Source: The Moshe Dayan Center for Middle Eastern and African Studies
Author(s): Mira Tzoreff
Original Link: https://dayan.org/content/abd-al-fattah-al-sisis-rehabilitation-anwar-al-sadat
In his 1882 lecture titled “What is a nation?,” the French philosopher Ernest Renan claimed that “the essence of a nation is that all of its members have a great deal in common and also that that they have forgotten many things.” Rulers that seek to forge a collective memory for their nations select the historical events to be remembered (or alternatively to be forgotten or pushed aside to the margins of history); shape them into a coherent narrative, which then become the bases of national myths and a common ethos that will be propagated in museums and public spaces and commemorated annually. As the agenda of a regime changes, likewise there is a concomitant change in the structure of the regime’s narrative of the past. The rehabilitation of the leadership and legacy of President Anwar al-Sadat, which began during the second term of ʿAbd al-Fattah al-Sisi’s presidency, is a tangible example of this phenomenon.
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