Abdel Fattah el-Sisi: The President of Egypt


Abdel Fattah Saeed Hussein Khalil el-Sisi is an Egyptian politician who is the 6th and incumbent or current President of Egypt. Besides, he was also the former Director of Military Intelligence, Minister of Defense, and General. As of 10th February 2019, Abdel Fattah started serving a 1-year term as the African Union Chairperson (AU), which concluded last year (2020).

Abdel Fattah was born in Cairo, Egypt’s capital. After joining the Egyptian Army, he held a post in Saudi Arabia prior to enrolling in the Egyptian Army’s Command and Staff College. In 1992, Abdel Fattah trained at the Joint Services Command and Staff College in the United Kingdom (UK). In 2006, he trained at the United States Army War College in Carlisle (Pennsylvania). Abdel also served as a mechanized infantry commander.

As Minister of Defense and ultimately the Commander-in-Chief of the Egyptian Armed Forces, Abdel got involved in the military coup that overthrew the Head of State called Mohamed Morsi from office on 3rd July 2013, in response to the 2013 Egyptian demonstrations. Abdel Fattah dissolved the 2012 Egyptian Constitution and suggested a new political road map, which included the voting for a new Constitution and a new parliamentary and presidential elections.

On 26th March 2014, in response to calls from supporters to run for Presidency, Abdel resigned or retired from his military career, declaring that he would run as a candidate in the 2014 Presidential election. Abdel Fattah entered office as President of Egypt on 8th June 2014.

Early Life of Abdel Fattah and Military Education

As mentioned earlier, Abdel Fattah was born in old Cairo on 19th November 1954. His parents were Said Hussein Khalili al-Sisi and Soad Mohamed. Abdel Fattah grew up in Gamaleya, close to al-Azhar Mosque. Abdel Fattah later enrolled in the Egyptian Military Academy. Upon graduating, he held several command positions in the Egyptian Armed Forces and served as Egypt’s military attache in Riyadh. In the late 20th century (1987), he attended the Egyptian Command and Staff College. Five years later (1992), he continued his military career by enrolling in the British Command and Staff College. Abdel Fattah was the youngest participant of the SCAF (Supreme Council of the Armed Forces) during the 2011 Egyptian Insurgency.

Abdel Fattah’s family came or originated from Monufia Governorate. Abdel Fattah is the 2nd of eight siblings; his dad later had six more children with a 2nd wife. Abdel Fattah and his siblings schooled at the nearby library at Al-Azhar University. Unlike his brothers, Abdel Fattah el-Sisi attended a local army-run Secondary school, where his relationship with Entissar Amer, his maternal cousin, started to develop.

His Personal Life and Family

Unlike Hosni Mubarak, Abdel Fattah was protective of his family’s privacy. He is married to his cousin called Entissar Amer, as stated above, and is the dad of one daughter and three sons. One of his sons is engaged or married to the daughter of a former Egyptian Army Chief known as Mahmoud Hegazy.

Abdel Fattah comes from a religious family and at most times quotes Quranic verses during informal discussions or conversations. Abdel Fattah’s wife wears the Islamic Hijab, though a casual type that only covers the hair but not the neck. According to records, people know Abdel Fattah as a quiet person, and they often call him ‘the Quiet General.’ People often called him ‘General Sisi’ because of his perceived orderly character or demeanor as a young man.

His Presidency (Domestic and Foreign Policies)

During his Presidential campaign, President Abdel Fattah encouraged Egyptians to work harder and wake up early in the morning, urged Egyptians to be ready for what he referred to as ‘the hard work period.’ Abdel Fattah wanted to set an excellent example as a leader by telling his ministers that they always report to the office by 7 am. After the cabinet got sworn-in, Abdel Fattah’s 1st street appearance saw him getting involved in a 20-km bike marathon. His cabinet ministers, several celebrities, military, and police students followed him to encourage low fuel consumption, which is costly to the government.

We see Abdel Fattah’s great philanthropic act when he encouraged Egyptians to rebuild the Egyptian economy. Abdel Fattah said that he would donate half of his salary and personal assets to support the Egyptian economy.

