Alaa, Gamal Mubarak argued during dad’s final speech

Alaa accused Gamal of dragging the nation to corruption


A heated argument broke out between Alaa and Gamal Mubarak, the two sons of the former Egyptian president, inside the presidential palace last Thursday during the recording of their father's last speech to the nation, Egypt's government owned al-Akhbar newspaper reported on Sunday.

Hosni Mubarak reportedly was supposed to announce his resignation in a speech that the military sent to him on Thursday but his son Gamal and senior officials in his entourage pressed him to deliver a different speech in which he insisted on staying in power until September.

During the recording of the speech Gamal and Alaa engaged in a heated argument that almost developed into a fight. According to the report, Alaa accused Gamal of dragging the country into corruption by helping his friends in the business industry climb the echelons of political power.

"Instead of working to help your father be honored at the end of his life, you helped damage his image this way," Alaa reportedly told his brother Gamal, who was the head of the ruling party's policies committee.

The argument was so loud that almost everyone in the palace heard them, the newspaper reported, adding that some senior government officials interfered to calm them down.

The newspaper said Gamal lost his temper after he heard the recording of the speech that his father was supposed to deliver that night and in which he was going to declare stepping down.

According to the report, American officials were aware of that recording but they did not know that Gamal had prompted his father to discard it and record a different speech, which was delivered that night.

Earlier in that day U.S. President Barack Obama had told an audience in Michigan that "we are witnessing history unfold," a sign that Mubarak was stepping down. Hours later, President Obama heard something perplexing: Mubarak was not quitting. Obama apparently did not know that Mubarak’s resignation speech was discarded by Gamal in the last minute.

The report cited a senior Egyptian government official saying that Mubarak often refused to listen to "sound advice" from his aids, taking briefs almost entirely from Gamal, who had often downplayed for him the uprising in the country.

During his last days in office Mubarak became almost politically isolated, often making concessions when popular demands had already gone higher.

(Translated from Arabic by Mustapha Ajbaili)