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Mubarak's legacy – and his downfall: A stale stability

Unlike his iconic predecessors Anwar Sadat and Gamal Abdel Nasser, who left clear imprints on Egypt, Hosni Mubarak will probably be remembered more for unfulfilled expectations.

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Hosni Mubarak has stepped down as president of Egypt, but after 30 years of rule, what has he accomplished?

ZUMA Press/Newscom/File

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After nearly 30 years at the helm of the economic and cultural center of the Arab world, Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak relinquished his post in the face of an unprecedented and unrelenting pro-democracy movement.

Mr. Mubarak's departure yesterday changes not only the face of Egypt but also that of the Middle East, where in 1981 he took command of one of the region's most powerful countries.

He was the longest-ruling Egyptian leader since Mohamed Ali Pasha, the 19th-century Ottoman viceroy who is considered the founder of modern Egypt.

Unlike his iconic predecessors and fellow generals Anwar Sadat and Gamal Abdel Nasser, who left clear imprints on the nation and died in office, Mubarak will probably be remembered more for unfulfilled expectations and wasted opportunity.

"With Nasser and Sadat, people remember what they did do. Concerning Mubarak, I think the people will remember ... what he might have done, but did not," said analyst Amr al-Shobaki of Cairo's Al Ahram Center for Political and Strategic Studies, speaking before Mubarak's fall.

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