Gamal Abdel Nassar

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Political Instability rocks the Middle East

Before Mubarak there was Sadat.  Before Sadat there was Nassar. He was one of the leaders of the Egyptian Revolution of 1952 that overthrew the monarchy, and Nasar became the republics second president in 1956.  He quickly became on of the major players in the Arab world.  He is remembered for nationalizing the Suez Canal, building the Aswan high dam, and founding the short-lived United Arab Republic (1958 – 1961) linking Egypt and Syria.  Through much of the 1960s, his influence continued to grow throughout the Middle East until disastrous defeat in the Six Day War with Israel in 1967.  After loosing control of the Suez Canal to Israel, his star began to decline and he aligned himself with Soviet interests in the Cold War.  He died of a heart attack in 1970 and was succeeded by Vice President Anwar Sadat.  Sadat, who made peace with Israel in 1978, Sadat was assassinated by Egyptian military in 1981 when Vice President Mubarak became President.

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