FILE - Martyr and hero Nabil el-Wakkad
CAIRO - 13 June 2019: In Egypt, it is not uncommon to find streets named after individuals who left their mark carved in the minds and hearts of Egyptians. Naming streets after certain individuals is also a common thing around the world.
Egypt Today sheds light on a street named Nabil el-Wakkad. It is a bustling street in the heart of the historical district of Heliopolis in Cairo. But, who is Nabil el-Wakkad? In the following lines numerous secrets about the life of Wakkad will be revealed.
Nabil Bakr Ali Hassan el-Wakkad achieved his secondary education degree from the Copts Secondary School in the city of Beni Suef. He moved from Alexandria after his father realized that his presence there posed danger to his future in light of his involvement in political activities prior to the July 23 revolution.
Sixteen years earlier, particularly in Moharram Bey district in Alexandria, a hero was born on January 15, 1936 to a patriotic father who sent him to the military college to serve his country, a father who was also keen to enroll four of his sons in military colleges.
Famous sports commentator Mahmoud Bakr (1944 2016), Nabil el-Wakkad's younger brother, was a student at the Naval College in 1962 when his brother Nabil was martyred in Yemen, creating for himself, his family and Egypt a legendary story of immense courage and heroism.
Nabil in Arabic means “Nobleman”, and Wakkad was truly a nobleman, just like his name addresses him. On May 6, 1963, Wakkad passed away, leaving behind his pregnant wife.
The daughter of the hero said in a previous interview that she celebrates her father's death anniversary on October 23 of every year, in a small-scale family dinner, proudly reviving the memory of her heroic father.
Wakkad’s daughter insists that Egypt’s young generations must know everything about its martyrs and their heroic acts.
Nabil was preceded by four siblings; Ali, Mahasin, Karima and Mohammed; he had a special, respectful and charismatic personality that made most of the family members resort to him for advice. This was affirmed by his granddaughter Nadia, who said that she heard from her grandparents stories that confirm that her grandfather, Wakkad, had a very strong personality that made everyone respect him.
Some of the many honoring received by the hero
As per Wakkad's close relationship with late President Gamal Abdel Nasser, his daughter clarified that her father was a Republican Guard Officer who was very close to the late president and leader.
Nasser relied on him to carry out the difficult tasks. Wakkad received a direct mandate from Nasser to be part of the group travelling to Yemen to cooperate with the revolution of Marshal Abdullah Al-Sallal against the regime of Imam al-Badr, supported at the time by the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia and the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan.
Wakkad went to Yemen and upon his arrival, he received orders from the Revolutionary Commandos to land parachutes in a dangerous area of fire-battle, and because he was one of the founders of the Egyptian army's Special Commandos, under the leadership of Saad al-Din al-Shazli, the impossible task was truly worthy of him.
At that moment, Wakkad was killed, becoming the first Egyptian martyr in the Yemen war, in which the Egyptian army lost about 26,000 soldiers.
Wakkad's daughter speaking to media in a previous interview
The hero carved his name in gold in the modern history of Egypt after Nasser mentioned him in a lengthy speech after his death.
On December 23, 1962, President Gamal Abdel Nasser gave a public speech in the city of Port Said, marking the sixth victory anniversary saying: “In the war of Yemen, the first martyr was our lieutenant Nabil el-Waqqad, who believed deeply in himself, his country, and that the Arab lands are all one land, and that the liberation of any Arab country is an affirmation of the deserved freedom of the rest of the Arab nations.”
Before the Yemen war, Wakkad received an honoring of the highest levels on March 9, 1960, when Nasser decided to grant him the military courage shield of the first class in recognition of his efforts in the Egyptian Special Forces.
The countless certificates of appreciation and the numerous military medals Wakkad received -despite his young age- confirm that he was one of the best men in the Egyptian Armed Forces. The top leaders of the army assigned him very complex roles and he carried out a number of dangerous and precise operations.
Nabil el-Wakkad is a nobleman and a martyr, who was born on the precious land of Egypt, and died for the sake of Egypt.