What Did Mubarak Actually Do: The Causes of the 2011 Egyptian Revolution according to Egyptian Intellectuals


Gulf University of Science and Technology

Revolutions are not typical of the Egyptian political culture. Events that Egyptians call revolutions in their modern history were either uprisings triggered by specific events or military coups. However, the popular uprising that began on the 25th of January and ended with Mubarak’s abdication on the 11th of February, 2011, was a revolution par excellence. So what did Mubarak actually do to be the first head of state in the long Egyptian history to be removed from power and subsequently put on trial? To answer this question, this paper discusses specific writings from the few years preceding the Egyptian revolution and the few months thereafter. These writings include public letters to Mubarak from Egyptian intellectuals, belonging to various political and ideological persuasions, as well as books and editorials written about his regime. While there is no assumption that these writings demonstrate that it was one factor or another that played the most important role in agitating the Egyptians against Mubarak, they reflect the perception of the most serious problems of the Mubarak regime by prominent intellectuals and journalists who must have played a role in shaping public opinion in Egypt prior to the revolution.