ChAPTER 33 -- Part 8: Descent into the Abyss: World War I
He combined the career of an educated lawyer with the attributes of a traditional Hindu guru.
The former had developed a deep understanding of the strengths and weaknesses of Mohandas Gandhi's followers and the British colonizers, as a result of his exposure to the world beyond India.
It was possible for Gandhi to build up a strong following among middle-class, colonized world and in the united Western educated Indians because of his legendary skill in negotiat in India.
Gaining mass support from peasants and laborers was dependent on the image of a traditional mystic and guru projected.
When Gandhi was on tour, many ordinary Indians would walk for miles.
In order to honor a saint, many did so.
Gandhi's popularity gave him more power among nationalist politicians.
The latter were aware of the leverage he gave to them in their battles with the British overlords.
During the 1920s and 1930s, nationalist protest surged in India under Gandhi's leadership.
The emergence of nationalism in Egypt preceded European conquest and domination in the Middle East.
The British occupation of Egypt in 1882 was the result of risings touched off by the mutiny of Ahmad Arabi and other Egyptian officers.
British occupation meant double colonization for the Egyptian people by the Turkish khedives and their British advisors.
Among the biggest gainers were the latter.
Unfettered by legal restrictions, the ayan greedily amassed ever-larger estates by turning smallholder owners into landless tenants and laborers.
Despite promises their wealth grew, the contrast between the landlords' estate houses and the Arab peoples who supported them in the war to let them thatch and mud-walled villages became decide their own postwar political fate.
Most of the Middle East was divided into new colonial enclaves by the French, and the classes spent most of their time in the fashionable districts of Cairo.
Their estates were run by hired man agers, who were not much more than rent collectors.
The Consul-General in khedival Egypt was left mostly to the middle class because of the regime's close ties to the British overlords.
The push for this relatively new and small social class had been growing in numbers and influence since the middle of the 19th century, mainly due to the economic reforms that reduced but towns in the Nile Delta.
Class of prosperous rural ayan families built their following among the urban middle classes.
In contrast to India, where business and professional urban lawyers dominated in the nationalist leadership, journalists in Egypt led the way.
The British were attacked by Egyptian writers for their monopolization of well paying positions in the Egyptian bureaucracy.
The Egyptians argued that these could have been filled by university-educated Egyptians.
The first nationalist party was formed in the 1890s.
In contrast to India, where the Congress party dominated the nationalist movement from the beginning, a variety of rival parties existed in Egypt.
The great majority of the Egyptians were uneducated, poorly paid, and largely ignored by urban laborers and rural farmers, despite the fact that there were three main alternatives by 1907.
The river where the wife of prayer leader of Egyptian subjects lived exemplified the arrogance displayed by most of the European colonizers.
The Egyptian protest movement was undermined by the excessive British response to the Dinshawai incident, which resulted in only limited numbers of army officers hunting pigeons.
The British used to turn the hunting of the pigeons of selected villages into a holiday pastime.
The wife of the prayer leader of the local mosque was accidentally shot by a party of British officers who were hunting pigeons.
The angry villagers mobbed the greatly outnumbered shooting party, which in panic fired on the villagers.
The villagers and the British soldiers were killed in the fighting.
Four villagers were hung by the British for the death of one of the officers.
The building of the scaffolding was captured in a photo.
Other villagers connected to the incident were ordered by the British to be publicly flogged or sentenced to varying terms of hard labor.
The Egyptian press and national ist parties protested the British reprisals.
The construction of the gallows that were used to hang the four British was not acceptable to the peasants who were executed in reprisal for the attacks on British soldiers.
The colonizers tend to overreact to any protests for an end to Egypt's occupation.
More than anything else, the incident at Dinshawai had galvanized support for popular protest across the communal and social boundaries that had so long divided the peoples of Egypt.
The British were intimidated by the rising tide of Egyptian nationalism to grant a constitution and representation in a parliament indirectly by the men of wealth and influence.
World War I and the British declaration of martial law ended nationalist unrest.
In Egypt, the war unleashed forces that could not be stopped and that will lead to the revival of the drive for independence with even greater strength than before.
In the years after World War I, resistance to European domination spread to much of the rest of the Middle East.
The Turks shared in their defeat after siding with the Central Powers.
Britain and France carved up the Arab parts of the Ottoman empire that had rebelled against the Young Turk regime during the war.
The Turkish rump of the empire around Istanbul and in the Asia Minor were attacked by Italy and Greece with the intent of sparking a partition of these areas.
During the war years, he was from the Turkish officer corps.
Kemal, leader of the Turkish republic, drove back the Greek armies intent on colonizing the Turkish homeland.