Will Pharaoh Fall Again?

Published: January 27th 2011
in News » World

Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak

The Egyptian President


Hosni Mubarak, the Egyptian president, has been ruling the biggest and strongest Arab state since October 1981. He personally witnessed the murder of his predecessor, Muhammad Anwar A-Sadat, when during a military ceremony, rebelling Egyptian officers jumped out of a truck and sprayed the presidential stage with fire. Mubarak survived the attack and for nearly 30 years he's been ruling Egypt with an iron fist. His opponents call him the "Modern Pharaoh of Egypt".


Warrior and peace maker


The circumstances of his life turned Mubarak into a hero. He was the commander of the Egyptian Air-Force during the Yom-Kippur war when, in Egyptian eyes, Israel was defeated and Egypt restored its sense of pride following the 1967 humiliation. He was nominated as Vice-President in 1975 and ironically, was one of parties who signed the peace treaty with Israel in 1979.


Riots in Egypt


What started in Tunisia several weeks ago is now spreading to the rest of the Arab world. The common people want better life and they are tired of the corruption of their regimes. For the last few days, tens of thousands of Egyptians have been demonstrating in the streets of Egypt's major cities, especially Cairo, Alexandria and Suez. They are demanding a change.


They want more rights, more pride and especially more, and cheaper, food and a brighter future. The life of the common Egyptian citizen is not that easy. Most of the population is poor and makes a basic living. Many earn no more than few dollars per day. Unemployment is extremely high, and corruption by the Egyptian elite is a common perception.


The Muslim Brothers


The Muslim Brothers are one of the strongest Islamic movements in the world. For years the Egyptian secular regime has been suppressing them and doing all it can to prevent them from getting into power. The current situation in Egypt can be an opportunity for the Muslim Brothers. From their point of view, the Pharaoh must leave for the people to have a better life. As we all know, Hamas said the same, as did the Iranian revolutionaries against the Shah and we all know what happened in the end.


The Israeli point of view


Israel considers its 32 year Peace Agreement with Egypt as a strategic asset. Its long border with the strongest Arab country has been quiet for decades. The Mubarak regime is considered moderate and in many cases Egypt played the rule of a mediator between Israel and the Palestinians. A different regime in Egypt will put all that has been achieved for decades at risk and uncertainty.


The social revolution


Realizing the role social media had in the collapse of the Tunisian government, Egypt has blocked all access to Twitter and Facebook. Much like in Tunisia, Facebook was primarily used for rallying people for the protests, while Twitter was used for sharing on the ground information and live updates.


Since the blockade, tech-savvy protesters have started using proxies to circumvent the blockage and allow access to the popular social media sites.


Yemen next?


Earlier today, thousands of protesters demonstrated against Yemen’s longtime president, Ali Abdullah Saleh, who as been in office for 32 years and was last re-elected in 2006.


People in Yemen are upset because the parliament has proposed loosening the rules on presidential term limits, which has led to speculations that Saleh might try to appoint himself president for life.


The next ruler of Egypt


President Mubarak was born on May 4th, 1928 and will turn 83 soon. Like many other Arab rulers, Gamal Mubarak, the President's son may succeed his father. The rumors about the succession have been denied many times and instead the people are reminded that Egypt is a republic and not a Monarchy.


Another option is that the current head of the Egyptian Intelligence, Omar Suleiman will succeed Mubarak.

Related articles: (Egypt, Tunisia, Yemen, Twitter, Facebook)

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