Hosni Mubarak Biography and Profile, Muhammad Hosni El Sayed Mubarak Biography and Profile, President of Egypt
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Hosni Mubarak Early Life

Hosni Mubarak (Muhammad Hosni El Sayed Mubarak) was born on 4 May 1928 in Munofiya. Mubarak was a former Egyptian military and political leader who served as the fourth president of Egypt from 1981 to 2011. Before he entered politics, Mubarak was a career officer in the Egyptian Air Force. Hosni Mubarak was the longest serving Egyptian president, having ruled Egypt for almost 30 years until he was swept from power in a wave of mass protests in February 2011. Mubarak was a 24-year-old air force pilot when the military overthrew King Farouk in 1952. The son of a government clerk, he was born Muhammed Hosni El Sayed Mubarak in the Nile Delta village of Kafr Musailha on May 4, 1928, when Egypt was still heavily supervised by Britain, which controlled the Suez Canal. Details of his early life are sketchy. He qualified as a pilot in 1950 and spent more than two years in the Soviet Union a decade later, training to fly bombers.

When much of the air force was wiped out by Israeli warplanes in the Six-Day War of 1967, he was made head of the air force academy, charged with rebuilding air power to hit back. As head of the air force from 1972, he did just that, attacking Israel in 1973. Sadat, who succeeded Gamal Abdel Nasser in 1970, saw in Mubarak a loyal subordinate and made him vice president in 1975. That office would lie vacant under Mubarak, who guarded his power jealously.

As president, Mubarak sent the army in to quell mutineers in the 1980s, and also repaired relations with Arab states after Sadat’s peace with Israel. In 1989, Egypt was readmitted to the Arab League, which moved its headquarters back to Cairo. American money made sure that Egypt never wavered from an arms-length civility toward the Jewish state, and Mubarak played mediator between Israel and the Palestinians down the years. His policies irritated many in the Middle East. After Hamas Islamists took control in the Gaza Strip, adjacent to Egypt, in 2007, Mubarak backed the Israeli blockade of the territory.

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Violence by Islamists at home, including attacks on tourist sites and Red Sea resorts, remained a justification for the police state. In 1995, Mubarak survived one of several assassination attempts when Islamist gunmen fired on his car during a visit to Ethiopia.

A command economy fashioned under the Arab socialist Nasser lagged behind countries Egypt was once compared to, such as Turkey or South Korea. Egypt’s population almost doubled under Mubarak, but many remained mired in deep poverty. A spurt of growth in his final decade, fuelled by market reforms overseen by his son Gamal, made some rich, but corruption ensured the wealth stuck to the elite around the head of state, the military and those who found favour in the National Democratic Party (NDP).

Hosni Mubarak Biography and Profile

The son of a government clerk, he was born Muhammed Hosni El Sayed Mubarak in the Nile Delta village of Kafr Musailha on May 4, 1928, when Egypt was still heavily supervised by Britain, which controlled the Suez Canal. Muhammad Hosni Sayyid Mubarak insisted on keeping his private life out of the public domain while president. Mubarak exhibited a leaning toward the military. A graduate of the Air Force academy, he would serve as its director between 1966 and 1969. In 1972, Sadat appointed him as Air Force commander; he would later receive accolades from the late president over the Egyptian Air Force’s accomplishments during the conflict with Israel.

In 1975, Sadat appointed Mubarak to the post of vice-president and gave him his first taste of mainstream politics as a senior member of the ruling National Democratic Party (NDP). It was not clear why Sadat chose Mubarak, although some believe it was in reward for Mubarak’s effective tenure as chief of the air force.

Married to a half-British graduate of the American University in Cairo, Suzanne Mubarak, he was known to lead a strict life with a fixed daily schedule that began at 0600. Never a smoker or a drinker, he built himself a reputation as a fit man who led a healthy life. In his younger days, close associates often complained of the president’s schedule, which began with a workout in the gym or a game of squash.

He was sworn in as president on 14 October 1981, eight days after the Sadat assassination. Despite having little popular appeal or international profile at the time, the burly military man used his sponsorship of the issue behind Sadat’s killing – peace with Israel – to build up his reputation as an international statesman.

Mubarak head of the air force academy

Mubarak qualified as a pilot in 1950 and spent more than two years in the Soviet Union a decade later, training to fly bombers. When much of the air force was wiped out by Israeli warplanes in the Six-Day War of 1967, he was made head of the air force academy, charged with rebuilding air power to hit back. As head of the air force from 1972, he did just that, attacking Israel in 1973.

Mubarak Isolated From Arab and Muslim Countries

When Mubarak assumed power, Egypt was isolated from Arab and Muslim countries, many of whom had broken off diplomatic ties after Sadat signed a peace treaty with Israel in 1979. In one of its greatest diplomatic defeats, Egypt was kicked out of the Arab League and its headquarters were moved from Cairo to Tunisia. Mubarak’s first foreign policy mandate was to bring his country back into the Arab fold and to resume ties with major players in the region. His first success was in building a relationship with the then influential Arab leader Saddam Hussein, the Iraqi president, whose country was locked in a bloody war with Iran.

