Cairo, Feb 25: Hosni Mubarak, the Egyptian leader who for nearly 30 years was the resolute face of stability in the Mideast before being forced by the military to resign after 18-day nationwide protests that were part of the Arab world’s 2011 pro-democracy upheaval, died on Tuesday, the country’s state-run TV said. He was 91.
Throughout his rule, he was a stalwart US ally, a bulwark against Islamic militancy and guardian of Egypt’s peace with Israel. But to the tens of thousands of young Egyptians who rallied for 18 days of unprecedented street protests in Cairo’s central Tahrir Square and elsewhere in 2011, Mubarak was a relic, a latter-day pharaoh.
They were inspired by the Tunisian revolt, and harnessed the power of social media to muster tumultuous throngs, unleashing popular anger over the graft and brutality that shadowed his rule.
In the end, with millions massed in Cairo’s Tahrir Square and city centers around the country and even marching to the doorstep of Mubarak’s palace, the military that long nurtured him pushed him aside on February 11, 2011.