Emad el-Din Adeeb: The Return of “Citizen Mubarak”

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Adeeb tried hard to redevelop a reputation as an independent political analyst, especially after the isolation of journalists affiliated with Mubarak and his son, Gamal. (Photo: Al-Akhbar)

By: Mohammad Abdel Rahman

Published Thursday, February 2, 2012

The staunch Mubarak supporter returns to Egyptian television to defend the ruling elite.

Cairo – One year ago, he was one of the last media figures still defending Hosni Mubarak. Today, Emad el-Din Adeeb is set to return to Egyptian television screens.

Adeeb is a well-known veteran of the country’s politics and many Egyptians are wondering what stance he will adopt upon his return.

During the January 25 Revolution he became infamous for repeating the phrase "I love the citizen Mohammad Hosni Mubarak."

During several media appearances at the time, Adeeb made it clear that he considered Mubarak to be paying the price for his mistakes.

But he repeatedly insisted that Mubarak had made significant concessions to the revolutionaries and urged them to vacate Tahrir Square and allow the president to see out his tenure. His calls fell on deaf ears.

The day Mubarak's regime collapsed, Adeeb talked to TV channel Al-Arabiya and claimed he never expected to witness such a moment because he "belongs to a pragmatic generation which learned to benefit from war and peace alike."

A few weeks before the revolution, Adeeb was fiercely attacked by pro-government magazine Rose al-Youssef for claiming on television that Mubarak should look for a safe exit to avoid the public anger triggered by the fraudulent parliamentary elections.

Mubarak's supporters accused Adeeb of being bitter that he was not re-appointed as a presidential consultant. He had handled Mubarak's media campaign in the lead-up to the 2005 elections and did several interviews with the president.

During the eighteen days of the revolution, Adeeb tried hard to redevelop a reputation as an independent political analyst, especially after the isolation of journalists affiliated with Mubarak and his son, Gamal. Then he disappeared from media outlets entirely after the dictator’s fall.

It was rumoured he was trying to revive his stuttering publications after three years of financial difficulties, in which four of his monthly magazines were shut down. However, he managed to keep his daily economic publication Al-Alam Al-Youm (The World Today), his newspaper Nahdet Misr (Egypt's Renaissance), and his weekly magazine Kol El Nas (All the People) afloat.

He announced his retirement from being a host on television in 2004. His last job was as host of Ala El Hawa (On the Air), now presented by journalist Gamal Enayet.

Adeeb was out of the public eye until last month when he announced that he would host the program Bi Hudoo (Calmly) on CBC every Thursday and Friday.

The official reason given for why Adeeb returned to television is that the market needs seasoned professionals.

However, leaked reports show that Adeeb had recorded several episodes featuring high ranking officials in the Egyptian army and championing the "heroic" stances they took during the revolution.

So once again it seems that Adeeb will go against Egyptian public opinion and defend those in power, this time the Egyptian military.

While millions in the streets are demanding the end of military rule, Adeeb volunteered his skills and expertise to help the Egyptian army improve its tainted image and regain the people's trust.

Abdullah al-Sinawi, a journalist working for al-Shorouk newspaper, revealed that a decision was taken not to broadcast these episodes. This was probably due to fear of a public backlash similar to the kind seen when Adeeb played the same role in the days of Mubarak.

Adeeb's return to television coincides with the return of millions of young Egyptians to Tahrir Square. He will speak to them "calmly" when their demand is to be spoken to “honestly.”

This article is an edited translation from the Arabic Edition.

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