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March 31, 1993

The Chancellor's [Helmut Kohl's] Meeting with Egyptian President Hosny Mubarak in Bonn on 30 March 1993, 15.30-17.20 hours

Kohl and Mubarak discuss the recent bomb attack in Cairo and the question of the assassins. Upon Kohl's question, Mubarak rejects the idea that Libya and Gaddafi could be behind it. Rather, Mubarak suggests the changes in Gaddafi’s position and the latter's concern about fundamentalist terror in Libya. Mubarak thinks Iran was behind the terror attack in Cairo.

October 27, 2020

Interview with David Ivry

David Ivry was a Major General in the Israeli Defense Forces. He was the Israeli Ambassador to the United States, a commander of the Israeli Air Force, and director of the Israeli National Security Council. He served as the head of the Israeli delegation to ACRS.

1949

Sayed Kotb [Sayyid Qutb], 'The World is an Undutiful Boy!'

After World War II, the political, military, and economic power of the United States’ rising international empire—one working with and through other nation-states—was accompanied by “soft power,” to use a term coined later. Victorious in a global war, Americans embraced “nationalist globalism,” as John Fousek put it in To Lead the Free World: American Nationalism and the Cultural Roots of the Cold War (2000). They wished the postwar world to follow their way of life rather than that of their Cold War Soviet rivals. Vice versa, people around the world paid more attention to them. Very few swallowed Americans’ self-view hook, line, and sinker. But a good number came, adopted what seemed of use—and often did (and could) openly oppose what they disliked, as Matthew Shannon discusses in Losing Hearts and Minds: American-Iranian Relations and International Education during the Cold War (2017).

An Egyptian visitor was Sayyid Qutb (1906-1966), a Cairene inspector of public schools. Egypt’s Ministry of Education chose him to analyze US education from November 1948 to August 1950. He studied at the Wilson Teacher’s College in Washington, DC, and the Colorado State College of Education, in Greeley. He visited New York, San Francisco, Palo Alto, and San Diego. Qutb wrote about this experience—for by the mid-1940s he had become a rising author and cultural critic in Egypt. There, as Giedre Sabaseviciute has shown in “Sayyid Qutb and the crisis of culture in late 1940s Egypt” (2018), Qutb, like others of his generation, accused the cultural establishment of selling out to Western imperialism culturally and hence politically; at the time, Britain still controlled the Suez Canal, and would withdraw its last troops only in June 1956. Some young nationalist critics were leftists; others, like Qutb, had a more religious bent. (In the early 1950s Qutb would officially join the Muslim Brotherhood (MB), and later texts like Ma‘alim fi al-Tariq [Milestones (1964)] would make him the intellectual father of contemporary Islamic radicalism; Gamal Abdel Nasser’s regime imprisoned him after an MB coup attempt in 1954, until 1964, and again from 1965 to 1966, when he was executed.)

As for Qutb’s texts on America, they were much more critical than texts by earlier Arabs who had visited and studied in Western imperial countries. Thus, Rifa‘a Rafi‘ al-Tahtawi’s (1801-1873) or Taha Husayn’s (1889-1973) reflections on sojourns in France, while critical, also identified commonalities and affirmed that Egypt could use some European traits to catch up with Western imperial powers. Not so Qutb, as John Calvert’s “‘The World Is an Undutiful Boy!’: Sayyid Qutb’s American Experience” (2000) shows. In letters home and in a three-part Arabic article titled “The America That I Have Seen,” published after Qutb’s return, he described Americans as a shallow, soulless people driven by status and money: Egypt’s opposite. This was the external inter-civilizational front of a conflict whose domestic cultural front countered those who presumably served Western imperialism. Qutb’s thinking was complex, then. This was the case doubly as it embraced Islam, whose spirituality imbued Egypt’s, and as he called Egypt a civilization—nay the civilization, the world’s first. In the late 1940s, in sum, Qutb was an anti-imperialist civilizational nationalist with a religious bent, or, perhaps, an Eastern civilizationalist of Egyptian nationality and Muslim faith. This showed also in the text here: Qutb’s first one in English, printed in the Greeley College literary society magazine in 1949.

June 28, 1991

National Intelligence Daily for Friday, 28 June 1991

The CIA’s National Intelligence Daily for Friday, 28 June 1991 describes the latest developments in Yugoslavia, USSR, Algeria, Egypt and Vietnam.

December 19, 1963

Record of the Third Conversation between Premier Zhou Enlai and President Nasser

Zhou Enlai describes the state of Sino-American relations and Sino-Indian relations. Zhou and Nasser also discuss the Egyptian economy and Sino-Egyptian relations.

June 21, 1965

Minutes of the Second Meeting between Premier Zhou Enlai and President Nasser

Zhou and Nasser discuss developments in Algeria, the Second Asian-African Conference, oil in the Middle East, US foreign policy, and the economic situation in Egypt.