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Full text of "The Egyptian Problem"

92                      THE EGYPTIAN  PROBLEM                 CHAP.
;                         sion.   Practical questions or those that postulated know-
'                         ledge or close reasoning found little favour with either
writers or readers.   They preferred rhetorical generalities
i                         or vehement political lucubrations   with  high-sounding
/!«                           catchwords.
|                            With  the  revival  of  Egyptian Nationalism, it was
,,;                         the  more  extreme   school   that   captured   nearly   the
•j                         whole of the native Press.    Englishmen are seldom dis-
:!                        posed to resent even the most hostile criticism if con-
veyed in some other shape than mere vulgar abuse. British officials tired of reading long diatribes as monotonous as they were violent. These were the chief stock-in-trade even of men like Ali Yusef, the editor of the Muayyedy and Mustapha Kamel, the founder of the Lewa, both in their way remarkable personalities, whose influence survives to the present day. They too relied on scathing denunciation rather than on arguments in the conduct of their great journalistic campaigns against British supremacy. Lord Cromer says in one of his Reports that he tried at one time to follow the native Press carefully in the hope that something might be learnt from it in regard to questions of administration and to local matters, and possibly as to legitimate grievances which might be remedied or deserve inquiry. But he failed to find a single accurate, well-argued, or useful article on such matters even as education or finance, or the working of the judicial system. He was nevertheless too staunch a believer in the freedom of the Press to curtail it, though pressed to do so by many Egyptians, and not only by those of the old school to whom it had always been anathema.
The unmeasured recklessness of the Press was not the only disquieting feature of a new movement which was in itself neither unnatural nor reprehensible. The resistance which British protection enabled Egypt to offer to any further encroachments by Turkey and by the other Powers on Egyptian rights had to that extent strengthened her position as a separate, though still * good sense to set the example, became reconciled to it, and by the year 1906 Mixed Municipal Commissions, on which Egyptians and foreigners sat together, had been established in Mansourah and five other important s                        towns, the Central Government merely making certain