President Mubarak of Egypt
President Mubarak, (Muhammad Hosni Mubarak)(born May 4, 1928) has been the president of Egypt since October 14, 1981.
Mubarak was appointed vice-president of the Republic of Egypt after moving up the ranks of the Egyptian Air Force. He ascended to the presidency, succeeding President Anwar Al Sadat, following Sadat's assassination on October 6, 1981.
Early life and the Egyptian Air Force
President Mubarak was born in Kafr-El-Meselha, Al Monufiyah Governorate, Egypt.
Upon completion of high school, he joined the Egyptian Military Academy, where he received a Bachelor's Degree in Military Sciences in 1949.
In 1950, he joined the Air Force Academy, eventually earning a Bachelor's Degree in Aviation Sciences, and was assigned to the bombers squadrons.
Part of his pilot's training he received at the Soviet pilot training school in Frunze (current Bishkek), in Soviet Kyrgyzstan.
He then moved up the chain of command, holding the positions of pilot, instructor, squadron leader and base commander.
In 1964, he was appointed head of the Egyptian Military Delegation to the USSR.
In the years between 1967 and 1972, during the War of Attrition between Egypt and Israel, Mubarak was appointed Director of the Air Force Academy and Chief of Staff of the Egyptian Air Force.
In 1972, he became Commander of the Air Force and deputy minister of war.
In October 1973, following the Yom Kippur War, Mubarak was promoted to the rank of Air Chief Marshal.
In April 1975, he was appointed Vice-President of Egypt and, in 1978, he was selected as Vice-Chairman of the National Democratic Party (NDP).
President of Egypt
Following the assassination of President Sadat by militants in 1981, Mubarak became the President of the Arab Republic of Egypt and the Chairman of the National Democratic Party (NDP).
He is also the longest reigning President of the Egyptian Republic (26 years in 2007).
Hosni Mubarak is married to Suzanne Mubarak, and has two sons: Alaa and Gamal.
Egypt's return to the Arab League
Egypt was the only country in the history of the Arab League to be suspended from its membership, due to President Sadat's peace treaty with Israel, but it re-gained admission to the league - eight years after Sadat's assassination on October 6, 1981 - in 1989, under Mubarak.
Its headquarters was relocated to its original setting in Cairo.
Wars and the monetary gain from the First Persian Gulf War
Egypt was a member of the allied coalition in the 1991 Persian Gulf War, and Egyptian foot soldiers were some of the first to land in Saudi Arabia to evict Iraqi forces from Kuwait.
According to the BBC, Mubarak has survived six assassination attempts.
In June 1995 there was an alleged assassination attempt involving Al-Islamiyya and Egyptian Islamic Jihad while he was in Ethiopia for a conference of the Organization of African Unity.
Upon return Mubarak is said to have authorized raids on The Islamic Group which by 1999 saw 20,000 persons placed in detention related to the revolutionary Islamic organizations.
Mubarak's stance on the second Iraq War
President Mubarak spoke out against the 2003 war on Iraq, arguing that the Israeli-Palestinian conflict should be resolved first.
He also claimed that the war would cause "100 Bin Ladens".
Changing economic scene
In July 2004 Mubarak accepted the resignation of Prime Minister Atef Ebeid and the entire cabinet. He then appointed Ahmed Nazif as the new Prime Minister. The new cabinet was generally viewed with optimism.
Economic conditions are starting to improve considerably after a period of stagnation. The new cabinet headed by Prime Minister Ahmed Nazif was somewhat successful in overcoming the grim economic situation.
The Egyptian stock market came in first place out of all emerging markets in terms of percentage increase for the fiscal year 2004/2005.
Mubarak and the Coptic Orthodox Church
Prior to Mubarak assuming the presidency, former Egyptian President Sadat ordered Pope Shenouda III of Alexandria, the Pope of the Coptic Orthodox Church of Alexandria into exile at the Monastery of Saint Pishoy.
In addition, eight bishops, twenty-four priests, and many other prominent Copts were placed under arrest.
Sadat replaced the church hierarchy with a committee of five bishops and referred to Pope Shenouda as the "ex-pope." More than three years after assuming power following Sadat's 1981 assassination, Mubarak released Pope Shenouda from exile on January 2, 1985.
He returned to Cairo to celebrate the January 7 Christmas Liturgy (Old Calendar) to a crowd of more than ten thousand. Christians have enjoyed relatively greater rights under Mubarak with their January 7 holiday, Christmas in the orthodox (Old Calendar), being declared a national holiday in 2002.
Mubarak's second son Gamal started rising in the National Democratic Party and succeeded in getting a newer generation of neo-liberals into the party, and eventually the government.
Due to Gamal's increasing visibility and influence, rumours about him being groomed for the presidency became common. Nevertheless, this has been denied by both the president and his son several times.
Despite the criticisms directed at his regime, according to a June 2008 opinion poll of Egyptians, 94% express "a lot/some confidence" in Mubarak to do the right thing regarding world affairs." Mubarak's National Democratic Party responded with a story stating that "out of the leaders of 20 countries covered by the poll, President Hosni Mubarak is the most trusted leader by his people."
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