It's said that Hosni Mubarak has survived six assassination attempts. But on Feb. 11, 2011, it was a brave, peaceful show of dissent weeks of protests that finally removed the Egyptian President from power. A former commander of the Egyptian Air Force, Mubarak began his political career in 1975 as Vice President and ascended to the presidency in 1981 after the assassination of his predecessor, Anwar Sadat. Under Mubarak, Egypt continued along Sadat's path of rapprochement with the U.S., winning billions of dollars in aid in exchange for maintaining support for Israel and clamping down on political Islam. Though Mubarak won four national elections during his presidency, he permitted only rival candidates in the 2005 election, and even then, observers decried voting irregularities. In the lead-up to the Arab Spring, speculation mounted as to the state of Mubarak's health, yet he grimly clung to power during the weeks of protest when some 850 people were killed. The 83-year-old is now standing trial in Cairo for the deaths of protesters; he made his first appearance in court in a hospital bed.
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