Egyptian Chronicles: 100 years on the death of Mustafa Kamel

Wednesday, February 13, 2008

100 years on the death of Mustafa Kamel

"If I were not an Egyptian , I would like to be an Egyptian"

I feel so ashamed of myself that I forgot this anniversary , but today it marks 100 years on the death of the man who revived the patriot movement in Egypt in the 20th century , Mustafa Pasha Kamel !!

It is a shame to know only from the TV sorry from exactly one program "10 PM" , I read nothing about it in the newspapers or any publications today I do not know why.

100 years on the death of Mustafa Kamel in 1908 , year 1908 saw many things , the saddest and shocking one was the death of the young leader who revived a giant in the soul of the Egyptian people called "Patriotism".

I do not know from where shall I start my talk about this fantastic man whom we now need more than in the past , with my all respect sometimes I feel that we are in deep trouble than in 1908 , yes there was an occupation , yes there was a corrupted regime , yes there was ignorance and poverty , but for God Sake I know that Mustafa Pasha Kamel would kill himself if he saw what Egypt is suffering now while the independence .

Mustafa Pasha died in his youth he did not reach his 35th year when he died from illness , he was too fragile , his body was too weak to bear all the activity that he was doing for the sake of Egypt not for the sake of rule which some people in their 40s dying for right now.

Mustafa Pasha whom unfortunately the new generations ignore about him thanks to deliberate policies to create generations without role model inspired all our great leaders who came after him including Mohammed Pasha Farid ,Saad Pasha Zaglol ,Mohamed Pasha Mahmoud even non Egyptians were inspired with,this young man including famous Irish leaders .he inspired them all for his passion to his country and his people , his on going quest for freedom and independence , to save Egypt and return back her glory.

Mustafa Pasha established the National Party in 1907 "which was stolen later by the regime in 1970s , using a great name for a corrupted party" , he established along with the great class of patriot business men in Egypt night schools for workers to educate the working class , the socialists would respect the Pasha despite being a conservative Muslim , you will be surprised to know that the Pasha did not like the Kassem Amin's book "The liberation of women" yet I do not think him radical on the contrary he was acting according to the traditions and customs of his time ,yes he wanted the Turkish Empire to be revived and his visit to Sultan Abd El-Hamid in order to restore the Turkish role in Egypt but we should not forget that just like today Mustafa Kamel tried to promote the Egyptian issue world wide especially in France depending on the rivalry status between London and Paris unfortunately sooner he realized that he could not depend on the west despite the fact that the civil society in France ,Europe and even in England began to hear for that Egyptian young man , UK and France made a truce , they would not interfere in each other colonies ,long live imperialism as long as it is shared equally , the young man understood the game of interest and thus he decided to focus his effort to Turkey to the Othman Empire , the Islamic Caliphate, unfortunately the Othman Empire was falling by its turn, with all these disappointments he said his historical words :

No despair with Life and No life with despair

You know by the standards of the regime in Egypt today Kamel was a traitor for asking help abroad"Just a random thought" !!

Mustafa Kamel established several schools to educate Egyptian children , he believed that education was very important , the last thing he made in his life was working on establishing the Egyptian National university which was opened in the same year 1908 "Cairo University", he worked on collecting donations unfortunately he did not see it open .

He was a great speaker and a journalist who inspired people with his fluency in words whether in Arabic or French , He published a Daily newspaper under the name of "Al-Liwa" which means "The Flag" , this newspaper used to be published in Arabic ,French and English , it was his main forum to spread his ideas and believes ,believe it or not despite the high illiteracy rate in Egypt then that newspaper was a best selling one. He also inaugurated the teachers club in 1907which sooner would change its name to become the famous "Ahli Club" -National club.

Mustafa Kamel by the way once said a speech in Alexandria in Zazinia club , this speech included a wonderful poem he wrote under the title "Biladi Biladi" ,from the audience who were lucky enough to hear it a little child who was studying in Al Azhar to become a Sheikh from Alexandria called "Siad Darwish" who learnt the words by heart , wrote down in his copy book as soon as possible,later he would compose song for the wonderful lyrics , decades afterwards it became the national anthem of Egypt

The turning point of Mustafa Pasha Kamel was the incident of Donshawy in 1906 , where he defended our peasants rights all over Europe even in UK itself , he wrote a firing letter to Le Figaro concerning the terrible incident . His campaign succeeded to force the UK to change its commissioner in Egypt awful Lord Cromer

I was so honoured to know My mother's grand father had attended the funeral of this great man, in fact he walked in it , it was the greatest ever ,he swore May Allah bless his soul that the number of people who walked in his funeral were millions who came across the country immediately as soon as they knew despite the lack of means of communication , millions all over Cairo it was from the greatest scenes and funerals Egypt had seen. There was no a socialist union which would organize a huge funeral with armies ,flowers and TV . Here is a very rare shot to the funeral.