Egypt signed on as Iraq’s ally in the conflict, providing military assistance and expertise to Baghdad. By the time the Iran-Iraq war ended in 1988, Egypt had successfully emerged from its isolation. In 1990, in a move spearheaded by Iraq and Yemen, the Arab League headquarters were returned to Cairo. But the Arab rapprochement was short-lived as Egypt opposed Iraq’s invasion of Kuwait in August 1990. Mubarak urged Saddam to withdraw his forces from Kuwait; when Baghdad failed to do so, Egypt joined the US-led international effort to drive Iraqi troops out of Kuwait.

Hosni Mubarak Trial

By late May 2011, judicial officials announced that Mr Mubarak, along with his two sons – Alaa and Gamal – would stand trial over the deaths of anti-government protesters. So began a protracted series of court appearances – with the former president often been seen in the dock in an upright stretcher wearing his trademark sunglasses.

Hosni Mubarak Trial in Court
Hosni Mubarak Trial in Court

He has steadfastly argued his innocence – telling a retrial in August that that he was approaching the end of his life “with a good conscience”.

On 2 June 2012 he was found guilty of complicity in the murder of some of the demonstrators who took part in the wave of protests that began on 25 January 2011. Along with his former Interior Minister, Habib al-Adly, he was sentenced to life imprisonment for his crimes.

In January 2013 a court upheld an appeal against Mr Mubarak’s and Mr al-Adly’s convictions and granted retrials. Mr Mubarak and his sons were also ordered to be retried on corruption charges for which they were originally acquitted. Mr Mubarak was released from prison in August that year but placed under house arrest before being transferred to a military hospital.

In May 2014, Mubarak was found guilty of embezzlement, and sentenced to three years in prison. Alaa and Gamal were sentenced to four years each. The convictions were overturned in January 2015, but a retrial reinstated the same sentences. An appeals court upheld the sentences a year later, but Alaa and Gamal were freed because of time already served.

In November 2014, Mr Mubarak was finally acquitted in a retrial of conspiring to kill protesters during the 2011 uprising. At the same time, he was also acquitted of corruption charges involving gas exports to Israel.

In March 2017 Egypt’s top appeals court upheld Mr Mubarak’s acquittal and he went free, for the first time in six years.

Mubarak: Egypt’s Quasi-Military Leader

In effect, Mubarak ruled as a quasi-military leader when he took power. For his entire period in office, he kept the country under emergency law, giving the state sweeping powers of arrest and curbing basic freedoms. The government argued the draconian regime was necessary to combat Islamist terrorism, which came in waves during the decades of Mr Mubarak’s rule – often targeting Egypt’s lucrative tourism sector.

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He presided over a period of domestic stability and economic development that meant most of his fellow countrymen accepted his monopolisation of power. But towards the end of his tenure in power, Mr Mubarak felt for the first time the pressure to encourage democracy, both from within Egypt, and from his most powerful ally, the United States. Many supporters of reform doubted the veteran ruler’s sincerity when he said he was all for opening up the political process.

Ahead of his declaration that he would not to stand again for the presidency, the US had heaped pressure on him to stand aside, calling for an “orderly transition” of power to a more democratic system. Mr Mubarak won three elections unopposed since 1981, but for his fourth contest in 2005 – after a firm push from the US – he changed the system to allow rival candidates.

Critics said the election was heavily weighted in favour of Mr Mubarak and the National Democratic Party (NDP). They accused the Egyptian leader of presiding over a sustained campaign of suppressing.

‘History will judge me’

The length of his time in power, along with his age and possible successors, had all been sensitive subjects in Egypt until the mass protests allowed the Egyptian people to find a voice. People around Mr Mubarak said his health and vigour belied his age – although a couple of health scares served as a reminder of his advancing years. Rumours about the president’s health gathered pace when he travelled to Germany in March 2010 for gall bladder surgery. They flared every time he missed a key gathering or disappeared from the media spotlight for any conspicuous length of time.

However much Egyptian officials tried to deny them, they kept circulating, with reports in the Israeli and pan-Arab media. The days of mass protests in Egyptian cities prompted Mr Mubarak to finally name a vice-president. On 29 January 2011, intelligence chief Omar Suleiman was elevated to the role in what was seen as an attempt by Mr Mubarak to bolster his support in the military. Two weeks later Mr Mubarak’s three-decade rule was over, and in March he was under arrest.

In the past, Mr Mubarak had said he would continue to serve Egypt until his last breath. In his speech on 1 February 2011, he said: “This dear nation… is where I lived, I fought for it and defended its soil, sovereignty and interests. On its soil I will die. History will judge me like it did others.”

Why Was Mubarak Overthrown?

Mubarak policies irritated many in the Middle East. After Hamas Islamists took control in the Gaza Strip, adjacent to Egypt, in 2007, Mubarak backed the Israeli blockade of the territory. Violence by Islamists at home, including attacks on tourist sites and Red Sea resorts, remained a justification for the police state. In 1995, Mubarak survived one of several assassination attempts when Islamist gunmen fired on his car during a visit to Ethiopia.

