On the night of July 23, 1952, the Free Officers Organization in the Egyptian army led by General Mohamed Naguib and Colonel Gamal Abdel Nasser organaized a military coup. They succeeded in controlling vital facilities in the country without bloodshed. This was known as the July revolution. The revolutionaries forced the King Farouk to abdicate and leave the country on July 26, 1952.
The king abdicated the throne to his crown, the infant Prince Ahmed Fouad (1952-), who had not yet completed his first year. A trusteeship council was formed on the throne headed by Prince Muhammad Abdel Moneim, the eldest son of Khedive Abbas Hilmi II who ruled Egypt from 1892 to 1914.
The free officers established a Revolutionary Command Council chaired by Major General Mohamed Naguib and with membership of 13 free officers. Among them Gamal Abdel Nasser and Anwar Sadat. The Revolutionary Command Council appointed a new government but it was the de facto ruler of the country.
On June 18, 1953, the Revolutionary Command Council announced the abolition of the monarchy and the establishment of the republic. This ended the rule of the Muhammad Ali family that had ruled Egypt and Sudan since 1805.
Major General Mohamed Naguib was chosen as the first president of the Egyptian Republic, and he continued in the position from June 18, 1953 to November 14, 1954, when Gamal Abdel Nasser assumed the presidency of the Republic.
There were multiple reasons for the revolution, the most important of which was the widespread corruption, bribery, opulence and indifference that the king and his entourage lived in while the peasants and the working classes lived a life of bitterness and suffering.
In addition, the defeat of the Egyptian army in the Palestine war in 1948 played a major role in the establishment of the Free Officers Organization and the outbreak of the revolution, as the king and his entourage were accused of supplying corrupt weapons to the Egyptian army at exaggerated prices and achieving gains from these deals.
Social reform was one of the most important goals of the revolution, which paid great attention to the popular classes of farmers and workers, from which modt the officers were issued.
The revolution prepared and implemented plans to develop agriculture, industry, and education, and to provide basic services in villages and remote areas such as education, health, drinking water, and electricity.
The Egyptian Agrarian Reform Law was issued, September 9, 1952, after the revolution of July 23, forty-five days, and the main objective of this law was to redistribute ownership of agricultural land in Egypt with a maximum of 200 acres per capita and eliminate the feudal class that controlled more than Half of the agricultural land at the time. The law stipulated determining the agricultural ownership of individuals, taking the land from large owners, and distributing it to the landless small farmers.
One of the most important achievements of the revolution was the construction of the High Dam that protected Egypt from floods and provided it with electricity and water and greatly emproved the agriculture sector. The Revolutionary Command Council took in October 1952 a decision to start studies to establish the Dam and its first design was adopted at the end of 1954. The construction of the dam was postponed due to its high cost and the refusal of several Western countries and international institutions to finance the project, which prompted Egypt to nationalize the Suez Canal.
The revolution nationalized the Suez Canal to take advantage of its income in the economic development of the country, which caused the tripartite aggression against Egypt in 1956, where France, Britain and Israel attacked Egypt to regain control of the channel. The war ended with the evacuation of the occupying forces and the end of the British military presence that in Egypt started in 1882.
In the field of education, the most important achievements of the July revolution were the approval of free public education and free higher education, and the doubling of the budget for higher education, which allowed the addition of ten universities established throughout the country instead of only three universities when the revolution took place. In addition, scientific research centers have also been established and educational hospitals developed.
Despite the tremendous Egyptian cultural heritage, a ministry of culture was not established in Egypt until 1952 under the name of the Ministry of National Guidance, which was transformed into the Ministry of Culture and National Guidance in 1958 and Ministry of Culture in 1965. The newly established Ministry of Culture and its Minister, Dr. Tharwat Okasha played an important role in UNESCO’s adoption of the international campaign to save the effects of Nubia from drowning in the High Dam Lake. This campaign succeeded in moving and saving 22 landmarks and architectural monuments from their places, including Abu Simbel Temple and Philae Temples.
The revolution established the General Authority for Cultural Palaces and the numerous cultural palaces and cultural centers in different regions of the country, after the cultural activity was concentrated in Cairo and Alexandria. As for the arts, the Academy of Arts was established in 1959, which includes the higher institutes of theater, cinema, criticism, ballet, opera, music and folklore.
The revolution contributed to strengthening the Egyptian cinema industry through the establishment of the “Cinema Support Foundation”, which turned in 1958 into the “Egyptian General Cinema Foundation”, whose objectives were to raise the technical and professional level of cinema and lend to those involved in cinematic production and encourage the display of Arab films inside and outside the country and He also granted prizes for cinematic production and those involved in it.
In 1962, on the occasion of the 10th anniversary of the revolution, Egypt issued a series of 8 stamps commemorating the achievement of the revolution.
Catalog Reference: Yvert & Tellier 532 to 539.