Egyptian President Gamal Abdel Nasser adresses the Egyptian people during a radio speech to announce free elections to elect a new Parliament and the liberalization of the regime 31 March 1968.
Gamal Abdel Nasser, the Egyptian president, addresses his countrymen during a radio speech to announce free elections to elect a new parliament and the liberalisation of the regime in March 1968.

Remembering Nasser, the godfather of Pan Arabism



It was July 23, 1959 and a group of teenagers and adults were crowding around a radio in a cafe in Sharjah. For almost four hours they sat transfixed by the words of Gamal Abdel Nasser, the godfather of Pan Arabism. The broadcast from the Sout al Arab, or Voice of Arabs, station came from a square in Cairo filled with a quarter of a million listeners.

Among those in the Egyptian capital that day were special guests from across the Arab world, including Sheikh Rashid bin Saeed, who had become Ruler of Dubai the year before. Back in Sharjah, a 15-year-old was growing into a man, his patriotic feelings growing stronger because of the charismatic leader. "His words made me feel alive," remembers Salem al Kaabi, an Emirati businessman from Sharjah. "Like we Arabs finally have a voice, and a new sense of pride and dignity.

"The streets would fall silent every time his speeches came on as we would all sit and cling to each of his words and believe in them," he said. In that particular speech, Mr al Kaabi still remembers Nasser's words: "If we stand united as one, no enemy can ever conquer us ... For it is in our division that Israel has been able to remain victorious." "He didn't just say the right things, he acted on them," said Mr al Kaabi. "And that is what made him special."

Today is the 40th anniversary of Nasser's death and Mr al Kaabi, now 66, still remembers his "Arab hero"."It is so easy to sit and list his failures. He did what no one dared to do: stand and win against the colonial powers, and then he stood against Israel, which no one dares to do these days." Throughout the 1950s and 1960s and even after his death in 1970, Nasser dominated Arab politics and the imagination of the Arab masses. His influence was felt in the UAE with boys, schools, streets and squares named in his honour, such as al Nasser Square in the heart of Deira in Dubai and Gamal Abdel Nasser Street in Sharjah.

After his death in 1970, Sharjah released commemorative stamps bearing portraits of Nasser as a young boy, as an officer, and in his later days. Before becoming president of the UAE, Sheikh Zayed, founder of the nation, paid a special visit to President Nasser and Anwar Sadat, his right-hand man who later succeeded him as a president. Sheikh Zayed made the journey in 1959, securing a special agreement with the government of Egypt to supply Abu Dhabi with teachers, engineers and agricultural experts. Similar arrangements were made throughout the Trucial States during Nasser's reign, with Egyptian teachers to a large extent forming the foundation of education in the country.

In his autobiography, Sard al Thad, Dr Sheikh Sultan bin Mohammed, the Ruler of Sharjah and a staunch supporter of Nasser in his youth, described the impact the 1963 news that Iraq and the United Arab Republic - encompassing Egypt and Syria - had signed an agreement to unite. Children, women and men hit the streets in celebration, carrying Nasser posters and the red, white and black flag of the United Arab Republic, with its two stars in the middle. Iraq adopted the same flag but with three stars, symbolic of the tri-unity.

"The celebrations with the declaration of the tri-unity was indescribable," wrote Dr Sheikh Sultan. "It wasn't just the students, and locals supporting Gamal Abdel Nasser, for there were United Arab Republic flags everywhere: on taxi cars, on buildings, and on boats crossing back and forth in Khor Dubai ... Even Pakistanis working on boats chanted: Nasser! Nasser!" For the generation that grew up with him, Nasser was bigger than life. For younger Emiratis, he remains a "curiosity", with some digging into his past to understand the legend.

"For my father and the older generation, he was the voice of their hearts," said Ahmed al Daheri, 23, a student of history at UAE university at Al Ain. "He was just a man, but people couldn't accept that. For myself and my siblings, I view him as a man with big dreams who had the courage to go after them. "Politics aside, Nasser did manage to give back some pride to the masses in both his country and other Arab nations, with farms in Egypt returned to their rightful owners, the farmers themselves," said Mr al Daheri.

Nationalistic and patriotic feelings lived on after Nasser's death, with a landmark Arab oil embargo in 1973. The action resulted in oil-producing countries such as the UAE and Saudi Arabia boycotting the US after its announcement that it was sending billions of dollars in aid to Israel. "He did reawaken something in the Arabs, a kind of courage that I don't see in my generation any more," he said.

Mr al Daheri's father and Mr al Kaabi were among the Emiratis who wanted to be recruited into Nasser's army so they could fight for the unity of Arabs in the 1960s. But as it did for millions of other of Arabs, that dream died with the defeat in the Arab-Israeli six-day war in 1967. "We all cried as we listened to his speech after the defeat," recalled Mr al Kaabi, who described the period as a "national mourning" that engulfed the Arab world. "He was broken, and we were broken."

