Major General Staff Engineer Ahmed Zaki Abdeen is the first Egyptian officer to cross the Suez Canal on October 6, 1973, and he is the founder of one of the Fedayeen brigades that was carrying out combat operations.
Abdeen was born in 1946 in the village of Tazmant al-Sharqiya in Beni Suef Governorate. He graduated from the Military Technical College and worked as an officer in the Egyptian army. He held several positions, including the position of military attaché in Washington, then took command of the Corps of Engineers, then appointed head of the Engineering Authority of the Armed Forces, and headed the Building Cooperatives Authority. Then Governor of Beni Suef, then Governor of Kafr El-Sheikh, then Minister of Local Development, and currently he is the Chairman of the Board of Directors of the New Administrative Capital.
Abdeen said that his crossing of the canal as the first Egyptian officer had an old story behind him. He was a first lieutenant and the commander of the second field army at the time, Major General Abdel Moneim Khalil, knew him well because he had previously known that the junior officer had carried out about 53 crossings east of the canal during training, and on one occasion he asked the commander of the second army The field officers asked a question, and he said, Who among you wants to cross the Suez Canal and raise the Egyptian flag on the other side? “So everyone raised their hands, but he chose him because of his previous knowledge of carrying out crossing operations and his previous knowledge that he was the commander of the fedayeen company.”
He pointed out that “during the implementation of the crossing, he was secured with artillery, and he swam across the canal and then put the Egyptian flag,” and about his formation of the Fedayeen battalion, he “chosen the elements that possess the skills of fitness, fighting and intelligence.”
He added: “10 officers and about 350 soldiers were selected, and we began training for commando actions against the enemy in the east of the Suez Canal, and we were surprised that the Israeli side sets strong and fortified points every 6 kilometers, and despite that they managed to infiltrate from them and carried out 53 operations east of the Canal between capturing soldiers and destroying them.” Strongholds, reconnaissance operations, clashing, blowing up tanks and roads, and mines.”