The Way Things Used to Be
The Big Pharaoh describes the nostalgia for King Farouk which has unaccountbly been sweeping Egypt lately.
There is a King Farouk mania going on these days in Egypt. Everyone is starting to talk about this monarch who was deposed over 50 years ago. Everyone is praising the series that turned out to be the most successful even though it was not aired on Egyptian TV (the authorities refused) but on the Saudi funded satellite entertainment channel MBC. Even my dad, to whom TV means sports and news, stays at home every night waiting for the King Faroul series. My dad was only 9 when the King make his final trip from Alexandria to Italy. ...
The most amazing thing about this group is that nearly all of the members are young Egyptians. Most of them were not even born when Sadat was around! What’s happening? I have two conclusions.
First, thanks to the splendid series, many Egyptians are starting to realize that tremendous injustice was in fact levied on the former monarch. Many are even starting to feel quilty that they have once believed the anti-Farouk tarnishing propaganda disseminated by the coup’s officers.
Second, there is kind of a yearning to Egypt “good ol’ days” when we were definitely a much better nation. People, especially the educated and those who are not tainted by a certain political philosophy, are starting to realise that despite the problems that existed during Farouk’s time, the country took a massive downward spiral after his departure; economically, politically, and socially.
I wonder how much of the nostalgia for Farouk is fueled by disillusionment with the legacy of Nasser, Sadat and perhaps, Mubarak.