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Egypt Through the Ages

Egypt Under President Mubarak



Sadat was succeeded by Vice President Hosni Mubarak. While adhering to the Camp David accords, Mubarak sought political liberalization within Egypt as well as improved relations with other Arab states. Israel completed its withdrawal from the Sinai on April 25, 1982. In January 1984 Egypt accepted an invitation to rejoin the 42-member Islamic Conference. That April, in Egypt's first parliamentary elections under Mubarak, the ruling National Democratic party captured 87 percent of the vote. After a national referendum in February 1987 authorized the dissolution of the People's Assembly, new elections were held in April. Although the National Democratic party won 338 of 448 seats, the Muslim Brotherhood showed increased strength. President Mubarak was reelected in a referendum in October 1987. After Egypt took part in the U.S.-led coalition that defeated Iraq in the Persian Gulf War of 1991, about half of its $20.2-billion debt to the allies was forgiven, and the rest was rescheduled. In 1992 Muslim fundamentalists began launching violent attacks against government officials, Coptic Christians, tourists, unveiled women, and others in a campaign to replace Mubarak's government with one based on strict Islamic law. As a result of the attacks, revenues from tourism dropped 42 percent between 1992 and 1993. The government cracked down severely on the militants, executing 29 of them in 1993. In October 1993 Mubarak won a referendum electing him to a third term as president.

In February 1995 archaeologists discovered an enormous mausoleum on the west side of the Nile that they believe contains the burial chambers for most of King Ramses II's 52 sons. Including at least 67 chambers, numerous corridors, and an impressive statue to the god Osiris, the tomb is the largest ever explored in the Valley of the Kings, where Egyptian royalty was buried during the 2nd millennium BC.


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