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Backgrounder: Mubarak's political life

08-03-2011 18:01 BJT

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Hosni Mubarak, Egyptian president from 1981-2011, ruled the country for 30 years. His period in power was the longest in the last 150 year of Egyptian history. A controversial figure, with many supporters and detractors, he was finally forced from office after large-scale anti-government demonstrations this year.

Mubarak was born in 1928, into a lower middle class family in the village of Kafr el-Moseilha in the Nile delta province of Menoufia.

After joining the air force in 1950, Mubarak moved up the ranks as a bomber pilot and instructor. He began to hold leadership positions and earned nationwide fame as commander of the air force during the 1973 Middle East war. His performance in the war led to his appointment as the country's vice president.

Anwar Sadat, the then president of Egypt, was assassinated by Muslim extremists at a military parade on October 6, 1981, a reaction to his signing a 1979 peace treaty with Israel. Mubarak, sitting next to Sadat, escaped with only a minor hand injury. Seven days later, he became president, an office he was to hold for almost 30 years.

Mubarak's foreign policy has generally been characterized as peaceful, friendly and nonaligned. He engineered Egypt's return to the Arab fold in the 1980s, and increased the country's profile on the world stage.

However, his oppressive governing style, along with economic stagnation and a failure to embrace democracy, dented his popularity among the Egyptian people. After large anti-government demonstrations broke out in January, Mubarak was forced to step down, ending his 30 year rule over the country.

Editor:Zhang Ning |Source: CNTV.CN

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