BBC: Mubarak’s Egypt

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After 28 years in power in Egypt, President Hosni Mubarak‘s promised to shepherd Egypt into a stable democracy has dissipated. It is the awaited transition that never happened (and probably never will).

BBC Arab Affairs analyst Magdi Abdelhadi attempts to understand what has happened to Egypt in the half century since the military seized power, and particularly during Mubarak’s era, in two Radio show broadcast on the 22nd of June,  and 29th of June. The 50 minutes show features many public figures and commentators like Samieh Sawiris,
Abdel Halim Kandil, Talaat el Sadat, Galal Amin and many others, and it goes through some very relevant questions concerning Mubarak, his legacy and the hire to his throne.

“Curiously it seems that the Egyptians – some fearful of the Islamist opposition, others suspicious of the new business elite – are looking to the army again for a savior.

President Mubarak’s greatest achievement is arguably that Egypt is stable, and some might say even predictable.

But to achieve this stability, many of his decisions have involved careful compromises. While on the international stage he has been praised for these, choosing the middle path has had the effect of not really pleasing anyone.

His choice between stability over democracy, for example, or between the needs of Palestinians and peace with Israel, have been widely questioned but not utterly condemned.

At home there’s a buoyant economy and there is money to be made thanks to his reforms. But while shopping malls spring up everywhere, it is still common to find districts of Egypt without a sewage system and with poor infrastructure.

Is this stable, undemocratic but functioning Egypt a good enough legacy?”

Listen to Mubarak’s Egypt – part one (mp3)

Listen to Mubarak’s Egypt – part two (mp3)

Or Download part one and part two, from the BBC website.

First broadcast Friday 22nd of June 2009 and Friday 29th of June 2009.

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