Mubarak "Clinically Dead"

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Egyptian media has reported that Hosni Mubarak suffered a stroke Tuesday and is "clinically dead," but there are conflicting reports on the former president’s current condition. While Egyptian news network MENA wrote on June 19 that the ailing Egyptian's heart stopped beating and has not responded to defibrillation, a government spokesman described the 84- year-old's condition as "critical" early Wednesday. Two members of the ruling Supreme Council of the Armed Forces denied that Mubarak is clinically dead, according to the BBC.

As Mubarak's health continues to deteriorate, Egyptians face the difficult question of where the country is headed politically following Mubarak's presidency. Back in February 2011, when Egyptians were protesting daily in Tahrir Square, Omar Khalifa, a resident of Cairo and the director of O Media, was skeptical about the revolution and felt the people of his country were rushing into something they weren’t prepared for. Khalifa also said the protesters should show Mubarak more respect.

Today, Khalifa discusses the "mixed feelings" that the Egyptian people have on the matter. "Some people are sympathizing, some people think it's a conspiracy that the military is trying to make them concentrate on other issues other than the election results, and others are just waiting for him to pass away. Most people are trying to concentrate on the constitution and the election results."

Khalifa is pessimistic about the future of the country, citing the divisive Egyptian population. "Right now, what is happening is that you can see that the extremists are sooner or later going to take over. If not in this election, then in the next one."

"Right now, the main issue that we are facing is that during the revolution, we didn't have another figure that we wanted." This lack of a viable, popular candidate left the Egyptian opposition to Mubarak fractured along ideological lines once the former president was revealed of power.  

Khalifa agrees with Mubarak's reasoning that a transition to democracy would usher in a period of extremism, with candidates supported by the Muslim Brotherhood gaining the means to take control of the country. "I think he was right, and he was proving the point. Of course, there was corruption and everything, but at the same time, what he said is actually happening right now."

Michael Wahid Hanna is a Middle East policy researcher with the Century Foundation. The question of Mubarak's health has been in the news for months, he says, which has driven many Egyptians to cynicism regarding unfounded rumors. "In any event, the country is facing a political crisis, and in many ways I think the people's attention is going to be focused on the constitutional crisis, on the government crisis with parliament being dissolved, [and] on unclear election results.” I think [Mubarak's health] is finally going to be overshadowed by the current political drama in the country."