This is a video recording of a lecture delivered on 27 March, 2019, in a conference titled “The Egyptian Revolution of 1919: The birth fo a nation” organized by the British Egyptian Society, the London Middle East Centre, and the Council for British Research in the Levant.
Abstract: In 2013, the Egyptian army suddenly started a new tradition of celebrating the First World War. Over the following five years, from 2013 to 2017, lavish celebrations were held every November under the auspices of the Military Research Unit of the Egyptian Armed Forces. In these celebrations speeches were delivered commemorating what was claimed had been heroic feats of the Egyptian Armed Forces in various theaters of operation during the Great War. Given the fact that the Egyptian army was under British command during the War; that this army did not participate in the War; and that it was Egyptian peasants, not Egyptian soldiers, who assisted in their thousands in the war effort, in this lecture, I argue that behind this bizarre claim is an attempt to distort the historical record not only of Egypt in the First World War, but also of the very nature of the 1919 Revolution.
The lecture starts at 2:45:00.