The Funeral of Mustafa Pasha Kamel

People were then really sad from their hearts , there was no external influence , they knew that he was original.

Mustafa Pasha is buried now in the same tomb with Saad Pasha , no is visiting them even the President , already from here I demand that the President must put flowers on their tombs just like Presidents Sadat and Nasser in the 6th October. There is Museum that no one visits even the school where they are showing his belongings, already I do not know its address !!

Sometimes as I hinted I feel it is deliberate act by the regime to make us forget these great icons because they consider them rebels with dangerous effect on the minds of the people.

In 1960s , the Cinema official corporation produced a film about his life starring Magda and one time actor originally journalist Anwar Ahmed who was chosen based on the similarity in the look , still his performance was fantastic , I saw the film from 5 years ago and it made me miss the school next day , but I do not regret it :)

May Allah bless the soul of Mustafa Pasha Kamel , he died and he was only 34 years old yet he did things 79 years man did not do , he revived a whole nation from the ashes ,where as others are fond of killing the people over and over in order to rule.

Please read Fataha on the soul of a real Egyptian leader .

Sources :

Dr.Ahmed Kamel Blog

L' Egypte d' antan

Share :


  1. N. American Princess2/13/2008 01:25:00 AM

    Excellent job of providing a good historical review. I always wondered what he was famous for. And now I know. He did accomplish a lot in such a short time. I smiled when I read the 79 years comparison. You're so funny..:0)

    I have a feeling a lot of modern(and by modern i mean pre-revolution Egyptian history) isn't being taught as frequently as it should in public or private schools.

    Hmmm. Wonder why! LOL.

  2. @n.american princess , do not mention it , well concerning History it is not about the Pre-revolution even now the revolution history is taught so carelessly
    Believe or not History is very hated subject in Egypt due to the way they are teaching the children as I said it is made deliberately so people will not think about the great men and be inspired
    the regime does not want people to know about the democratic life pre-1952 so they will not demand something similiar
    the regime does not want the people to know the socialist achievements achieved in the Nasserite era from social balance so the people will not ask for something similar
    All dictatorships hide the the origin history of the countries and write the one that suite them
    About Mustafa Kamel ,the most important thing that he reminded the Egyptians with someone called Egypt

  3. I am a teacher in an International School, and Moustafa Kamel is our great Egyptian figure of the month. Thank you for the thorough details about his life. Other websites don't mention anything about his relationship to the Cairo University that I actually started doubting there was any.Thanks again.

    1. The film "Mustafa Kamel" was filmed & produced in 1951 (If my memory serves me right) directed by Ahmed Badrakhan , the cast Anwar Ahmad, Amina Rezk. Mahmoud el Miliky and the great Hussein Riad but it was banned during Farouk's reign. It was released in 1952/1953. It was in our history book: the verse Biladi, Biladi and an excerpt from one of his speeches in our mahfouzat book.

      There is a square in central Cairo where his statue stands and you can read the inscription on it: In Arabic “ No despair with Life and No life with despair”
      To watch the entire movie click on the link;_ylt=Akxz1HyTYrn1awBwfmDZAzkt17V_?p=Mustafa+Kamel+flm+&toggle=1&cop=mss&ei=UTF-8&fr=yfp-t-715

  4. Do not mention it ,I am glad that I helped you,it is true that few websites speak about Kamel in English.

  5. wow these are a great way to talk about mustafa kamel i am from the national empire marine center

  6. Hallo, i am from Turkey, i think my grand grandfather is Mustafa Kamil Pasha, because my grandmom says that her grandfather is Pasha who went for an education to Egypt. Also my grandfateher is dead, but his name was Kamil too. My question is, is there a tradition in Egytp like putting the same name to sons of the fathers. I mean the same name father and son? Than you for you information.

  7. Now , the patriot is SISI, and Laila Elwaie

  8. Hello I am a History A level student (course of first year of university) and I found your opinion on Mustafa Kamel very interesting. I am working on my coursework which regards the consequences of the British occupation of Egypt in 1882 and I would like to quote you as a source in my research. If it is okay with you.


Thank You for your comment
Please keep it civilized here , I will not tolerate any insult in my blog or any racist or hateful comment
The Comments in this blog with exclusion of the blog's owner do not represent the views of the blog's owner

By Year , By Month