Sunday, October 14, 2007

Cover boy

I love browsing in the Time Magazine archive especially their covers , the use of illustration since year 1923 ,the first edition of the magazine in the States is remarkable

And after browsing and searching through the various editions I found out the Egyptian Kings and Presidents had their significant share of appearing on the Cover of the famous international magazine more than one time

Reading through the rich archive of the time is one hell of experience ,you will learn a lot about the meaning of international politics and alliance ,how the shift in the American policies can affect the way the media's coverage to international events and the examples are many

I started my journey with the Time Archives when I was making  my posts regarding the 1956 war in an attempt to cover the story from all angles and despite I found that they were biased covering only the western point view yet it was a great experience , especially that in Egypt we are suffering from the lack of historical records , the online archives of the newspapers in Egypt are not for free and they only go back to the 1990s so to find this huge archive that goes back to 123 was a remarkable treasure

Anyhow back to what I discover in my research ,as I said before the journey of the Egyptian kings and presidents as cover boys of the time since 1923 , oh yes the first year of the time Magazine

The journey started in 1923 ,in the issue no.9 that dated to April 28th  of 1923 , of course anyone who knows the history of Egypt King Fouad I on the cover of the timewell , you will immediately that it was about the constitution of 1923 in Egypt which was the cover story

King Fouad appeared on the cover of the magazine as an illustration , already illustrations are used extensively on the cover of the Time for a long time till and many famous illustrators by the way were famous for their drawings in the Time

King Fouad I was the first Egyptian King to appear on the cover of the time ,it was his first and last time .The illustrator who had drawn his portrait on the cover was Gordon Stevenson

His son King Farouk was the second Egyptian King to appear on the cover of the magazine.He appeared twice ,once when he took the rule of Egypt after his father ,when he was a promising young man in year 1937 surrounded by the love of the people and when he began his journey to the downfall of his era 

The first time was on August 09, 1937 , this time it was not an illustration but a photo for him , he was the cover story of that volume ,you feel that there was an underestimation for him as a King Farouk on the cover of the time for the first timeyoung king if you read the title of the report "Boy Scout into Field Marshal" but it was expected , already Farouk became a King in a very early age even before the legal age , he became a King in the age of 18 where as they should have waited till he reached 21 years old ,at least he would have finished his education , still there was an excuse for that thanks to the conspiracies of old Prince Mohamed Ali ,the second to the throne who wanted to rule so much that he made an alliance with the British Commissioner in Egypt. In 1937 the politicians of the Palace like Ali Pasha Maher and Ahmed Pasha Hasseinein made arrangements with all the parties in Egypt including the ruling party then El-Wafad which had a long rivalry with King Fouad I  to support the new young king for the Sake of the nation and that proved an excellent choice then

The Second time was on September 10,1951 , an illustration for his chubby face which would his trade mark all over the world afterwards , that date came after the huge fire of Cairo that was King Farouk on the cover of the time for the second timefollowed with unstable time in Egypt, the time of the too successive unpopular cabinets.It was a strange thing that the King left Egypt during all terrible time and headed to Europe and so the cover story was about the Scout boy who became the locomotive , that was the beginning of the ending for Farouk's reign ,the lazy fat play boy started not in Egypt but in the west . I believe King Farouk thanks to the conspiracies of the parties with the British Commissioner and beginning under attack from the irresponsible behavior of his family was acting in a suicidal way , he did not care anymore , he did not give a damn , he just could not fight anymore and the signature on the order to abdicate and proclaim his son King Ahmed Fouad II ,and that was the last time Farouk was on the cover of the magazine , of course it would not be the last time to mention in the news of the magazine , his name was unfortunately was mentioned in a way not less bad then the way it was mentioned in Egypt back , a lazy fat playboy ex-king in exile

Farouk had gone and a new era came : The Free Officers

The free officers had their great share in the time after they were the new rulers with new era , the republic era

The First one of them was the first president of Egypt General Mohamed Naguib in an illustration ,which I believe was very meaningful , the face of Naguib in the background and the foreground was the President Mohamed Naguib on the cover of the Timelandmarks of Egypt , the Citadel,the sphinx and the Nile. Mohamed Naguib was a very promising face ,on the cover you will find the Time had described him as "Egypt's Strong Man Naguib" and under the description you will find his quote "We have enough from corruption" ,during that time the west and the United States had hopes in the their new allies in Cairo .Dated September 08, 1952 just months after the coup in July and before the declaration of the Republic in 1953 The Cover story  was about that  Good man the General who led a coup to end the rule one of the oldest monarchies in the Middle east and sure he was a good and great man. That was the first and the last time for him , he was like King Fouad I and he was not president yet when he appeared on the cover the Time. The cartoonist who had drawn that cover was Ernest Hamlin Baker


