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Finding Neverland Blog Archive

Tuesday, May 26, 2015

Abdel Fattah el-Sisi, Egypt's President

Abdel Fattah el-Sisi

El-Sisi was born on 19 November 1954 in Cairo. He grew up in Gamaleya, near the al-Azhar Mosque, and in a quarter where Muslims, Jews and Christians resided, and in which he has recalled hearing church bells and watching Jews flock to the synagogue unhindered. His family originated from Monufia Governorate, and was known for its discipline, zeal and resulting wealth. He is the second of eight siblings (his father later had six additional children with a second wife). His father, a conservative but not radical Muslim, had a wooden antiques shop for tourists in the historic bazaar of Khan el-Khalili.

Often described as disciplined, quiet and devout, el-Sisi preferred to concentrate on his studies or helping his father rather than participate in soccer with neighborhood children. He and his siblings would study at the nearby library at al-Azhar University. Unlike his brothers – one of whom is a senior judge, another a civil servant – el-Sisi went to a local army-run secondary school, where concurrently his relationship with his maternal cousin Entissar Amer started to develop. They were married upon el-Sisi's graduation from the Egyptian Military Academy in 1977. He attended the following courses:

General Command and Staff Course, Egyptian Command and Staff College, 1987;
General Command and Staff Course, Joint Command and Staff College, United Kingdom, 1992;
War Course, Fellowship of the Higher War College, Nasser Military Academy, Egypt, 2003;
War Course, US Army War College, United States, 2006;
Egyptian Military Attaché in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia;
Basic Infantry Course, USA.

Career.

El-Sisi received his commission as a military officer in 1977 serving in the mechanized infantry, specializing in anti-tank warfare and mortar warfare. He became Commander of the Northern Military Region-Alexandria in 2008 and then Director of Military Intelligence and Reconnaissance. El-Sisi was the youngest member of the Supreme Council of the Armed Forces of Egypt. While a member of the Supreme Council, he made controversial statements regarding allegations that Egyptian soldiers had subjected detained female demonstrators to forced virginity tests. He is reported to have told Egypt's state-owned newspaper that "the virginity-test procedure was done to protect the girls from rape as well as to protect the soldiers and officers from rape accusations." He was the first member of the Supreme Council of the Armed Forces to admit that the invasive tests had been carried out.

Main command positions
Commander, 509th Mechanized Infantry Battalion
Chief of Staff, 134th Mechanized Infantry Brigade
Commander, 16th Mechanized Infantry Brigade
Chief of Staff, 2nd Mechanized Infantry Division
Chief of Staff, Northern Military Zone
Deputy Director, Military Intelligence and Reconnaissance Department
Director, Military Intelligence and Reconnaissance Department

Minister.

On 12 August 2012, Egyptian President Mohamed Morsi made a decision to replace Mohamed Hussein Tantawi, the head of the Egyptian Armed Forces, with then little-known el-Sisi. He also promoted him to the rank of colonel general. Sisi was then described by the official website of FJP as a "Defense minister with revolutionary taste". El-Sisi also took the post of Minister of Defense and Military Production in the Qandil Cabinet.

After el-Sisi was appointed as minister of defense on 12 August 2012, there were concerns in Egypt regarding rumors that General el-Sisi was the hand of the Muslim Brotherhood in the army, though el-Sisi has always declared that the Egyptian army stands on the side of the Egyptian people. On 28 April 2013, during celebrations for Sinai Liberation Day, el-Sisi said that, "the hand that harms any Egyptian must be cut". This statement was taken by Morsi opponents as a clarification that the Army is in support of them. However, the statement was interpreted by Morsi supporters as a warning to Morsi opponents that el-Sisi would not allow an overthrow of the government. He remained in office under the new government formed after the deposition of Morsi, and led by Hazem al-Beblawi. He was also appointed Deputy Prime Minister of Egypt. On 27 January 2014, he was promoted to the rank of field marshal.

President of Egypt

El-Sisi confirmed on 26 March 2014 that he would run for president in the presidential election. Shortly after his announcement, popular hashtags started for and against el-Sisi presidential bid. The presidential election, conducted over 26, 27 and 28 May 2014, saw el-Sisi win in a landslide, capturing 22 million of the nearly 23 million votes counted.

President Sisi was sworn into office on 8 June 2014. The event was marked by an impromptu public holiday in Egypt in conjunction with festivals held nationwide. Tahrir Square was prepared to receive millions of Egyptians celebrating Sisi's winning while police and army troops shut down the square outlets with barbed wires and barricades, as well as electronic portals for detecting any explosives that could spoil the festivities.

Sisi's oath was held in the morning in Egypt's Supreme constitutional court in front of deputy head of the constitutional court, Maher Sami, who described el-Sisi as a "rebel soldier" and a "revolutionary hero"; ex-president Adly Mansour; other constitutional court members; and a group of Egypt's top politicians. Sisi later removed to the Heliopolis Palace, where a 21-gun salute welcomed the new president, before the ex-president received Sisi near the palace's stairway.

Sisi then presided over a reception for the presidents, emirs, kings, and official delegations who had been invited. Turkey, Tunisia and Qatar weren't invited because of their critical stances regarding then-recent events in Egypt. Israel also wasn't invited. Sisi later gave a speech in front of the attendees and signed with the ex-president Adly Mansour, for the first time in the Egyptian history, the handover of power document. after Heliopolis Palace's ceremony el-Sisi moved to Koubbeh Palace where the final ceremony was held and el Sisi gave the final speech of the day, in front of 1200 attendees Representing different spectrums of the Egyptian people and the provinces of Egypt, presenting the problems facing Egypt and his plan saying "In its next phase, Egypt will witness a total rise on both internal and external fronts, to compensate what we have missed and correct the mistakes of the past,". Sisi also issued the first Presidential decree giving ex-president the Order of the Nile.

Personal Life.

Unlike previous leaders, el-Sisi has been protective of the privacy of his family. He is married and the father of three sons and one daughter. He comes from a religious family and frequently inserts Quranic verses into informal conversations; El-Sisi's wife wears the traditional Islamic Hijab. He is known to be quiet and is often called the Quiet General. His interests include reading about history and law. El-Sisi was often called "General Sisi" when he was young due to his perceived orderly demeanor.

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