Saturday, 29 January 2011

Egypt: Queen Of Denial?

"Suave and smooth, Gamal Mubarak would seem ideally qualified to steer Egypt through political and economic turmoil while retaining the trust and friendship of the West. Only a few months ago he was seen as “the best hope for Egyptian democracy”.
"Today, his very name is toxic. Although he has been poised for power and swiftly embraced the cause of the poor and the disaffected, two fatal flaws disqualify him from office: his name and the opposition of the powerful Egyptian Army. No one in Egypt will stomach the hereditary succession of another pharaoh, as President Mubarak, his father, is known, and the army has no time for a civilian who has not demonstrated an understanding of military power.
"To his many Western friends and former banker colleagues, Gamal is affability itself, ferociously intelligent, well-informed, a clear analyst, a man who embraces Western standards with a shrewd understanding of image and public relations. Egyptians, however, see a man aloof from their daily lives, cocooned by privilege, the beneficiary of nepotism, wealth and inherited influence...
"A few years ago it was also rumoured, improbably, that he was gay, a slur [sic] with resonance among the Islamist faithful. He married in 2007, at the age of 44."

The Times wonders if President Mubarak could hand over power to his son, Gamal.

• Read Robert Fisk on the new Arab revolts in Egypt and the Middle East, plus other essays on the current crises, via ZNet.

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