  1. Looking back at documented Egyptian history during 1951 in Suez and the Cairo fire (Jan 16 1951) is bound to make one very angry of the amount of lies painting Farouk as irresponsible King looking only for his own pleasure. Yes he was unfairly placed in this position as the King boy at a very young age, in a country colonized by the Superpower of its time, one may wonder however at the courage he exercised in colliding with the British authority during the Ismalia incident, driving over 1000 of British families to leave the area. He wasn’t protected or motivated by another competing superpower (like Nasser and the Soviet Union), he was rather trying to deal with the mess in the country coming from various angles, losses at 1948 war, inside political conflicts, British arrogance and believe it or not there were some communist cells also. He even refused to accept Naguib’s submitted resignation indicating his positive assessment of such an honest man. Check this link for BBC around that time

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  3. Ohiogoaimus, No doubt Farouk's reputation and image was unjustly and unduely downgraded by the revolution. Yet, when the Egyptian revolution is placed in a comparaive perspective, one can't help leaping into the concluson that Egyptian revolution was quite fair, mind you care running over the events of:

    1) English revolution

    2)French revolution

    3)Russian revolution

    4)Argentenian revolution

  4. Agreed; he was mishandled by some self served competing advisors. Also agreed,the so alled 'Egyptian revolution' could have been easily blended with history famously documented, revolutions had it been given the chance to follow the path drawn by Naguib. Egypt could have been ways better than the mess it (and the rest of the arab world) encountering today

  5. @Ohia unfortunately Farouk did not act as responsible man in public, people especially from abroad "this was from the Time" judged him on his acts like any person does, the one who did not know Farouk personally or familiar with his decisions before will conclude that he was irresponsible regardless of the circusmtances that around him
    Ohio Farouk was speeding in his downfall thanks to the fact that he could not take it anymore as far as I see it , those who helped him were not there anymore Hassanein or Ali Maher , and unfortunately they did not prepare him to take responsbility either ,and the result he was acting in the end of his era in a way that did not suite the situation , let's be unbiased here I love Farouk and I feel that he was a victim holding a responsbility that was more than his capabilities and he knew and that's why he said his famous words to Naguib "I wish that you succeed in what I fail"
    and yes Naguib was the best , if he had ruled in the way he wanted , the Constitutional way and the army returned back to where it came , we would have been like Japan , not only us but also Sudan ,check my posts about that man

    with my all respect yes the Egyptian revolution was not bloody as the revolutions you mentioned , but what it did from defaming and destroying the history of not only Mohamed Ali dynasty but the liberal history of Egypt in a way that affected our present and certainty our future not less than those revolutions and here i am talking about the legacy of Nasser not the bright revolution 6 prinicpals that were never achieved at all , all revolutions got brights princpals but the impact is the measure , do not forget every country is different case form place to time to people thousands in other factors if we compare between those revolutions
    already I can't compare them with the Egyptian revolution espceially the French or the russian , because actually the Egyptian revolution was a coup not a huge public reaction like the French or a radical ideological social political revolution like in Russia

  6. You nailed the key point Zeinobia it was a coup not a revolution. Let us examine Egypt since the late 19th century and up to 1948 (post WWII). Egypt was a land where peoples immigrated to out of fear and disappointment with their potentials in their own countries, feel of danger for their own lives, and some for the love of it. Best examples are Greek community, Armenian community, ‘Shawam’(Syrian/Lebanese) community, and yes even Jewish community. They found peace, love and prosperity in Egypt. They didn’t take what was assigned normally to Egyptian available skills. One can only site some examples like restaurant/food (Greek), Gold & Jewelry crafting and Photography (Armenian), Commerce (Jewish), Clothing and entertainment (Syrian/Lebanese). In a typical apartment building in Cairo you normally find some of the mix with Egyptian (Muslims and Christian Copts), at each community religious or traditional festivities there were frequent exchange of traditional food and sweets, even during the hard time of WWII in Europe. There was no volume of resentment to drive people to hate and demands typically found in a revolution (like the French and Russians). In fact Egypt till the late 1940s played the role Canada, US and Australia are playing today. On the negative side literacy rate was low (some claims about 10%), however one need to analyze was that all of it system’s errors or big part due to the farmers culture demanding labor help from family hands (children) in lieu of sending them to school?. BTW, today literacy rate in Egypt is 55.6% (you do the analysis..??). I am not saying everything was wonderful, but the balance sheet was not in favor of a revolution per say.

