EGYPT: Granite Wall

In the busy days after the 1952 revolution which brought him to power, Lieut.

Colonel Gamal Abdel Nasser received a visitor who, by wide repute, was a purveyor of quaint and useless notions. His claim: he had solved the problem that for 7,000 years had resisted solution, the taming of the Nile. Nasser called in a trusted engineer, who said, "The man's crazy." "That may be," Egypt's new young boss replied, "but don't come back until you're sure." The crazy idea was to build a dam barely 300 feet high which would back up the Nile's waters for 400 miles.

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