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From The Famous Arabic Novels Library
Mohamed Hassanein Heikal
















Mohamed Hassanein Heikal
is the former Editor in Chief of the Egyptian newspaper Al Ahram, 1957-74, and has been a member of the Central Committee of the Arab Socialist Union. He is the author of Nasser: The Cairo Documents and The Road to Ramadan.

Heikal, exercise the kind of influence normally reserved for governments and their leaders. In a region characterised by war, tension, oppression and despair many continue to look to the 81 year old commentator whose association with Gamal Abdel-Nasser still dominates his public profile, and listed by Time magazine's April issue 2004 as among the 100 most influential people in the world.

In a wide-ranging address delivered on Tuesday 13 March at the opening ceremony of the American University in Cairo's 13th International Model United Nations conference, renowned political analyst Mohamed Hassanein Heikal presented a simple, yet astounding, precept. According to Heikal, the only hope for the prevalence of the supremacy of law -- the fundamental principle on which the global body was founded -- is for an immediate and profound reconciliation to take place between the United States and the United Nations. Arguing quite provocatively that the US's last "major stand as a cooperative and integral member of the UN" was its opposition to the tripartite aggression on Suez in 1956, Heikal expertly weaves both the history of the organisation, and its uneasy relationship with the world's largest superpower. The full text of the speech, which was greeted with much enthusiasm by participants in the simulation who came from all over the world, as well as from Egyptian universities and AUC, is printed exclusively.

LEADING ANALYST and writer Mohamed Hassanein Heikal celebrates his 80th birthday. For over 60 years Heikal has been one of the most influential journalists in the Arab world. Editor-in-chief of Al-Ahram from 1957 to 1974, he has written over 50 highly regarded books on Egypt and Middle Eastern politics, many of them translated into several languages. Following the 1952 Revolution his name was closely associated with that of Gamal Abdel-Nasser, and he served as his minister of information and foreign affairs in 1970. He also had a close, if more complex and volatile, relationship with Anwar El-Sadat, by whom he was imprisoned in 1981. On the occasion of his 80th birthday there were suggestions that Heikal had decided to abandon writing: the immediate uproar provoked by the news clearly suggests that for many an Arab press without Heikal would just not be the same.