The rise and fall of Mubarak through Egyptian eyes

Corruption, injustice, high unemployment and police brutality were associated with Mubarak’s presidency

Shounaz Meky

Published: Updated:

Four years after the revolution that toppled him, Egyptians today view former President Hosni Mubarak with in different ways. Many who lived through his rule see it as a period of autocracy, but he has always had his supporters.

The strongman ruled Egypt for almost 30 years until he was deposed following mass protests in January and February 2011.

Corruption, injustice, high unemployment and police brutality were associated with Mubarak’s presidency, said Mahmoud Afifi, an opposition activist from the Popular Egyptian Current.

“The post-revolution phase had some negative implications that ruined the image of the revolution in the eyes of [Egyptian] people, but I don’t think this has succeeded in affecting people’s emotions toward Mubarak,” Afifi told Al Arabiya News.

“Mubarak was a tyrant, a corrupt leader and a dictator throughout his 30-year rule,” he added.

“There are deadly attempts from Mubarak’s regime to ruin the revolution’s reputation to prove to people that his time was better compared to now.” Afifi said people have not fallen for those attempts.

Courtroom trials

Mubarak stepped down after 18 days of mass protests. The news was announced by his vice-president, Omar Suleiman, in a televised address on Feb. 1, 2011. Mubarak then fled to the Red Sea resort town of Sharm el-Sheikh.

His sons and he were later put on trial on allegations of corruption and killing pro-democracy protesters.

Since then, all Mubarak’s court appearances – wearing black sunglasses and being wheeled in on a hospital stretcher – were received by Egyptians with mixed reactions.

In Nov. 2014, a court dropped charges against him of conspiring to kill protesters in the uprising against him.

Judicial sources have since said he could soon walk free as no convictions remain against him after the high court ordered a retrial in the embezzlement case.

News of Mubarak’s acquittal for killing protesters was shocking to some, but hailed by those who believe he is innocent.


Yousry Abdel Razak, head of Mubarak’s defense team, told Al Arabiya News that he considers the uprising against him a “conspiracy.”

Abdel Razak praised Mubarak’s rule and denied that it was repressive. People were “deceived” by opposition attempts to tarnish the “achievements” of Mubarak’s rule, including “a country with stable security,” the lawyer said.

“The reality we are living now is much worse compared to Mubarak’s years in power,” Abdel Razak said, referring to the economic and security situations.

“I’m a supporter of Mubarak before being the head of his defense team. Mubarak is a president just like others... He was correct and at fault sometimes.”

Abdel Razak said many people “positively” welcomed news of Mubarak’s acquittal, adding that the 86-year-old mainly receives sympathy due to his frail health.