Tuesday 25 April 2017

Robert Fisk: Egyptian icon I made fun of was right all along

An Egyptian police officer confronts anti-Mubarak protesters in Cairo's Tahrir Square yesterday
An Egyptian police officer confronts anti-Mubarak protesters in Cairo's Tahrir Square yesterday

Robert Fisk

The old man's voice is scathing, his mind like a razor, that of a veteran fighter, writer, sage, perhaps the most important living witness and historian of modern Egypt, turning on the sins of the regime that tried to shut him up forever.

"Mubarak betrayed the republican spirit -- and then he wanted to continue through his son Gamal," he says, finger pointed to heaven. "It was a project, not an idea; it was a plan. The last 10 years of the life of this country were wasted because of this question, because of the search for inheritance -- as if Egypt was Syria, or Papa Doc and Baby Doc in Haiti."

At 87, Mohamed Heikal is the doyen, the icon of Egyptian journalism, friend and adviser and minister to Nasser and to Sadat, the one man who has predicted for 30 years the revolution that he has, amazingly, lived to see.

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