5 Feb 2011

Mubarak aims to win over Egypt’s rich

Calls for change in Egypt have come from every level of society. But Krishnan Guru-Murthy finds that the country’s well-off now think it is time to go back to work.

President Mubarak’s strategy appears to be to isolate the protesters while he tries to get Egypt back to work, in the process securing an orderly transition of power.

In this, he appears to be winning over Egypt’s upper middle class, a small but significant group who want to get back to the business of making money.

Nowhere in central Cairo is back to normal. But after 12 days, the affluent in Egypt’s capital seem to want their lives back.

The Gezira club may only be a few minutes from Tahrir Square but, says Krishnan Guru-Murthy, it feels a world away.

If the reforms happen, the crowds will dissolve and things will go back to normal life. Gezira club member

Club members mostly supported the protests of the last few days – but they think it is now time to go back to work.

One club member told Channel 4 News that the crowds in the square did not represent all Egyptians. “Most of them are coming from different backgrounds and different political agendas,” he said.

They agreed that it was the system they wanted to change, not President Mubarak himself.

“If the reforms are happening at the pace the government mentioned before, those crowds will dissolve and things will go back to normal life,” one man predicted. If not, he said, the demonstrations will resume.

Who Knows Who: Egypt in turmoil
We profile the main players in the Egyptian crisis, from Hosni Mubarak and Omar Suleiman to the Muslim Brotherhood, and look back at former US Secretary of State Henry Kissinger's connections with Egypt -

- Egypt on the brik: Mubarak to the Brotherhood
- Omar Suleiman: Egypt's vice-presidential spook
- Kissinger, Sadat and the Egypt connection