and lack of confidence in The moderate group led by Adly, even the latter fell in a resounding fall in the parliamentary elections that followed the February 28 statement. Adly and his comrades won only 6 seats out of 214 seats!
Despite this nominal independence, a number of Egyptian historians, led by Omar Abdel Aziz, believe that the statement in the end was a modest reward for the Egyptian people’s struggle over three years to obtain independence, even if it was nominal! Despite this, its negative consequences on the Egyptian political scene cannot be denied, as the statement led in the end to the division of the delegation and the emergence of a new party, the Constitutional Liberal Party, and despite the adoption of a new constitution for the country in 1923, this constitution led to the restoration of the role of the royal palace in Egypt to the forefront, which is This led to the dispersion of the efforts of Egyptian patriotism between the palace and the English, and in the end, despite all these strikes, the delegation became the dominant and dominant political party that formed the Egyptian political map from then until the end of the royal era in 1952.
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After the 1923 constitution was adopted, the map of political parties began to gradually change. The Constitutional Liberals Party appeared on the scene, which relied on a program consisting of 18 points, the most important of which was the work to uphold the independence of Egypt and end the British occupation and Egypt’s access to international recognition of its independence through its membership in the League of Nations, The party also insisted on not separating Sudan from Egypt, and emphasized the expansion of parliament at the local level, fighting illiteracy and redistributing income through reforming the tax system and encouraging Egyptian industry … etc. Despite this ambitious program, it did not get the expected popularity due to its appearance in front of the people as a party negligent about the Egyptian right in front of the British!
On the other hand, the National Party, founded by Mustafa Kamel, gradually weakened and disappeared from Egyptian political life. The party weakened after the abuse of its leadership between imprisonment, exile and death, in addition to the fact that a number of other of its leaders left the party and joined the delegation, and the party’s existence after that became a mere matter. A nominal existence.
Also, another party appeared on the Egyptian scene, the Socialist Party, which was influenced by the ideas of the international workers movement, and tried to spread socialist ideas in Egypt, calling for the development of workers financially and morally and for the establishment of a socialist democratic system that confronts capitalism and redistributes wealth in a just manner in the country. The socialist also gradually began to lose its Egyptian leaders who were preoccupied with the cause of independence and joined the delegation or the national party, so the party took over the workers’ leaders from the foreign community, specifically in Alexandria, from the Russians and Greeks, and most of them were Jews who believed in the communist movement. However, the party quickly collapsed, as some Egyptian intellectuals attacked it under the pretext that political liberation should have priority over social liberation. Also, the party was sometimes seen as the foreign party, and in the end the party itself collapsed after the conflict between its leaders erupted!
Finally, Fouad, who proclaimed himself king over Egypt, decided to restore the palace to the forefront of Egyptian political life. Its role had declined during the First World War, then its influence completely weakened after the 1919 revolution. King Fuad then established the “Union” party and included it the class of wealthy and notables. The party has allocated huge funds to control the parliament and control the legislative process, and the party succeeded, with the help of the British, in stirring up disputes between the delegation and the constitutional liberals, dispersed from the efforts of the Egyptian national work, but the party quickly declined in popularity and failed to control the parliament in the following elections, and remained One of the weakest Egyptian parties in this difficult period in the history of Egypt!