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Oct 02, 2016
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Advocates of Pharaonic Identity Clash with Supporter of Pan-Arabism, State: Israel Our Historical Enemy, Betrayed the Pharaohs

#5728 | 06:13

A TV debate, broadcast by the Egyptian LTC TV channel on October 2, pitted activist Samy Harak, who advocates a return to Pharaonic identity, against journalist Nur-Al-Huda Zaki, who made the claim for pan-Arabism. Harak complained about "the dissolution of our identity over the past sixty years," which began with the "delusional ideology" of pan-Arabism. Nur Al-Huda Zaki countered that "this whole thing is a fantasy" and said that pan-Arabism is "the only ideology suitable for this society" because "we are living in a world that does not recognize small entities." Researcher Azza Suleiman joined in the debate, saying that consecutive occupations "broke our backs" and added that the "treasure" of the pharaonic civilization "is the only thing that gives Egypt value." Harak stated that Israel is "our historical enemy," which betrayed the pharaohs. "Putting Israel aside," he said, "our relations with non-hostile countries are governed by interests."

Host: "Recently, on the Internet, on Facebook, and in social media, there have been calls to return to pharaonic identity.


"After thousands of years, after Islam entered Egypt, and after all the monarchies and the republics, this is what we need... What is the justification for this call now?"

Samy Harak: "We need it because our identity has been erased. It has been dissolved, watered down. Dissolution of identity leads to dissolution of loyalty. Young people want to leave the country, and not just for economic reasons. Nobody has a passion for this country.


"The dissolution of our identity over the past sixty years began with a delusional ideology called pan-Arabism."

Host: "A delusional ideology called pan-Arabism, you say..."

Samy Harak: "It was an illusion, which has done more harm than good to Egypt and the Arabs. The people who promoted it may have had good intentions, knowing that this ideology could be powerful and unite the people, but what it did, in fact, was erase the national identity of every group of people in the region, without offering an alternative. This brought about setbacks, defeats, blows, and dispersion, which led us to our current state. I believe that we are reaping today what was sown by the pan-Arabists in Egypt."


Nur Al-Huda Zaki: "To be honest, I feel this whole thing is a fantasy. These are real people, not robots."

Samy Harak: "Don't be mad at me..."

Nur Al-Huda Zaki: "I feel that it's more a fantasy than a real thing, because it has no grip in reality. The reality is that this country had a pharaonic civilization, and it underwent raids by civilizations from all corners of the world. Islam entered this country. Christianity was in this country. And this country is an Arab country.


"We are living in a world that does not recognize small entities. It recognizes only large entities, represented by groups, countries, or alliances. Even America - when it wants to strike, it does not do so alone, although it does not need anyone...


"The philosophy of pan-Arabism, which was manifest in the United Arab Republic, is the only ideology suitable for this society. When you..."

Azza Suleiman: "Where is this 'unity'?"

Nur Al-Huda Zaki: "If you form a group of states that have common denominators, you can take on the world."

Azza Suleiman: "Give us an example from our current situation, from the war that is raging in the Middle East. Please tell us where this Arab nation is..."


Host: "Why are you against this call, if it could restore the glory of the ancient Egyptians?"

Nur Al-Huda Zaki: "What glory?"

Host: "You have the pharaonic dynasties - the 18th Dynasty, for example. You have Ramesses II and the battle of Kadesh. You have the 4th Dynasty and the builders of the pyramids..."

Nur Al-Huda Zaki: "So should I build a pyramid now? Or some statues? Or what? What pharaonic glory are you talking about?"


Samy Harak: "According to the constitution, Arabic is our official language. Fine. But in real life, Arabic is the religious (Islamic) language. The popular language used by Egyptians has nothing to do with Arabic. The language that we use in the street and that we are talking right now evolved from the Egyptian language."


Azza Suleiman: "We hold a treasure - a treasure! - called the Egyptian civilization, but it is covered by a bit of soil. For 1,600 years, we've been under consecutive occupations that broke our backs. Those who occupied us... Like the (Greek poet) Simonides said: 'We defeated them not when we conquered them, but when we made them forget their history.' They have made us believe that under this soil lies something bad - beware of the bad pharaohs! - even though this treasure is the only thing that gives Egypt value."


Host: "Do you want another ID card, along with the current one?"

Samy Harak: "No, I'm talking about the same ID card."

Host: "Do you want to change something in it?"

Samy Harak: "Yes."

Host: "What would you change?"

Samy Harak: "I would like to remove the word 'Arab' (from 'Arab Republic of Egypt')."

Host: "What would you write instead?"

Samy Harak: "Egypt'. That's it. That was always its name. It became 'Arab Republic of Egypt' only in the days of Abdel Nasser.


"Cooperation with our neighbors is governed by interests, but Israel is a special case, because it is our historical enemy, from the days of Thutmose and the multiple betrayals of Ramesses. Shoshenq went there and destroyed what they called 'Solomon's Temple,' but was, in fact, an Egyptian temple. And so on and so forth. This goes way back. Besides, they plundered our land only recently. In every home there is a martyr. What are we supposed to do? With whom are we supposed to make peace and normalize relations? This is a special case. But putting Israel aside, our relations with non-hostile countries are governed by interests. We can strike alliances with them."

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