Published in BESA Center Perspectives Paper No. 472.
EXECUTIVE SUMMARY: Egypt under Gamal Abdel Nasser once shaped and guided Arab public opinion. Cairo was the capital of the Middle East, and Nasser’s secular pan-Arab ideology challenged the West, Israel, and other Arab states. Nasser’s Egypt showed how a developing country with a large population could persevere despite tremendous economic, political, and military challenges. As the 50th anniversary of the 1967 War approaches, Egyptians and Arabs of that generation might reflect with nostalgia on a bygone era when Cairo dominated the Middle East.