The Arab Middle East Section



Michel Kamel (1925-1993). Born in Cairo 1925, died in Paris 1993; journalist, Egyptian communist; arrested in 1951 and imprisoned until 1954; joined al-Ahram dialy as editor of the opinion page and established the magazine al-Tali'a (Vanguard) 1965; selected member of the Central Committee of the Communist Party of Egypt (al-Hizb al-Shuryuc i al-Misri) which was reestablished in 1975; stayed in Beirut and started the foreign section of the communist party there; opposed the influence of the legalist Tagammuc Party in the late 1970's and founded the People's Socialist Party (Hizbul-Sha'b al-Ishtiraki) in 1989.
The inventory: Arab MS Word file, 131 Kb. | [HTML]

Isam al-Din Hifni Nasif (1921-1940), an Egyptian free thinker, socialist, and libertarian (1899-1969) who wrote on a wide range of political, economic and cultural topics. He became especially famous for his outspoken critique of social inequality in Egypt in the 1920s and 1930s. The collection consists mostly of newspaper clippings of his articles in different Egyptian newspapers from 1921 to 1940. The collection was made by himself.
The inventory:
PDF file, 17 Kb. | Arab MS Word file, 42 Kb. | [HTML]

Tali'a al-Ummal (1945-1956). The Workers' Vanguard was one of the three founding communist groups in Egypt which rose during the Second World War and played an important role in the Egyptian communist movement until it merged with the Unified Egyptian Communist Party to form the Egyptian Communist Party in 1958. It was very active in the trade union and student movement and issued numerous publications. As a highly intellectual group it exerted a tremendous influence on the new generation of communists of the 1940s and 1950s. The collection of almost all the existing pamphlets, and all other political, trade union and cultural publications of the group from its foundation until its dissolution. The collection was made by the joint efforts of the members of this group and was kept in Paris with Joseph Mudarrik. The list is not yet included on the website but is accessible for those doing research. It was donated by Abu Sayf Yusuf, one of the founders of the movement.
The inventory: Arab MS Word file, 90 Kb. | [HTML]

The Rome Group (1945-1979). The collection includes all the correspondence, publications and minutes of the Paris support group of Henri Curiel since its establishment in 1950. It gives a unique insight into the manner in which this group worked and the contacts it maintained with Egyptian communists in Egypt, the peace movement, and other representatives of the communist movement elsewhere in the region. It also includes other documents the Rome Group produced after the relations with the Egyptian communists had been severed at the end of the 1950s and it directed its attention and activities to other burning issues in the Middle East, such as the Algerian struggle for independence and the Palestinian cause. The collection was donated by the group to the IISH.
The inventory:
PDF file, 175 Kb. | Arab MS Word file, 80 Kb. | [HTML]

Shuhdi Atiyya al-Shafi'i (1956-58) Shuhdi Atiyya al-Shafi'i (1912-1960) was one of the most important Egyptian communist intellectuals of the 1940s and 1950s who was prominent editor of the famous newspaper al-Jamahir and member of Iskra, and later HADITU, which he left to form HADITU Revolutionary Wing in 1947. He wrote a number of important theoretical and historical works, one of which is The Development of the Egyptian Nationalist Movement 1882-1956. The collection consists mainly of the numerous draft versions Shuhdi Atiyya wrote of this last work as well as a manuscript of short stories, Hara Umma al-Husayni, Aziza, and a philosophical work Mawkib al-Bishriyya. The collection was donated by Rif'at al-Sa'id.
The inventory:
PDF file, 25 Kb. | Arab MS Word file, 98 Kb. | [HTML]

The Communist Party of Egypt (1975-1996). The collection was built by a section of the Egyptian Communist Party that did not agree with the dissolution of the party in 1965 and continued its activities, only to re-establish itself in 1975 under its original name. The collection consists of numerous documents from its refounding in 1975 to the latest publications of al-Intisar in the 1990s. The collection was brought over from Minsk where it was kept for a long time by a member of the movement.
The inventory:
PDF file, 46 Kb. | Arab MS Word file, 94 Kb. | [HTML]

Tagammu Party (1977-1990). The Tagammu Party was established in 1977 as a coalition between Nasserists and communists in order to take part in the parliamentary experiment under Sadat. The first part of the collection covers basic documents of the founding of the Tagammu Party in the form of resolutions adopted during its congresses; party programmes; communiqués and pamphlets, statutes and pamphlets, different publications for cadre training. The collection also contains material concerning the general election campaigns of 1984, 1987 and 1990. The collection was donated to the IISH by Bertus Hendriks, a Dutch scholar who did research on the Tagammu Party from 1977 to 1990. Included in the collection is an almost complete issue of newspaper of the Tagummu Party, al-Ahali, from its foundation in 1977 to the present.
The inventory:
PDF file, 69 Kb. | Arab MS Word file, 168 Kb. | [HTML]

The collection of Ahmed Abdalla (1980-1982) consists of documents of the well-known student leader Ahmad Abdalla collected during his stay in Great Britain in the early 1980s. It contains documents of the Federation of Egyptian Students in Great Britain (FESGB) and the Friends of the Tagammu Party in Great Britain, apart from published documents, pamphlets and periodicals of the Communist Party of Egypt, and other communist organizations. The collection of the Arab progressive monthly, al-Yassar al-Arabi/La Gauche Arabe are included as well.
The inventory:
PDF file, 19 Kb. | Arab MS Word file, 77 Kb. | [HTML]


Postcard Fatima Ahmed Ibrahim, 1971 Communist Party of the Sudan (1969-1999).The collection consists of the historical documents of this party that were kept in Europe. There are statutes, minutes of the proceedings of the Central Committee, and circulars, leaflets, pamphlets and books concerning a diversity of subjects. Especially the split in the CPS in 1970, the military coup in July 1971, and the popular uprising of 1985 and the military coup of 1989 are well documented. Also documents covering the different regular activities of the CPS such as trade union, the women's movement and foreign branches give a unique insight into the workings organization and procedures of the CPS. The newspaper of the CP, al-Midan, is also part of the collection. This collection of the CPS was donated to the IISH in two sections, one in 1997 and the other two years later.
The inventory:
PDF file, 103 Kb. | Arab MS Word file, 174 Kb. | [HTML]


The collection of the Communist Party of Iraq mostly concerns the cultural journal al-Thaqafa al-Jadida. This journal is kept in the library of the IISH.


Palestinian Labour and Women's Movements (1978-1994). During the Israeli occupation of the West Bank, Palestinian trade unions and other labour organizations continued to operate according to Jordanian law; the Israeli repression made high demands upon workers, both male and female, upon the workers' wives and subsequently upon trade unions and women's organizations, in particular during the Intifada.
The inventory: [HTML]

The IISH has acquired the original pamphlets issued between 1988 and 1990 by the Unified National Command of the Intifada, in addition to the documents collected on the Intifada, especially the trade union and the women's movement, by the Dutch researcher Joost Hilterman.
The inventory:
PDF file, 14 Kb. | Arab MS Word file, 74 Kb. | [HTML]


Jan Keulen, a Dutch journalist who stayed in the Middle East for many years, brought together a collection of pamphlets, bulletins, leaflets, newspaper clippings and other printed documents, mainly relating to the civil war in Lebanon in the 1980s. The inventory:
PDF file, 27 Kb. | Arab MS Word file, 112 Kb. | [HTML]

Text: Roel Meijer, Mohammed Abd al-Hamid