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Former Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak Passes Away

The former Egyptian president, who was ousted in 2011 during the Arab Spring Uprising, was aged 91.

Egypt's former President Hosni Mubarak passed away yesterday according to reports by the BBC.

The former statesman's death comes barely a year after his successor and Egypt's first democratically-elected president Mohamed Morsi, suffered a fatal heart attack.


Mubarak, who served as Egypt's fourth president, took up office in 1981 and ruled for three decades. After widespread anti-government protests which engulfed predominantly Muslim countries and became popularly referred to as the Arab Spring Uprising, Mubarak was forced to resign in 2011.

Shortly after the uprising that led to his ousting, Mubarak was then charged with inciting the deaths of at least 850 protesters during violent clashes with Egyptian police and security forces. Although he was initially sentenced to life in prison in 2012, a retrial dismissed the charges and the statesman was freed in 2017, according to France24.

Egypt has since had a volatile political landscape. While Morsi was the country's first democratically-elected president, he served less than a year in office before he too was ousted by a military coup following continued protests by frustrated Egyptian citizens. The military coup, which had been led by General Abdel Fattah el-Sisi, then saw the military chief become the country's next president.

Aljazeera's Jamal al-Shayyal reports that Mubarak is set to be buried today with the funeral taking place at an eastern suburb in the capital city of Caro. Speaking about the Mubarak's legacy, al-Shayyal adds that, "For sure his passing is something that will remind people of the situation in Egypt as well as the political legacy that he left behind, which is one that has allowed for the current military regime to continue in its ruling."

Music

6 Samples From 'Éthiopiques' in Hip-Hop

A brief history of Ethio-jazz cultural exchange featuring songs by Nas & Damian Marley, K'naan, Madlib and more.

This article was originally published on OkayAfrica in March, 2017. We're republishing it here for our Crossroads series.

It's 2000 something. I'm holed up in my bedroom searching for samples to chop up on Fruity Loops. While deep into the free-market jungle of Amazon's suggested music section, I stumble across a compilation of Ethiopian music with faded pictures of nine guys jamming in white suit jackets. I press play on the 30 second sample.

My mind races with the opportunities these breakbeats offered a budding beat maker. Catchy organs, swinging horns, funky guitar riffs, soulful melodies and grainy and pained vocalists swoon over love lost and gained. Sung in my mother tongue—Amharic—this was a far cry from the corny synthesizer music of the 1990s that my parents played on Saturday mornings. I could actually sample this shit.

The next day, I burn a CD and pop it into my dad's car. His eyes light up when the first notes ooze out of the speakers. “Where did you get this?" He asks puzzlingly. “The internet," I respond smiling.

In the 1970s my dad was one of thousands of high school students in Addis Ababa protesting the monarchy. The protests eventually created instability which lead to a coup d'état. The monarchy was overthrown and a Marxist styled military junta composed of low ranking officers called the Derg came to power. The new regime subsequently banned music they deemed to be counter revolutionary. When the Derg came into power, Amha Eshete, a pioneering record producer and founder of Ahma Records, fled to the US and the master recordings of his label's tracks somehow ended up in a warehouse in Greece.

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