Founded in A.D. 969 by the Fatimid dynasty as capital of
Egypt, Cairo became part of the Ottoman Empire in 1517. Cairo fell to Napoleon in 1798 and
again to the British in 1801. During World War II it was Allied headquarters in the Middle
East. In mid-December, 1997 the "jewel of the Arab world," was a staging ground
for meetings explaining Minister Farrakhan's 52-nation World Friendship Tour III to
ambassadors, professionals, and students.
"No African nation is really free, if our economy is
controlled by our former colonial masters," Minister Farrakhan told applauding
members of the African Society at Al-Azhar, after a meeting with Shaykh Mohammed Sayed
Tantawi, Grand Shaykh of the world's oldest university. Al-Azhar is the seat of learning
and guidance for Sunni Muslims across the world.
"And as long as we are not equal to the rest of the
world," the Muslim leader said, "then what we have of Islam, we need a deeper
understanding of it, otherwise we can be enslaved by rituals, rather than the practical
wisdom of God that is found in the Holy Qur'an."
"Islam is not to be confined to the masajid
(mosque)," Minister Farrakhan told the students, "with prayers, and fasting, and
zakat (charity), and an occasional visit to the Holy House at Mecca, but we have no power
to change the realities under which we suffer.
"Islam gave to Prophet Muhammad (Peace Be Upon Him)
the power to change the realities" of the world as he found it, the Minister
challenged, "which realities will you change?"
"We support him because we see he brings a message
from heaven," the leader of the African Society said. Indeed, Min. Farrakhan's views
"echo what people throughout the Arab world feel, especially the young," Dr.
David DuBois, a visiting professor of journalism told The Final Call.
Just one day before, the Nation of Islam leader met
Jordanian Prime Minister Abdul Salaam Al-Majali and Shayikh Abdul Salaam Al-Abadi,
Minister of Al-Awqaf Mosque in Amman and curator of Al-Aqsa Mosque and other Islamic holy
sites in Jerusalem, supervising staff of 500.
Egyptian civilization, one of the world's oldest,
developed in the Valley of the Nile more than 5,000 years ago. The rival kingdoms of Upper
and Lower Egypt were united as a centralized state around 3200 B.C. by a king named Menes,
who established his capital at Memphis. A high culture developed then, and the use of
writing was introduced. During the Old Kingdom (3110 2258 B.C.) Egyptian culture and
commerce flourished, and the great pyramids were built.
Hundreds of years later, around 1570 B.C., the "New
Kingdom" was established. During the XVIII dynasty (1570 c.1342 B.C.) ancient
Egyptian civilization reached its zenith. A vast empire was established and Memphis became
the political, commercial, and cultural center of the world.
"Life passes so quickly," Min. Farrakhan said
later pondering the awesomeness of the Pyramids, the Sphinx, and the royal burial grounds
at Luxor, "and these monuments have lived so long. Just to know that thousands of
years after, we are looking at the work of people long gone," is inspiring, he said.
"The wisdom that our fathers knew here in Egypt," the Muslim
leader said, "was so superior to (what is known) in this age," concerning
astronomy, geology, and physics. Most scholars today don't understand what the ancient
Egyptians knew, he continued. "The history of the Original Nation is written in the
"Everything we are looking at is related to us,"
Min. Farrakhan said, explaining the meaning of the ancient Egyptian sites in light of the
teaching of the Hon. Elijah Muhammad. "Our Fathers knew that this generation would
rise and come into full knowledge of what is buried beneath the sand, and what is
symbolized by these magnificent monuments."
The Nation of Islam leader also spoke to a group of
doctors, lawyers, educators, and Muslim scholars in Cairo, at the home of Dr. Ibrahim
Shukri, leader of the Labor (Islamic) Party of Egypt and publisher of Ash-Sha'b (The
People). That group included Al-Hudhaibi, the General Guide of the Muslim Brotherhood,
Fathi Al Banna, brother of Hasan Al-Banna, founder of that organization.
At a similar meeting at the home of Hasan Al-Tall,
publisher-editor of Al-Lewa' in Amman, Jordan, Min. Farrakhan met, and was embraced by
Khaled Meshal, the leader of Hamas. Last October, Brother Meshal survived an audacious
assassination attempt directed at him in Amman by ultra-secret Israeli Mossad agents,
carrying forged Canadian passports.
(Photos: #1-The Hon. Minister Louis Farrakhan is pictured with Shaykh
Mohammed Sayed Tantawi, Grand Shaykh of Al-Azar University, in Egypt.; #2-Min. Farrakhan
address reporters during his recent stop in the Gaza Strip.)
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