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Mubarak’s Three-Decade Rule Is Brushed Aside in War-Hero Burial

CAIRO — When the crowds massed against him initially of the Arab Spring in January 2011, Hosni Mubarak vowed by no means to flee his nation for an exile in shame. “Egypt and I shall not be parted until I am buried in her soil,” he declared.

That got here to go on Wednesday when Mr. Mubarak, 91, Egypt’s ruler of three decades, was buried with full navy honors at a funeral in Cairo attended by household, former allies and the nation’s newest military-backed strongman, President Abdel Fattah el-Sisi.

“Mubarak passes into God’s custody,” learn the headline on the entrance web page of the state-run Al Ahram newspaper.

At a brief, tightly choreographed ceremony exterior 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 coronary heart issues.

It was a second that Mr. el-Sisi, cautious of any residual public sympathy for Mr. Mubarak, had been anticipating for years. The ceremony framed Mr. Mubarak as a struggle hero, for his position in Egypt’s 1973 battle with Israel, and performed down his report as its longest-serving president.

A 21-gun salute rang out as horses pulled a carriage bearing Mr. Mubarak’s flag-draped coffin. A soldier marched behind, carrying Mr. Mubarak’s navy medals neatly organized on a board.

Mr. el-Sisi, in sun shades, walked alongside Mr. Mubarak’s sons, Alaa and Gamal, as soon as reviled as symbols of the elite cronyism that shadowed Mr. Mubarak’s final years of rule. They now reside quietly in Cairo’s suburbs.

Mr. el-Sisi shook arms with Mr. Mubarak’s widow, Suzanne, additionally a dominant power in Egyptian public life throughout her husband’s rule. Mrs. Mubarak was lauded for campaigns to advertise inhabitants management and schooling, and criticized because the preening spouse of a pacesetter who offered himself as a sort of fashionable pharaoh.

The leaders of Al Azhar, Cairo’s nice seat of Muslim scholarship, supplied their condolences, as did Western and Arab diplomats. Notably for a determine of Mr. Mubarak’s former prominence, there was no signal of any international leaders among the many mourners.

The navy honors had been contentious. Although Mr. Mubarak was acquitted of a raft of felony fees after his ouster in 2011, one cost, for corruption, caught. After that conviction in 2015, Egyptian media shops reported that, as per customized, he can be denied a funeral with navy honors.

But the customized was ignored, and because the funeral was broadcast on state tv, it appeared that the federal government simply wished to speak about his navy profession, with solely fleeting mentions of his time as president, after which solely of his international coverage.

There was one allusion to the 2011 rebellion: The mosque the place the funeral occurred is called after retired Field Marshal Hussein Tantawi, who headed the navy council that took energy after Mr. Mubarak stepped down.

The freeway resulting in the enormous mosque was lined for miles with safety officers in fits or leather-based jackets, reminders of the highly effective safety equipment recognized for its brutality and impunity below Mr. Mubarak. At least 800 individuals had been killed within the early weeks of the 2011 rebellion, earlier than he was pressured to resign. But the situation largely spoke to Mr. el-Sisi’s imaginative and prescient of Egypt. The freeway results in his new administrative capital, a pet challenge costing tens of billions of {dollars} that’s below building within the desert east of Cairo.

Along the way in which, large billboards marketed flashy actual property ventures supposed to attraction to middle- and upper-class Egyptians. One computer-generated picture promised “The largest infinity pool in the world.”

A broad-shouldered man who survived a number of assassination makes an attempt, Mr. Mubarak evoked an invincibility that was the stuff of fantasy amongst odd Egyptians. According to a preferred joke, when God knowledgeable Mr. Mubarak it was time to bid farewell to Egyptians, he responded: “Where are they going?”

After Mr. Mubarak was toppled, many Egyptians had been shocked by pictures that confirmed him glowering behind the bars of a courtroom cage, or wheeled into his trial on a gurney to face accusations of corruption and homicide.

But in 2017, Mr. Mubarak was cleared of the most damaging charges, and the parable of his sturdiness was revived. Just final fall, he gave interviews by which he boasted of his position in Egypt’s wars.

But on Jan. 21 he was hospitalized with an intestinal obstruction and underwent surgical procedure. He died on Tuesday from coronary heart and kidney issues, based on medical paperwork cited by The Associated Press.

The funeral on Wednesday, on the sting of the town, was closed to odd Egyptians, unable to pay their respects to the person who had dominated their lives for thus lengthy.

Mr. Mubarak’s coffin was moved to a cemetery close to his house within the neighborhood of Heliopolis, the place he was buried in a non-public service.

The aura of invincibility was not fairly shattered — the autocrat had survived lengthy sufficient to see those that revolted in opposition to him imprisoned, killed or pressured to flee. But now, lastly, he was lowered into the soil of Egypt.

Nada Rashwan contributed reporting.


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