Hosni Mubarak, born in 1928 graduated from the prestigious Egyptian military academy in 1949 in Cairo. Afterwards he received advanced flight and bomber training in the Soviet Union, which enabled him to become a commander in the Egyptian air force.
His first step to becoming President of Egypt was presented to him when he was appointed chief commander of the air force by Anwar el-Sadat. It was during the Arab-Israeli war of 1972 where Mubarak gained his reputation after the successful performance of the air force in opening days of the conflict. As a result of this in 1974 Mubarak was promoted air marshal. One year later, his political career began in earnest when el-Sadat appointed him to the position of vice-President. It was in this role that Hosni Mubarak gained an international reputation as a statesman and power-broker for the Middle Eastern region after involving himself with most of the negotiations involving Middle Easter and Arab affairs.
It was to take a moment of political upheaval in Egypt that was to propel Mubarak to the top job in the country after el-Sadat was assassinated in 1981. Mubarak’s years in office marked what was to be a huge transitional phase for the country as a whole. Egypt, under Mubarak’s leadership saw as substantial paradigm shift in relation with other Arab country’s but more significantly with Israel. Mubarak reaffirmed Egypt’s peace treaty with Israel in 1979 under the Camp David Accords, additionally Egypt maintained and cultivated good relations with the United States, which has led the US to become Egypt’s prime aid donor contributing around $1.2bn annually.
Mubarak’s international stature was boosted further still during the Persian Gulf War in 1990-91, when he led the way in supporting the Saudi decision to host US forces, an extremely controversial decision given Saudi Arabia is the place on the two holiest sites in the Muslim world, Mecca & Medina.
After the cessation of hostilities between the US backed forces and Iraq, Mubarak played an influential role in brokering a bi-lateral agreement between Israel and the Palestinian Liberation Organization (PLO) in 1993.
However, towards the mid 1990s, Mubarak began to face increasing opposition and civil unrest, which led to a guerrilla violence that wanted democratic reforms despite his re-election in 1993. Mubarak under pressure began a campaign against Islamic Fundamentalism which carried out a series of devastating terror attacks throughout this period in Egypt. Four years after an attempted assassination, Mubarak was again elected president for the fourth time, however he was unopposed during this campaign. In 2005 Mubarak won want was widely regarded as a rigged election, which was the first multi candidate election.
Fast forward to today, Egypt is on the verge on revolution with significant pressure been put on Mubarak to resign after years of failed promises, specifically democratic reform, which has essentially been non-existent. The catalyst for the current situation in Egypt was the Jasmine Revolution which took place in near-by Tunisia, which forced the President Zine al-Abidine Ben Ali from power.
While democratic reforms are the primary objectives for citizens of Egypt, there are other reasons which have fuelled the flames of revolutionary spirit in Egypt. For example;
- decline in living standards - high youth uunemployment and increase in poverty
- a substantial increase in commodity prices, which has resulted in high food prices, which has not been match by wage increases (hence the above). Notice last year a sharp increase in protest/riots and demonstrations regarding food prices.
- add the above with a disaffected population, which has over time become fed-up with their respective ruling governments and you see how the situation has come about.
Article courtesy of http://www.britannica.com/EBchecked/topic/395776/Hosni-Mubarak