Cairo: Egypt held a military funeral yesterday for its former president Hosni Mubarak, bestowing the state’s final rehabilitation on the man who ruled for 30 years until he was toppled in a 2011 popular uprising.
Horses drew Mubarak’s coffin draped in the Egyptian flag at a mosque complex as cannons fired into the air, followed by a procession led by President Abdel Fattah Al Sisi, as well as Mubarak’s two sons Alaa and Gamal.
The funeral march was attended by key political figures from Mubarak’s years in power, some of whom had been scarcely seen in public since he was removed from office. President Sisi stayed for the duration of the procession, offering condolences to Alaa, Gamal and Mubarak’s wife Suzanne before his departure.
Mubarak died on Tuesday in intensive care weeks after undergoing surgery, leaving Egyptians divided over the legacy of his era, marked by stagnation and repression but recalled by some as more stable than the chaos that followed.
Egypt’s presidency and armed forces mourned the former air force officer as a hero for his role in the 1973 Arab-Israeli war. The presidency declared three days of national mourning.
Mubarak’s coffin was airlifted to the family burial compound from the funeral at Field Marshall Tantawi mosque – named for Mubarak’s defence minister of 20 years, who presided over an abortive transition to democracy after Mubarak resigned.
Dozens of Mubarak supporters, some from his home village Kafr Al Meselha in the Nile Delta, gathered outside the mosque. “This is the history of 30 years, the farewell of 30 years,” said Zeenat Touhami, a 35-year-old woman from Cairo, who described herself as happy that Mubarak’s “pride was restored” after his fall, and that the state was showing appreciation to him after his death.