Arab Gulf states such as the UAE had a pivotal role in rebuilding the economy and armies of the Arab nations, mainly Egypt, Syria and Jordan, involved in the war. "It will take 1,000 years for a man like Nasser to return," said Mr al Kaabi. "We have lost our courage and our confidence. And we aren't doing anything about it."

rghazal@thenational.ae

The years Ramadan fell in May

1987

1954

1921

1888

23-man shortlist for next six Hall of Fame inductees

Tony Adams, David Beckham, Dennis Bergkamp, Sol Campbell, Eric Cantona, Andrew Cole, Ashley Cole, Didier Drogba, Les Ferdinand, Rio Ferdinand, Robbie Fowler, Steven Gerrard, Roy Keane, Frank Lampard, Matt Le Tissier, Michael Owen, Peter Schmeichel, Paul Scholes, John Terry, Robin van Persie, Nemanja Vidic, Patrick Viera, Ian Wright.

UAE currency: the story behind the money in your pockets
COMPANY PROFILE

Name: Xpanceo

Started: 2018

Founders: Roman Axelrod, Valentyn Volkov

Based: Dubai, UAE

Industry: Smart contact lenses, augmented/virtual reality

Funding: $40 million

Investor: Opportunity Venture (Asia)

COMPANY PROFILE

Company: Eco Way
Started: December 2023
Founder: Ivan Kroshnyi
Based: Dubai, UAE
Industry: Electric vehicles
Investors: Bootstrapped with undisclosed funding. Looking to raise funds from outside

Our legal consultant

Name: Dr Hassan Mohsen Elhais

Position: legal consultant with Al Rowaad Advocates and Legal Consultants.

The Continental: From the World of John Wick

Created by: Greg Coolidge, Shawn Simmons, Kirk Ward
Stars: Mel Gibson, Colin Woodell, Mishel Prada
Rating: 3/5

Will the pound fall to parity with the dollar?

The idea of pound parity now seems less far-fetched as the risk grows that Britain may split away from the European Union without a deal.

Rupert Harrison, a fund manager at BlackRock, sees the risk of it falling to trade level with the dollar on a no-deal Brexit. The view echoes Morgan Stanley’s recent forecast that the currency can plunge toward $1 (Dh3.67) on such an outcome. That isn’t the majority view yet – a Bloomberg survey this month estimated the pound will slide to $1.10 should the UK exit the bloc without an agreement.

New Prime Minister Boris Johnson has repeatedly said that Britain will leave the EU on the October 31 deadline with or without an agreement, fuelling concern the nation is headed for a disorderly departure and fanning pessimism toward the pound. Sterling has fallen more than 7 per cent in the past three months, the worst performance among major developed-market currencies.

“The pound is at a much lower level now but I still think a no-deal exit would lead to significant volatility and we could be testing parity on a really bad outcome,” said Mr Harrison, who manages more than $10 billion in assets at BlackRock. “We will see this game of chicken continue through August and that’s likely negative for sterling,” he said about the deadlocked Brexit talks.

The pound fell 0.8 per cent to $1.2033 on Friday, its weakest closing level since the 1980s, after a report on the second quarter showed the UK economy shrank for the first time in six years. The data means it is likely the Bank of England will cut interest rates, according to Mizuho Bank.

The BOE said in November that the currency could fall even below $1 in an analysis on possible worst-case Brexit scenarios. Options-based calculations showed around a 6.4 per cent chance of pound-dollar parity in the next one year, markedly higher than 0.2 per cent in early March when prospects of a no-deal outcome were seemingly off the table.

Bloomberg

Law 41.9.4 of men’s T20I playing conditions

The fielding side shall be ready to start each over within 60 seconds of the previous over being completed.
An electronic clock will be displayed at the ground that counts down seconds from 60 to zero.
The clock is not required or, if already started, can be cancelled if:
• A new batter comes to the wicket between overs.
• An official drinks interval has been called.
• The umpires have approved the on field treatment of an injury to a batter or fielder.
• The time lost is for any circumstances beyond the control of the fielding side.
• The third umpire starts the clock either when the ball has become dead at the end of the previous over, or a review has been completed.
• The team gets two warnings if they are not ready to start overs after the clock reaches zero.
• On the third and any subsequent occasion in an innings, the bowler’s end umpire awards five runs.

