Wednesday, February 17, 2016

Muhammad Hasanayn Haykal, dead

He was by far the most influential and most read Arab journalist in the last century and this one.  No one comes close.  The last people who are in a position to assess him are those who wrote for oil and gas media.  I had written about him before: he made some major mistakes in his political career: supporting Sadat against his enemies in 1971, not breaking with Sadat until Sadat broke with him.  Supporting Mubarak at some point, and then supporting Sisi as of late.  He gave his talents to the Nasser regime but he also received unprecedented access from Nasser.  He was the product of the Nasser regime but his career extended beyond the Nasserist era.  He is a great story teller but he embellished a lot, and had a weakness for elite settings and connections.  He was consistent politically but only privately.