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January 27, 2011

Key Players in Egypt's Crisis

Buildings burned in Cairo and tanks deployed in the streets as anti-government protesters defied a nighttime curfew Friday, capping the most violent and chaotic day in Egypt since mass demonstrations began Tuesday.

Demonstrators, believed to be in the tens of thousands, are demanding Mr. Mubarak's resignation.

President Hosni Mubarak

The 82-year-old has ruled Egypt for 30 years as leader of the National Democratic Party.  Egypt's longest-serving president came to power after the assassination of his predecessor, Anwar Sadat.

 

Mohamed ElBaradei

The Nobel Peace laureate and former Egyptian diplomat has gained international attention as a vocal critic of Mr. Mubarak and his government.  Until recently he headed the U.N.'s International Atomic Energy Agency, and he has lived outside Egypt for years.  ElBaradei founded the nonpartisan movement National Association for Change, and has offered to lead a transitional administration in Egypt if Mr. Mubarak steps down.

Vice President Omar Suleiman

The new Egyptian vice president has served as head of intelligence and is a close ally of President Mubarak. He earned international respect for his role as a mediator in Middle East affairs and for curbing Islamic extremism.

 

 

Ayman Nour

The political dissident founded the Al Ghad or "tomorrow" party.  Ghad ran against Mr. Mubarak in the 2005 election and was later jailed on corruption charges.  The government released him in 2009 under pressure from the United States and other members of the international community.

 

Muslim Brotherhood

The Islamic fundamentalist organization was outlawed in Egypt, but remains the largest opposition group.  Its members previously held 20 percent of the seats in parliament, but lost them after a disputed election in late 2010. The group leads a peaceful political and social movement aimed at forming an Islamic state.