It is not strange that the news of the wedding of Gamal Mubarak, the son of Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak, gets the attention of millions of Egyptians. Egyptians get their news about the wedding from the pages of the newspapers that achieve a certain amount of freedom of speech, from casual meetings, from clubs, from cafes, or even from government offices. This is because Gamal Mubarak is not an ordinary Egyptian: he is getting married when he is 44 years old, he is in a high position in the ruling National Democratic Party, and he is the son of the President of the Republic; who has been ruling Egypt with an iron fist and with absolute authority for more than ¼ of a century. Hosni Mubarak has not seen a peaceful transition of authority, and it does not seem that he will accept this to happen in the foreseeable future.
It is also not a secret what Egyptians say - secretly and openly - about the noble direction of pushing Gamal towards ruling the country. People say this without analyzing the way that this will be achieved and without stating how both those who oppose it and those who concur with it will name the transition.
The current information is that the famous businessman and contractor, Mahamoud el Gamal (the father of the bride) oversaw the preparation of the apartment that Gamal bought in the Zamallek recently. It is said that apartment, the wedding nest, cost around $1 million American dollars. It follows that Gamal Mubarak will leave Heliopolis, where he was born and raised, and will be moving to the aristocratic Zamallez. Zamallek has always been associated with those who are elite, although this changed a lot lately, along wth the people living there.
The Program of the Celebration
The news that was circulating in Egypt summarizes that the wedding ceremony will take place in Cairo. The contract will be officiated by Dr. Mohamed Syed Tantawi, Grand Sheik of Al-Azhar, but the following celebration will be in Sharm el Sheikh. It is the celebration that has been whispered about – it will be only for family members of both families. This was confirmed by sources close to the two families.
Other information that is circulating in political and media spheres speaks of the insistence of the father of the bride that the wedding ceremony of his only daughter, Khadiga (her close friends call her Moni), would want a huge celebration that will be worthy of the father and her bridegroom - the most famous bridegroom in Egypt. It is said that Gamal Mubarak agreed to include some friends close to the two families. It seems that the discussions are continuing about the possibility of including some singers to celebrate the wedding, especially Amro Diab (a close friend of Alaa Mubarak, the older brother of the bridegroom); and the favorite singer of the bride and her friends. Some of the gossip that is circulating is about the wedding dress: it is being designed especially for Khadiga in Paris, and it was said that it cost more than $30,000 American dollars. It was said that Gamal bought the engagement ring from the Sergani store, one of the top jewelers in Egypt, and that it cost around $10,000 American dollars. What is agreed on is that the wedding celebration will be in Sharm el Sheikh on the shores of the Red Sea. This is the favorite place of President Mubarak and it is where he spends most of the year. The celebration will start around noon with a family gathering, and in the evening a musical celebration will occur that will be attended by dignitaries, their wives, and the close friends of the two families. These last few years, what is really going on in Egyptian society is expressed through the Internet. Different writings and Internet chat room commentaries state that the actual wedding ceremony will be celebrated on the 28th of April, but the celebration will be on the 4th of May, corresponding with President Mubarak’s 79th birthday.
The Kefayaa movement that opposed the continued Presidency of Hosni Mubarak will organize demonstrations in several Egyptian cities on the wedding day. They tie the wedding of Gamal Mubarak to his take over of ruling Egypt from his father. This is why Aziz Sadiky, the previous Egyptian Prime Minister who now heads the opposing movement called “National Restoration Assembly,” said that Gamal Mubarak is on the threshold to inherit from his dad. Sadiky also said that the wedding of Gamal, just days after the referendum concerning the Constitutional amendments, is “the kitchen that is getting ready for his ascendancy started to work.” On the Internet and on the telephones, Egyptians exchange the last few days’ verses from a poem by the National poet, Ahmed Fouad Negm, that says “Congratulations to our bridegroom….you took Us by inheritance: be happy and delighted.” At the same time, the official government papers did not mention this occurrence, while other papers dedicated a lot of space to the details of the wedding planning and the personalities of the couple, mixing facts and gossip.
The Family of El Gamal
Of course, the legitimate question will be about the bride who convinced the most famous bachelor in Egypt to enter the gilded cage. After all, Mubarak seemed to be refusing to get married, especially because he stayed single until he was 44 years old and had no romantic involvements. The bride is Miss Khadiga Mahamoud el Gamal, she is 24 years old. She has a degree in business administration from AUC and, in spite of the almost 20 year age difference, close friends assure us that they are very similar in opinions about political and social issues. They both also love sports and music. The bride met Gamal Mubarak during her participation in a conference in the AUC last year, after which the couple met repeatedly while they were with families and friends. Two of her relatives are very close friends of Gamal Mubarak. The father of the bride is a contractor who started to work after obtaining his engineering degree from Cairo University. He formed a small company called Degla, which constructed numerous buildings in the famous Maadi in Cairo. He moved his work to Zamallek, where he built five luxury buildings, one of which is his company’s headquarters. He also finished huge construction in different parts of the country. The Gamal family is related by marriage and business enterprises with Mazher, where the son of the famous actor Ahmed Mazher is partnered with Mahamoud el Gamal in different projects.
Miss Khadiga is part of an old family in the city of Damietta in northern Egypt in a village called The Village of El-Gamal. The wealthy family closely associated with the mysterious Egyptian Refaat El-Gamal, who is known as Refaat Elhagan, the main character in the famous spy episode that happened Israel for Egypt’s benefit. That family owns a large amount of agriculture and lands.