Even as Hosni Mubarak was forced to resign as Egypt 's leader in the 2011 Arab Spring , he vowed never to flee into exile, insisting he would be buried in Egypt ian soil. On Wednesday, the former autocrat's words came to pass.
At a short, tightly choreographed ceremony outside a military-run mosque, Mr. el-Sisi led a procession of mourners behind the coffin of Mr. Mubarak, who died in a hospital on Tuesday from kidney and heart complications.Mr. el-Sisi, in sunglasses, walked alongside Mr. Mubarak’s sons, Alaa and Gamal, once reviled as symbols of the elite cronyism that shadowed Mr. Mubarak’s last years of rule. They now live quietly in Cairo’s suburbs.
The military honors were contentious. Although Mr. Mubarak was acquitted of a raft of criminal charges after his ouster in 2011, one charge, for corruption, stuck. After that conviction in 2015, Egyptian media outlets reported that, as per custom, he would be denied a funeral with military honors.
The highway leading to the giant mosque was lined for miles with security officers in suits or leather jackets, reminders of the powerful security apparatus known for its brutality and impunity under Mr. Mubarak. At least 800 people were killed in the early weeks of the 2011 uprising, before he was forced to resign. But the location mostly spoke to Mr. el-Sisi’s vision of Egypt. The highway leads to his new administrative capital, a pet project costing tens of billions of dollars that is under construction in the desert east of Cairo.
broad-shouldered man who survived several assassination attempts, Mr. Mubarak evoked an invincibility that was the stuff of myth among ordinary Egyptians. According to a popular joke, when God informed Mr. Mubarak it was time to bid farewell to Egyptians, he responded: “Where are they going?”
The funeral on Wednesday, on the edge of the city, was closed to ordinary Egyptians, unable to pay their respects to the man who had dominated their lives for so long.
Read more: The New York Times
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