Mustafa Kamil


The son of an Egyptian army officer, Kamil was trained as a lawyer at the French law school in Cairo and the Law Faculty at the University of Toulouse in France. As a passionate nationalist, he supported Egypt's khedive, Abbas Hilmi II, who had initially been wary of British dominance Egypt and Sudan. He called on Khedive Abbas to grant constitutional government to his subjects but Abbas had grown more dependent upon the British.

Consequently, in 1900 Kamil founded the newspaper Al-Liwa' ("The Standard") as a platform for nationalist views. He also founded a boys' school open to Egyptian Muslims, Christians, and Jews. His cause was strengthened by the Dinshaway Incident in June 1906 in which four peasants were hastily tried and hanged for having assaulted uniformed British officers who were shooting pigeons in their village.

He was supported strongly by Mohammad Farid, a prominent member of Egypt and Sudan's aristocracy. With Farid's assistance, Kamil founded the National Party in December 1907, two months before his death. His funeral was the occasion for a massive demonstration of popular grief. Farid, who spent his last penny supporting the country's national liberation movement, became the leader of the National Party after Kamil's death.

Image courtesy of jmramey


The Road to Suez




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