It was great pleasure to join a group of Egypt’s expert and provide an answer to the above question as posed by Diwan blog, the Middle East insight from Carnegie. To read all replies, please click here
Up until 2013, this question would very likely have been considered offensive to the many Egyptians who revolted against former president Hosni Mubarak. Today, there is an element of nostalgia for the calmer pre-2011 revolution days. After turmoil with various types of authoritarianism, it is easy to fall into revisionism about bygone eras.
Current President Abdel-Fattah al-Sisi doesn’t see himself as politician, but as a state builder. He regards semi-authoritarianism, as espoused by Mubarak, as the force behind the gradual decline of the Egyptian state. His uncompromising style has triggered some appreciation for Mubarak’s political flexibility.
Despite such flexibility, Mubarak failed to produce any serious political, economic, and religious reforms that could have prevented subsequent turmoil. This failure has left a deep sourness, unsweetened by even a heavy dose of nostalgia. Seven years after his departure, Egyptians still do not regret Mubarak, but probably have learned not to resent him so much.