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.
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.
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.
After the thundering Arab nationalist rhetoric of Nasser, and the historic peace made with Israel by Sadat, Mubarak turned Egypt politically inward. He oversaw a process of liberal economic reform that benefited a small business and military elite at the cost of widening social gaps, even as the industrial base of Egypt eroded under his watch from its glory years in the 1950s.
Page 1 of 5