A command economy fashioned under the Arab socialist Nasser lagged behind countries Egypt was once compared to, such as Turkey or South Korea. Egypt’s population almost doubled under Mubarak, but many remained mired in deep poverty. A spurt of growth in his final decade, fuelled by market reforms overseen by his son Gamal, made some rich, but corruption ensured the wealth stuck to the elite around the head of state, the military and those who found favour in the National Democratic Party (NDP).

Politically, there was talk of reform, not least when former U.S. President George W. Bush was pushing the idea. After winning a series of single-candidate referendums that provided the legal basis of his rule, Mubarak agreed to contest a presidential election in 2005. But the defeat of Ayman Nour, a liberal lawyer who dared challenge him, was no surprise.

By 2010, the NDP felt confident enough of its impunity to claim 90% of the seats in a parliamentary election that saw the Muslim Brotherhood eliminated from the legislature. The resulting public outrage might have subsided, as it had before, had it not been for the sudden success of an uprising in Tunisia just a few weeks later which also prompted protests against Egypt’s ruler.

At first, Mubarak gave little ground to the hundreds of thousands of demonstrators in Cairo’s Tahrir Square, comforted by hesitation in Western capitals to cut loose an ally. Only when his generals began to desert him, fearful their own privileges might be swept away, and the Americans sided with the popular will, did he relent, at first insisting he would retire only later but finally flown off to his Red Sea retreat.

“Egypt and I shall not be parted until I am buried in her soil,” he said. He was arrested two months later.

A trial began in August 2011, the sight of Mubarak in a courtroom cage captivating viewers.

Egyptian Revolution of 2011

Hosni Mubarak, Egypt’s third and longest-serving president, stepped down on February 11, 2011, after an 18-day-long mass uprising aimed at removing him from power. Omar Suleiman, the country’s then newly appointed vice-president, announced the move in a brief statement on state television, hours after Mubarak was reported to have left the capital Cairo for the Red Sea resort city of Sharm El-Sheikh.

The following day Vice-President Omar Suleiman made a terse announcement saying Mr Mubarak was stepping down and the military’s supreme council would run the country.

Mubarak’s resignation followed mass protests in Egypt against his 30-year rule, and came a day after he surprised the people of his country by refusing to resign. The former president succeeded Anwar Sadat, who was assassinated on October 6, 1981 while attending a military parade to commemorate the 1973 Arab-Israeli war.

Mohamed Mursi Won the Presidency

On June 2, 2012, just before Brotherhood candidate Mohamed Mursi won the presidency, Mubarak was jailed for life for conspiring to murder protesters, sent to Cairo’s Tora Prison though occasionally moved to the smart Maadi military hospital nearby due to claims of failing health. Prison time would be short, however, as another military man, Abdel Fattah al-Sisi, overthrew Mursi the following year.

As Sisi launched a crackdown on the Brotherhood that critics said was more severe than anything under Mubarak, the case against the former president was dropped in 2014.

Three years later, following an appeal by the prosecution, Egypt’s top appeals court acquitted him, allowing him to return to his home the upscale Cairo neighbourhood of Heliopolis, not far from the presidential palace he had occupied for nearly three decades.

Hosni Mubarak Death

Former Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak, who held power for 30 years until he was ousted in 2011 in a popular uprising against corruption and autocratic rule, died on Tuesday 25 February 2020, at the age of 91.

Hosni Mubarak Net Worth

Hosni Mubarak’s vast wealth started to attract widespread press scrutiny, with outlets like the Guardian and ABC News estimating his fortune at as much as $70 billion. However, this amount may be disputed by some people. The precise amount of cash and assets Mubarak and his family allegedly stole may start to come to light as Egypt works with international authorities in their recovery effort.

Hosni Mubarak spoke out and said:

“I do not own any accounts or assets outside Egypt… This is for the Egyptian people to know that their former president has accounts only in one Egyptian bank, according to what I have mentioned in my final financial statement. I agree to offer any authorizations that would enable the Egyptian public prosecutor – through the Egyptian Foreign Ministry’s contacts with foreign ministries worldwide – to take all the necessary legal procedures to reveal whether my wife, either of my sons, Alaa or Gamal, and I own any properties or assets directly or indirectly, whether they were commercial or personal, since I started working in the military and political public works and until now, so that everyone would make sure that all the allegations handled by the local and foreign mass media about me and my family’s ownership of huge properties abroad were fake.”

How Old is Hosni Mubarak?

Hosni Mubarak was 91 years when he died on Tuesday 25 February 2020.

Hosni Mubarak’s Family

Hosni Mubarak’s Spouse: Suzanne Mubarak (m. 1959). Hosni Mubarak’s Grandchildren: Omar Alaa Mubarak, Mahmoud Gamal Mubarak, Farida Gamal Mubarak, Mohammed Mubarak.

Muhammad Hosni El Sayed Mubarak Biography and Profile

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