During his presidency, Abdel Fattah ordered the Ministry of Finance to enforce rules on maximum wages estimated at $5873 per month. El-Sisi also established or formed the advisory council of Egypt’s experts and scientists to advise him on national projects.

Abdel Fattah has called for the change or reform and modernization of Islam. He has taken measures within Egypt such as controlling or regulating mosque sermons and transforming school textbooks, including removing some content on Uqba ibn Nafi and Saladin inciting hatred and violence. Abdel Fattah has also called for an end to the Islamic verbal divorce.

Abdel Fattah is the 1st Egyptian Head of State in the state’s history to attend Christmas Mass and gave a speech at the Coptic Orthodox Christmas service in Egypt’s capital, Cairo, in January 2015, calling for togetherness or unity.

Fattah’s National Projects

In August 2014, President Abdel Fattah initiated a new Suez Canal, which would multiply the existing canal’s capacity from 49-97 ships a single day. Abdel Fattah also started the Suez Canal Area Development Project, including the development of 5 new seaports in the 3 provinces surrounding the canal. Besides the other national works, President Abdel Fattah also began the National Roads Project, which involves building a road network of over 4000km. Abdel promised development and reconstruction campaigns for Egypt to reduce the unemployment rate and increase the poor people’s income. President Abdel Fattah has also set a national goal of clearing or eliminating all unsafe slums in less than five years.

Domestic Policy-Human Rights Policy

According to Human Rights Watch, Abdel Fattah’s government employed enforced disappearances and torture against his political opponents and criminal suspects. The government is also accountable or responsible for arbitrary arrests and torture of kids as young as 12. Mass protests against Fattah’s government broke out on 20th September 2019, demonstrating perceived repression, corruption, and lack of liberation. Abdel Fattah blamed political Islam for instability and protests.

Abdel Fattah el-Sisi’s Economic Reforms

During Fattah’s Presidency, he decided to increase fuel prices by more than 70% as an introduction to cut the subsidies on energy and basic foodstuffs. Abdel el-Sisi also increased taxes on cigarettes and alcohol, implementing a flat tax on local and foreign cigarettes to between 25-40 cents per pack. The chicken prices rose by more than 20%, while mini-bus and taxi fares increased by about 13%.

Abdel Fattah el-Sisi called on Egyptians to make sacrifices, promising to repair the economy. Abdel once warned Egyptians of much more pain over a certain period due to economic challenges accumulated over 40 years and needed a fix. Under Fattah’s rule, Egypt paid over $6 billion to owed foreign oil firms within 2 months. By March 2015, after eight months of Abdel Fattah’s reign, Egypt’s external debt dropped by more than 13%.


Brief Explanation Concerning Energy Policy under the Domestic Policy

Egypt’s energy crisis that aided inflame the demonstrations against Mohamed Morsi continued to grow in Abdel’s 1st months in office, challenging the new government. Because of shortage in energy production, terrorist attacks on Egypt’s energy infrastructure, growing consumption, debts to foreign oil firms, and the absence of the required periodic maintenance of the power plants, the energy blackout rates in Egypt rose.

In August 2014, daily electricity consumption hit a high record. The following month Egypt suffered power outages that stopped sections of the Cairo Metro and grounded much of the state to a halt for quite some time. Abdel Fattah said that his authority would hold the idler responsible or accountable and vowed to solve the economic crisis by August 2015 and that starting with December that year, the problem will be gone.

In the short term, Egypt signed an agreement with GE to provide the state with over 2 gigawatts by 2015. The 1st phase entered service in June, and the last or final phase was to be done by the end of August. In June, Abdel Fattah’s government stated that for the 1st time in years, the country achieved a surplus in power.

During Sisi’s presidency, he stated that Egypt is solving its energy challenges or crisis and seeking to become a global home for energy trading. On 21st November 2017, Abdel Fattah met the President of Cyprus and the Prime Minister of Greece called Alexis Tsipras. They encouraged and invited private sector initiatives of energy infrastructure projects, vital for all three-state energy security.

On Foreign Policy (Africa)

Abdel el-Sisi made an African tour, his 1st foreign visit since taking office, seeking support to counter Islamist militancy in the Northern part of Africa. Abdel also declared the formation or establishment of an Egyptian partnership agency for Africa’s development.



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