A Blog by the Editor of The Middle East Journal

Putting Middle Eastern Events in Cultural and Historical Context

Tuesday, June 19, 2012

Some Days, Everything is Happening at Once, and then Mubarak Dies or Doesn't

Some of those things may be true. (The monkey is in a cage in a Cairo nightclub and its welfare is today's Internet sensation; there'll be no more about it in this post.) With both Presidential candidates claiming victory, crowds assembled in Tahrir to show the military their strength, and the future of the revolution in great doubt, while official results of the election aren't due until Thursday (why, when others have published unofficial tallies?), it's not surprising that rumors are rampant. And then came Husni Mubarak's health crisis. This post is going to use Twitter posts to capture some of the day. As one post put it:

As I write this it appears that Mubarak is still among the living, though earlier the official state news agency said he was clinically dead. Unlike many of the previous times he has "died," he was clearly in a health crisis: he was rushed from Tura Prison to the Maadi Military Hospital today, reportedly after his heart stopped three times and he had to be resuscitated. A glimpse of the confusion on Twitter:

Mubarak's death has been rumored so many times that it has even generated a website, ismubarakdead.com,  which is still returning a "NO" at this writing. But the fact that he apparently is at death's door raises the question of what his death at this time might mean in the present tense circumstances. In the meantime, I'll hold off the obituary until we know more.

But while we're discussing the tensions in Egypt, don't miss Nathan Brown's fuller assessment of the constitutional declaration at Carnegie: "Egyptian Political System in Disarray."

Another exchange from the crazy day:
And finally, let Mahmoud Salem, aka "Sandmonkey," have the last word:

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