Sonallah Ibrahim: 1970 (The Last Days)

The latest addition to my website is Sonallah Ibrahim‘s 1970 (The Last Days).Tthe book tells of the last few months of the life of Egyptian president Gamal Abdel Nasser. While the focus is on that period when Egypt is involved in the War of Attrition with Israel and the Jordanian Civil War is taking place, the book recounts Nasser’s early life, including his rise to power and his achievements as president as well as more recent events, particularly the ongoing war with Israel. Ibrahim was imprisoned by Nasser when he cracked down on the Communists so we would expect him to be bitter. However, while he does point out some of Nasser’s failings, on the whole he does seem to share the general view in the Arab world (but, of course, not in the West) that Nasser was a great leader. Nasser died in 1970 of a heart attack – he had various heart problems – and we follow his thoughts and actions till his death and the immediate aftermath. It is fascinating account of a man whom most Westerners probably know little about and who was perhaps admired and disliked in equal measure.

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