COMPANY PROFILE

Company name: Klipit

Started: 2022

Founders: Venkat Reddy, Mohammed Al Bulooki, Bilal Merchant, Asif Ahmed, Ovais Merchant

Based: Dubai, UAE

Industry: Digital receipts, finance, blockchain

Funding: $4 million

Investors: Privately/self-funded

A QUIET PLACE

Starring: Lupita Nyong'o, Joseph Quinn, Djimon Hounsou

Director: Michael Sarnoski

Rating: 4/5

Sarfira

Director: Sudha Kongara Prasad

Starring: Akshay Kumar, Radhika Madan, Paresh Rawal

Rating: 2/5

Company profile

Name: The Concept

Founders: Yadhushan Mahendran, Maria Sobh and Muhammad Rijal

Based: Abu Dhabi

Founded: 2017

Number of employees: 7

Sector: Aviation and space industry

Funding: $250,000

Future plans: Looking to raise $1 million investment to boost expansion and develop new products

WHAT IS A BLACK HOLE?

1. Black holes are objects whose gravity is so strong not even light can escape their pull

2. They can be created when massive stars collapse under their own weight

3. Large black holes can also be formed when smaller ones collide and merge

4. The biggest black holes lurk at the centre of many galaxies, including our own

5. Astronomers believe that when the universe was very young, black holes affected how galaxies formed

Company Profile

Company name: Cargoz
Date started: January 2022
Founders: Premlal Pullisserry and Lijo Antony
Based: Dubai
Number of staff: 30
Investment stage: Seed

Top tips to avoid cyber fraud

Microsoft’s ‘hacker-in-chief’ David Weston, creator of the tech company’s Windows Red Team, advises simple steps to help people avoid falling victim to cyber fraud:

1. Always get the latest operating system on your smartphone or desktop, as it will have the latest innovations. An outdated OS can erode away all investments made in securing your device or system.

2. After installing the latest OS version, keep it patched; this means repairing system vulnerabilities which are discovered after the infrastructure components are released in the market. The vast majority of attacks are based on out of date components – there are missing patches.

3. Multi-factor authentication is required. Move away from passwords as fast as possible, particularly for anything financial. Cybercriminals are targeting money through compromising the users’ identity – his username and password. So, get on the next level of security using fingertips or facial recognition.

4. Move your personal as well as professional data to the cloud, which has advanced threat detection mechanisms and analytics to spot any attempt. Even if you are hit by some ransomware, the chances of restoring the stolen data are higher because everything is backed up.

5. Make the right hardware selection and always refresh it. We are in a time where a number of security improvement processes are reliant on new processors and chip sets that come with embedded security features. Buy a new personal computer with a trusted computing module that has fingerprint or biometric cameras as additional measures of protection.

ABU DHABI'S KEY TOURISM GOALS: BY THE NUMBERS

By 2030, Abu Dhabi aims to achieve:

• 39.3 million visitors, nearly 64% up from 2023

• Dh90 billion contribution to GDP, about 84% more than Dh49 billion in 2023

• 178,000 new jobs, bringing the total to about 366,000

• 52,000 hotel rooms, up 53% from 34,000 in 2023

• 7.2 million international visitors, almost 90% higher compared to 2023's 3.8 million

• 3.9 international overnight hotel stays, 22% more from 3.2 nights in 2023

Venom

Director: Ruben Fleischer

Cast: Tom Hardy, Michelle Williams, Riz Ahmed

Rating: 1.5/5

The specs

Engine: 5.2-litre V10

Power: 640hp at 8,000rpm

Torque: 565Nm at 6,500rpm

Transmission: 7-speed dual-clutch auto

Price: From Dh1 million

On sale: Q3 or Q4 2022

Results

6pm: Dubai Trophy – Conditions (TB) $100,000 (Turf) 1,200m

Winner: Silent Speech, William Buick (jockey), Charlie Appleby
(trainer)

6.35pm: Jumeirah Derby Trial – Conditions (TB) $60,000 (T)
1,800m

Winner: Island Falcon, Frankie Dettori, Saeed bin Suroor

7.10pm: UAE 2000 Guineas Trial – Conditions (TB) $60,000 (Dirt)
1,400m

Winner: Rawy, Mickael Barzalona, Salem bin Ghadayer

7.45pm: Al Rashidiya – Group 2 (TB) $180,000 (T) 1,800m

Winner: Desert Fire, Hector Crouch, Saeed bin Suroor

8.20pm: Al Fahidi Fort – Group 2 (TB) $180,000 (T) 1,400m

Winner: Naval Crown, William Buick, Charlie Appleby

8.55pm: Dubawi Stakes – Group 3 (TB) $150,000 (D) 1,200m

Winner: Al Tariq, Pat Dobbs, Doug Watsons

9.30pm: Aliyah – Rated Conditions (TB) $80,000 (D) 2,000m

Winner: Dubai Icon, Patrick Cosgrave, Saeed bin Suroor

Biography

Favourite Meal: Chicken Caesar salad

Hobbies: Travelling, going to the gym

Inspiration: Father, who was a captain in the UAE army

Favourite read: Rich Dad Poor Dad by Robert Kiyosaki and Sharon Lechter

Favourite film: The Founder, about the establishment of McDonald's


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