According to the BBC, on this day, 35 years ago, as many as 50 people were trampled during Nasser’s public funeral.
When I was a child, I didn’t know what saints were. I grew up in a pseudo-agnostic home. But the following certainties, I knew:
1. Soccer is sacred.
2. Food is sacred.
3. My mother is a strange person (according to my father).
4. My father is an insane person (according to my mother).
5. My parents are weird and scary (according to anyone under the age of 90 who entered our home).
3. Nasser was a saint.
I knew that Nasser had opened Egyptian universities to Palestinian students after ’67 when they had nowhere else to study or go, and that that was how my father got his education, and his hooks into my mother, but it wasn’t until grad school that I really got a good look at the Nasserite regime and what it did and didn’t accomplish.