  7. People, the revolution came to an end in 1967!!!!!

    It was not a couprt it was a revolution, simply because the radical change it caused in the power structures not only in Eypt, but also in the entire Arab world or even the world.

    Also, because the tens of millions of Egyptians who supported the revolution by all their hearts, as their lives was totally changed for the better by the revolution. Uptill now millions consider themselves the children of the revolution.

    By the way check Naser's funeral, the millions who used to come out SPONTANIOUSLY TO SUPPORT NASSER WHENEVR HE M,ADE A SPEECH

  8. Canada, Australia, U.S!!! That can't be Egypt is only for Egyptians and Arabs! Foreigners except jews are still very welcome. Mainly most of the foreigners back then were servants (Greeks), dancers and entertainers( Armenians). Lebanese and Syrians are not foreigners they Arabs like us so it is their country.

    Besides, some of them played a treacherous role during the war England, France and Israel launched aginst Egypt in 1956, so it was very natural to deport those who collaborated . The loyal ones are more than welcome on top of our heads. But they have to prove their loyality to the Arab republic. As far as I know, Greeks for example refused to join the army!!!! so they left

  9. Great Effort Z., please keep browsing...

    and i am pitiful that every time some one try to browse the egyptian pre-1952 history, it drags such Revolusion vs Reaction comments!!!

  10. Millions Egyptians going on the street post Nasser speeches and after his death is worst Egyptian movie production one can ever fathom. Do you really believe that? Ask around. How school kids were given the nudge to leave schools to go on the street shouting glory to Nasser? How employees at government offices were offered the day off to do the same. Who wouldn’t accept over three days off at his funeral? Talking about Arab revolution; like sending Egyptian army to Yemen? Shouting street language insult at King Hussein? Ask yourself how long did unity with Syria lasted??!! How much fear did he promote in non-compliant Arabic countries considering the Russian supplying him with weapons and spying info from these countries? He was the definition of a puppet in the hand of the Soviet Union. To give you an example, when the American government at the time realized that they weren’t clear or logical enough about turning the Aswan dam after realizing that the Soviet Union used it to higher the Egyptian puppet they offered him a generous support about building a dual nature nuclear power plant (electric energy production and desalination of the sea water for agriculture). The Soviet Union at the time programmed him to turn it down at the last minute by refusing to sign the IAEA protocol (now it is run by an Egyptian noble peace price winner?!!). He destroyed the farming industry, he nationalized technical business and put army officers to run them, and when his hot air speeches came to the test in 1967 war he claimed ignorance of the status of the Egyptian army. At least Farouk (as Zeinobia mentioned) came to realize things are above his head and wished Naguib to do better. If Egyptian continue to buy hot air words from so called leaders, sorry to say it; they deserve what the got.

  11. @aardvark, I guess the comments here are the best proof of what you are saying ,you can't have a peaceful discussion of any period in the history of Egypt without having arrguments like that

    @Ohio ,that is what we should do with every era to analysis it in order to find the pros and cons of it taking consideration the international and internal circumstance of each era so we can judge it fairly away from emition
    in 1940s the rich fabric of the Egyptian society was advantage but on the other hand the economy was under a foreign control , the Egyptians ,the education , the army , the terrible weak army , unfortunately in that period there was a corruption from the parties "Zeinab El-Wakeel and Fouad Serg El-Din , despite the claims of the TV Series" from the entrouage of the king , do not tell me that having friends from Italian workers not even business men or educated did not affect the King nor the fact that he did not complete his education especially the military education
    by the way Ohio those Millions you saw in the funeral were not only nudged but also from their hearts , Nasser had a charming charsmatic personality , you can't deny , truth is truth

    @Hajaj, I agree with the revolution came to an end in 1967 , in fact may be earlier when it abondened its princple having a healthy democratic life ,Egypt is for the people who love it whether Arabs or non Arabs , another with my all respect I won't accept any insult or underestimation to the Greek or the Armanian Communities in Egypt especially those two , read the history of Greek Community and you will know how much help the Greeks gave to Egypt do you know that Greek guides came and helped the Egyptians , another thing the Egyptian Jews lived in Egypt since their return of Exodus as long as they were faithful to Egypt they will consider Egyptians
    another thing I do not look through that narrow perspective Egypt for the Arabs , for God Sake what about the Non Arab Muslims who built that Country


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