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Full text of "The Egyptian Problem"

PASSIVE BEBELLION
195
•The immediate effect was like a wonderful transformation scene.    Only a few days before there had been fresh rioting in Cairo, and on the 3rd a great demonstration which was to have ushered in a big strike of officials ended in an ugly affray in Abdeen Square when the mob set fire to a house from which an Armenian was believed to have fired a fatal shot at the crowd.     British troops had to use their rifles, and nine rioters were killed and sixty wounded.    Now the streets of Cairo surged with delirious   crowds as drunk with joy as they  had  been a week before with fury.   Throughout the whole of Egypt the news that Zaghlul and his three colleagues had been released and were free to proceed from Malta to Paris was  greeted  as  a  great  national  triumph.    With  the consent of both Egyptian and British authorities, public demonstrations were held and went off everywhere at first quite peacefully.    But in Cairo there were still very mischievous forces at work.    It may be that they represented merely a small minority whom even the Committee of  Independence  could no  longer really control—hotheaded students, fanatics from El Azhar, with a sprinkling of   disgruntled   lawyers,   discharged  officials,   and   disappointed   candidates   for   Government   appointments, and behind them a residuum of reckless spirits who did not want peace and who had fled back to Cairo when the provincial   risings   were   repressed.    There   were   those amongst them who believed that though they had failed to organise resistance to mobile columns and aeroplanes, they could still defeat General AUenby's endeavour to effect  a  real  reconciliation by a  campaign  of  underground   intimidation.    They   were   thoroughly  familiar with all the arts of social terrorism so powerful in Oriental countries, and they knew exactly how to work on the weaknesses  of  their  fellow-countrymen, and especially on their   innate   credulity and timidity, if once   they were possessed by the vague dread of some unknown and unseen danger.    Hence the power of the " Black Hand " and other mysterious societies which, if they had no very
o 2t it represents only a small part of the dan remaining at Assiut to restore order in that neighbourhood. . . . Major-General Sir John Shea is moving south from Wasta with a strong column of all arms, restoring order as he goes. . . ."