People throughout the country took part in demonstrations that lasted for several days demanding the end of the occupation and the return of the revolution leaders of resistance, including Saad Zaghloul, who led the Egyptian revolution in 1919. There was a small village called Zefta, a rural area in upper Egypt where the revolution was erupted. People in Zefta declared an “independent republic” against the British occupation and opposed the exile of Saad Zaghloul.
The hero of this struggle for the Republic of Zefta was Yusuf al-Jundi, a 25-year-old man of the Zefta who rose up against the British occupation and decided to lead Zefta against all British occupation policies. Yousef’s record was full of protests and demonstrations against the British occupation, where he starred in the meetings of the “House of the Nation” garden, which was originally the house of Saad Zaghloul. He usually stood there discussing the revolution and resistance strategies.
After the outbreak of the 1919 revolution, Yusuf al-Jundi rose up in his village of Zefta, but there was no English presence in the center of the countryside and the resistance was concentrated on the big cities. Yusuf al-Jundi decided to meet powerful people in his small village Zefta and take control of the village and separate it from the rest of the British occupation to spark the independence of the other cities from the occupation in Egypt. After a long meeting with judges, teachers, mayor and traders, they all agreed that the seizure of the police station to gain protection and strength in the face of occupation. The police stations’ officer at this time, Isma’il Hamad, cooperated with Yusuf al- Jundi over the weapons, led the soldiers, and then offered his services to him to participate in the committee of the revolution of Zefta. The demonstration then went to the railway station and took over the railway cars, which were parked loaded with wheat; waiting to be sent to the English authorities.
The news reached the heart of London and a squad of Australian soldiers under the supervision of the British occupation was ordered to go to Zefta to retrieve it and capture the Revolutionary Committee. The campaign failed to enter Zefta. The British decided to carry out another campaign in large numbers to besiege the village and arrest the Revolutionary Committee. A few days later, the village was unable to continue the resistance. Yusuf al-Jundi disappeared to a nearby village and remained there until Saad Zaghloul was able to obtain an amnesty to continue his revolutionary and intellectual work in Cairo. This is an Egyptian story of struggle for the first independent Egyptian city in modern times, a city that was the world’s modern and inspiration for the resistance in the world.
Who was the leader of Zefta’s resistance?
Youssef el Gendy