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Jamal Abdul Nasser; (15 January 1918 – 28 September 1970), sothern Egypt, was the second President of Egypt from 1954 until his death. He led the bloodless coup which toppled the monarchy of King Farouk and heralded a new period of modernization and socialist reform in Egypt together with a profound advancement of pan-Arab nationalism.Nasser is seen as one of the most important political figures in both modern Arab history and Third World politics in the 20th century. The combination of living in so many cities and attending different schools did #### not distress Naser, but broadened his horizons, allowing him to become aware of the class divisions in Egyptian society. Despite constantly changing schools, Nasser spent most of his spare time reading, particularly in 1933 when his uncle happened to live near the National Library of Egypt. In addition to the Qur'an, the sayings of the Prophet Muhammad, and the lives of his companions, he read the works of Napoleon, Gandhi, Voltaire, Victor Hugo, Charles Dickens, and many others. He was greatly influenced by the anti-British politician Mustafa Kamel and the nationalist poet Ahmad Shawqi. Although he was originally met with suspicion after putting the country's new president, Muhammad Naguib, under house arrest in 1954, he soon gained immense popularity in Egypt and the Arab world when he nationalized the Suez Canal from its British and French stockholders two years later. Through his actions and the charisma of his speeches, Nasser's version of pan-Arabism, also referred to as Nasserism, won a great following in the Arab world. By 1958, he united his country with Syria, forming the short-lived United Arab Republic (UAR). At the same time, he inspired successful and unsuccessful revolutions in several Arab countries. This period of glory for Naser quickly dissipated, and three years after the founding of the union, Syria split from the UAR. Afterward, he concentrated on pursuing increased socialist and modernizing measures in Egypt, which included the nationalization of more companies, reforming the al-Azhar Mosque, providing housing and universal health care, and other liberalization schemes. In February 1949, Nasser was sent as a member of the Egyptian delegation to Rhodes to negotiate a formal ceasefire with Israel, and reportedly considered the terms humiliating. After the war, he gained a post as an instructor at the Royal Military Academy in Cairo. He sent emissaries to forge an alliance with the Muslim Brotherhood in October 1948, but soon concluded that the agenda of the Brotherhood was not a nationalist one like his. From then on, he would take measures protecting his activities from the influence of their organization. In Egypt he organized the founding committee of the Free Officers which eventually comprised fourteen men from different political backgrounds, with some being members of Young Egypt, the Muslim Brotherhood, and the Egyptian Communist Party, as well as the aristocracy. Nasser was unanimously elected chairman of the organization.
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