Today on the Martyr day in Egypt we should all not only the minister of defense put a red rose on the tombs of our heroes who gave their lives to this nation and its people
insh Allah every year I will dedicate a virtual red rose in my blog to one of these heroes especially those ones whom we do not know much about as a Young generation.
There were many names in my mind today but I though as we had last week the 50th anniversary of the UAR ; when Egypt and Syria became one country ,we should dedicate this year's Egyptian Red Rose to some Syrian Young man who gave his life for this country , helping not only to conquer a terrible enemy or terrible enemies in his case , but also to become a legend and to unify the feelings of two people.
This young man and what he had done made the Syrians ready to accept the Union idea.
This young man was Jules Jamal.
Jules Youssef Jamal was born in Syria in Latakia for a Christian Orthodox family in 1939, his father was a vet. and famous for joining the resistance against the French occupation , his father was also famous for knowing the Holy Quran by heart.Jules was the eldest of offspring , Jules siblings were Daed ,Yelina and Adel . All the four believed in Arab nationalism so much .
Jules was a student in the faculty of Arts when he left it in 1953 to join a military delegation made of 10 Syrian students to join the Egyptian Naval school. In May 1956 just one month before the bold declaration of president Nasser to nationalize the Suez Canal ,Jules was graduated from the school with excellence degree , he was the first on his class.
Lieutenant Jules and the rest of the Syrian delegation did not leave after the graduation because Egypt then imported modern State of the art then speedboats and the Syrian government then thought that it would be better that its officers train on it .
The training period was too long that the delegation was witness and part in the war declared by Israel , UK and France then . May be it was fate that it made that long after all , may be after all heroes are born usually in coincidence time.
Jules did not know that he would enter the history of Egypt on the 4th of November midnight when he had listened to the radio and knew that the French destroyer "Jean Bart" , the first destroyer in the world with a radar was there and coming to Port Said, this huge destroyer would have destroyed what remained from Port Said after the barbaric shelling of the British and French forces "You can check my 1956 special section to see it" , Jules immediately went to his commander late Galal El-Dousky in order to take a patrol to the area where that destroy would reach to get in to Port Said despite he could not go with that patrol because he was not Egyptian , but El-Dousky gave him a clearance to go . Jules was heading a speed boat from three Speed boats went to the unknown , they met Jean and the meeting was not that nice , it was a surprise for the French to find those Mad Egyptians in small speed boats opening their fires and torpedoes on the big Jean well they did not know there was even a Syrian young man mad enough to take his speed boat and go in to Jean herself to prevent her from shelling Port Said after the destruction of the other speed boats along with their crews . Jules in modern classification is an adventurer suicider but in fact he is a hero who gave his life for the sake of other people in other country , not even his , I do not know how much bravery and honorable it is .
See now why I gave him a virtual red rose.
Jules was engaged at that time and till now his fiancee refuses to be called by any title except Mrs. Jules in Syria
Jules had a sister "Da'ad" who was born in 1936 ,graduated from the teachers institute as an Arabic teacher in Latakia , she lived there all her life and she died last year in September after a long struggle with cancer.
Jules or Gul Jamal became a real legend , what I learnt about him from the people and from the history unfortunately is myth not the reality strangely the reality despite its simplicity is much better than fiction, this does not underestimate him on the contrary what he had done makes him deserve more , I put this fiction about him in the appreciation and love category. Anatar Ibn Shadad was a real person and surely he did not fight hundreds alone for the eyes of Abala but this does not mean that he was not a great revolutionary knight who fought racism in Pre-Islam Arabia and a great Poet whose poems till now inspire lovers and poets alike.
Jules Jamal ,the Christian Syrian became Soliman El-Halabi of the 20th Century , ironically Soliman killed a French invader on the country for this country too
The myths of Jules Jamal I am afraid were enforced when the Egyptian film "The Giant of the seas" starring Ahmed Mazhar and directed by Siad Bader was produced in 1960 , there were many historical mistakes in this film despite the fact it is among my favourite war propaganda films. They showed Gamal as a student in the fourth year in the navy despite he only joined the Egyptian in 1956 as a volunteer.
During 1960s Jules was honoured in Both Egypt and Syria and till now the Syrians consider him a great hero and surely he is , while for us the Egyptians , well he joined the long list of ignored heroes like Ahmed Abd El-Aziz and And Abd El-Monaim Riyad thanks to the official media "with my respect to their titles"
In Syria the name of Jules Jamal was called on streets and buildings , the most famous building is the Jules Gamal High School, of course in his home Governorate his name is very common and you will surprise to find there are children and men who are called after even the Muslims
In Egypt Jules has a famous street in Dokki district in Giza with his name , the old people living there knew who was that young man , the younger generation unfortunately does not know.
Jules Jamal will always be remembered as a symbol for sacrifice , his name is not written in his country's history but the history of Egypt , the oldest and greatest history in the World . For me he is not a Syrian only but an Egyptian also , this man is more Egyptian than some who were born in Egypt for Egyptian parents but did nothing for this nation except destroying it
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