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Brilliant, but 50 year prediction?

Reader comment on item: Nasser Died Fifty Years Ago: He Lives on in Egypt

Submitted by Malcolm (Israel), Sep 29, 2020 at 03:38

This is Mr. Pipes at his brilliant best. Every sentence is instructive, while no words are wasted.

Just one thing: I regard his remark about the next 50 years as a rhetorical comment, not as a serious prediction. Events change so suddenly in the Middle East that the greatest changes were unpredictable even five years ahead. Who in 1969 could have predicted that Nasser would be succeeded by someone who would turn away so quickly from Nasser's path? Who in 1975 could have predicted Israel-Egypt peace or the Khomeinist revolution within five years? And so on. More generally, demographic projections beyond 10-15 years are of little worth. Who predicted that the birthrate of Jews in Israel would catch up with the birthrate of Arabs so quickly, instead of - as was almost common wisdom - predicting an Arab majority within so-and-so-many decades? The COVID-19 epidemic will overturn many predictions made only last year. And its impact is mild compared with the impact of plagues known in history and maybe awaiting us in the near future.

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Note: Opinions expressed in comments are those of the authors alone and not necessarily those of Daniel Pipes. Original writing only, please. Comments are screened and in some cases edited before posting. Reasoned disagreement is welcome but not comments that are scurrilous, off-topic, commercial, disparaging religions, or otherwise inappropriate. For complete regulations, see the "Guidelines for Reader Comments".

Daniel Pipes replies:

Thank you for the compliment.

As for the prediction: to be sure, the Middle East continues to surprise. But the past half-century suggest to me that Egyptians will continue to struggle to leave Nasser's legacy behind.

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Note: Opinions expressed in comments are those of the authors alone and not necessarily those of Daniel Pipes. Original writing only, please. Comments are screened and in some cases edited before posting. Reasoned disagreement is welcome but not comments that are scurrilous, off-topic, commercial, disparaging religions, or otherwise inappropriate. For complete regulations, see the "Guidelines for Reader Comments".

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