With Yom Kippur approaching, along with its religious observance, some of us will be remembering the Yom Kippur War of 1973. Arabs too, will be remembering. In fact, they'll be celebrating their victory of 30 years ago. The Arab reality is confusing if not absolutely amazing:
Ironically the Egyptians call the October War as ‘Ramadan War’ and the Israelis call it ‘Yom Kippur’ – with both these terms signifying religious forebodings. There is nothing of that sort and it just happened and it was the month of fasting when Anwer Sadaat reckoned that it was the time of maximum political and strategic surprise and he struck a massive blow at the Israeli positions across the Suez Canal and demolished the Bar-Lev Line and with that the myth of Israeli infallibility. This victory is part of the recent Egyptian history - and a glorious part of it, and 6 October is celebrated with great fervour.
...“Yes, the first element of the October victory was faith. The Outcry ‘Allah-o-Akbar’ – (God is Greatest) coming out of the brave believing hearts, was the prime support for the Egyptian fighter. He was in full control over his will and arms. He gave his life willingly and courageously to make history, opening a new bright golden page in our contemporary history loudly announcing to people throughout ages, here is Egyptian man, and here is Egyptian Army.” There could be no better tribute to the Egyptian Armed Forces.
That Egyptians are able to convince themselves that they won the 1973 war is an impressive feat of intellectual creativity. It does not change what happened: despite the element of surprise, Egypt not only failed to destroy Israel or even to take back the Sinai, but ended the war with a large chunk of its army surrounded and Israeli forces just 101 kilometers from Cairo.