Suzanne Mubarak's memoirs

I would approach this story with caution – after all it was published in the trashy Rose al-Youssef – but I'd like to confirm some of these tidbits:

In “Egypt’s First Lady: 30 Years on the Throne of Egypt,” to be published this year, Mubarak says that the United States gave her and her family asylum. A special envoy from the United States, she wrote, arrived in Cairo in early February 2011 with all the documents required to have in order to leave Egypt, but her husband refused to leave.

Saudi Arabia, the UAE, Bahrain, and Kuwait gave the Mubarak family the same offer. However, the author adds, all those asylum documents were taken from the family in the Red Sea city of Sharm al-Sheikh on February 11, 2011, the day the president stepped down.

In the memoirs, Mubarak recounts how she had a nervous breakdown when she knew she was to be arrested, which drove her to try to commit suicide through overdosing on sleeping pills.

She was later rescued and her husband conacted several countries and begged many officials to let her stay with him in the hospital. His wish was granted, provided that she does not leave the hospital.

I like the bit where she says her childhood dream was "to become a flight attendant." After all, she was married to a man whose hope for retirement was to run Egypt Air. And also this nugget:

Among the secrets Mubarak reveals in her memoirs is that her husband did not think that he would be able to leave the palace and was almost certain that he would be assassinated. That is why he asked the Presidential Guard not to leave him alone for one minute and even used to let them accompany him to the bathroom.

Update: Reader "S" writes in with a reminder – "AUC Press was on the verge of publishing her memoirs in time for the 2011 Cairo Book Fair and was copy editing them just as the January protests started... "

The Sinai floods

Sinai floods

Over the last two weeks severe floods killed several people in Sinai. Lina Attallah of al-Masri al-Youm has a slideshow up on Flickr of the damage. The paper also has a story that refugees from the floods were moved ahead of a visit by Suzanne Mubarak:

Victims of the torrential flooding that inundated the city of Arish two weeks ago in the northern Sinai Peninsula were forced by police to evacuate their makeshift tents during a visit Sunday by First Lady Suzanne Mubarak.

The media, meanwhile, was barred from covering the visit, while the road from the airport to municipality headquarters--where Mrs. Mubarak met with the governor of North Sinai--was closed completely.

"They left us here with no food or water," said Raqia, who lost her home to the recent floods.  "And now they want to move us out."