Arab Steel Summit

Al-Wafd: Arab steel industry from Labib Naseem to condemn the Israeli violations in Gaza

If you want to look at the economic growth in any country, start by looking at the growth in the steel industry in that country first… That sentence was said by the Chairman of the Ezz Steel Group, Engineer Ahmed Ezz, during the opening session of the “16th” Arab Steel Summit, which Cairo hosted in the period from October 29 to 31 of the current year 2023, in the presence of more than 250 Arab and international industrial figures.

Ahmed Ezz’s sentence has these important connotations that we mention before delving into several other hot points. The first connotation is that industry in general and the steel industry in particular is the focus of any development in any country, including the major industrial countries. The second connotation is the extent of the influence of manufacturers in bringing about any development. The third significance is the role of the private sector and industrial investment in development.

When Egyptian and Arab manufacturers speak in a large regional forum that includes major steel manufacturers in the Arab world and is attended by international figures, we must pause a lot when they talk, especially when it comes to the brutal Israeli ground aggression against the people of Gaza, which is besieged by land, sea and air. We stop at several very important facts revealed by the steel summit. Arabic and we list it in the following lines:

First fact:

Egypt was the first to discover the steel industry in the Arab world

I was very struck by a sentence mentioned by the former President of the Arab Union and Chairman of the Ezz Steel Group, Ahmed Ezz, when he said that Egypt had known the steel industry since 1917, even though many people believe that the steel industry in real terms began in Egypt with the formation of the Egyptian Iron and Steel Company, but the truth is as Ahmed mentioned. It is important that the steel industry began with the appearance of the name of the geologist Labib Nassim in 1917, and he discovered the first iron ores in southern Egypt in Suwan. By searching in the book “Pioneers of Mining in Egypt” by Professor Dr. Mohamed Rajai, published by the Arab Society for Mining and Petroleum in 1912, we found that Labib Nassim and with him engineer Hassan Helmy. Eduardo Al-Alfy and Mustafa Ezzat are among the first pioneers of the mining industry in Egypt, and all of them obtained prestigious academic degrees, both from universities in England and Germany, in addition to Fouad I University. As for Labib Naseem, he is the one we should stop at because he is considered the first Egyptian to obtain a license to extract the iron oxides spread around Aswan. Labib Naseem is also considered one of the oldest researchers of minerals in Egypt and the most interested in them. He wrote many books about this industry, studied the laws related to mines and quarries in many countries, and participated in drafting the new mines law in 1956. He was assisted by his daughter, called “Ger Trud,” who was the first An Egyptian girl graduated from the Geology Department at Fouad I University in 1939. Jir Trud, Labib Nassim’s daughter, was the first woman to obtain a master’s degree from the same university. She then traveled to London and obtained a doctorate in geology, and continued to help her father in working in mines and quarries in the Eastern Desert.
After Labib Naseem, the Egyptian Copper Company was established in 1935, then the Delta Company in 1947, then the Abu Zaabal National Company in 1948, then the Military Factory 9, then the Helwan Iron and Steel Factory.

The second fact:
Al-Ahliyya Factory proves that Arabs were not anti-Semites
Among the messages or facts mentioned by engineer Ahmed Ezz at the Arab Steel Summit, which relate to the impact of the industry, especially the steel industry, on various aspects of life is that the idea of establishing the National Steel Company, Abu Zaabal, was by an Arab-Jewish tribe that came from the Levant to Egypt in the forties of the last century. This proves that we have never been anti-Semitic! In addition to what “Ezz” mentioned, we add and say that the Abu Zaabal National Company has strongly demonstrated the role of the steel industry in development and building major national projects since the date of its inception when it began working using open furnaces to melt scrap resulting from the remnants of World War II – before and after nationalization – and the national role. It played a major role in building missile walls along the front from Port Said in the north to Suez in the south, destroying planes, and building the High Dam. As chemist Saeed Ayoub, one of the company’s former presidents, says, the private company, Abu Zaabal, was offering its expertise in the sixties as a pioneering company in the steel industry to Arab countries, including The Jordanian Steel Company – Mufleh and Partners, by training some technicians within the company. The Zionist enemy saw that the private company posed a threat to him, so on February 12, 1970, he bombed it during the War of Attrition. The company was present at that time with about 1,300 workers. After that, Salah Jaheen sang. saying :
We, the workers who were killed in front of the factory in Abu Zaabal, sing for the world and recite the titles of the grains of the future!!

The third fact:

Palestine is Arab and rejects the brutal attacks on Gaza
History will record that the Arab steel makers, who are one of the most important axes of development in all Arab countries without exception, were unanimous in one voice, in one spirit and with one timing during the summit that brought them together in Cairo on October 29, 2023, in their condemnation and complete rejection of the brutal barbaric aggression launched by Israel against the people. The Arab League in besieged Gaza, and Ahmed Ezz described in his speech before more than 250 Arab and international figures participating in the activities of the Arab Steel Summit that what Israel is doing is not only against international conventions, but also extends to violating humanitarian rules!!

Fourth fact:

Egypt has all the real investment opportunities
The Arab steel manufacturers unanimously agreed in their discussion, whether on the sidelines or during the summit sessions, that Egypt, more than ever, has all the elements of real investment opportunities. There are roads that have become paved, a strong infrastructure, and industrial areas that are being developed at a speed that Egypt has never witnessed before, and above all that there is Political leadership that motivates and encourages investment in all sectors, whether production, manufacturing, service, or logistics.