Suzanne Mubarak

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Suzanne Mubarak
سوزان مبارك
Suzanne Mubarak 1.jpg
Suzanne Mubarak, 2010
First Lady of Egypt
In role
14 October 1981 – 11 February 2011
PresidentHosni Mubarak
Preceded byJehan Al Sadat
Succeeded byNaglaa Mahmoud
Personal details
Suzanne Saleh Thabet (Arabic: سوزان صالح ثابت‎)

(1941-02-28) 28 February 1941 (age 78)
Al Minya Governorate, Kingdom of Egypt
Hosni Mubarak (m. 1958)
Alma materAmerican University in Cairo

Suzanne Mubarak (Arabic: سوزان مبارك[suˈzæːn moˈbɑːɾɑk], née Saleh Thabet; born 28 February 1941) is the wife of former Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak and was the First Lady of Egypt during her husband's presidential tenure from 14 October 1981 to 11 February 2011. She has served as Goodwill Ambassador of the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization, and founded the Cairo Child Museum in collaboration with the British Museum. Born to an Egyptian father and a British mother, she is a sociologist by education.

Early life and education[edit]

Suzanne Mubarak was born in Al Minya Governorate, located on the Nile River about 250 kilometres to the south of Cairo, on 28 February 1941.[1] Her father, Saleh Thabet, was an Egyptian pediatrician and her mother was Lily May Palmer (died in 1978), a nurse from Pontypridd, Wales.[2][3] [4] She went to St. Claire School in Heliopolis, Cairo.

She met her future husband, Egyptian Air Force officer Hosni Mubarak, when she was 16 years old.[5] The couple married when she was 17 years old[5] and had two sons; Alaa Mubarak and Gamal Mubarak. She returned to school ten years after her marriage.[5]

Mubarak graduated from American University in Cairo (AUC) in 1977 with a bachelor's degree in political science and then received a master's degree in sociology from AUC in 1982.[5][6] She wrote a thesis on "Social Action Research in Urban Egypt: Case study of primary school upgrading in Bulaq".

First Lady of Egypt[edit]

First Lady Suzanne Mubarak (left), with President Hosni Mubarak and Polish President Lech Kaczynski and his wife, Maria Kaczyńska, in 2008

Mubarak became First Lady of Egypt upon her husband's accession to the presidency on 14 October 1981 and served as First Lady until her husband's resignation on 11 February 2011.

Mubarak's activities in projects relating to human trafficking and family affairs became prominent in Egypt.[7] She led the Egyptian U.N. delegation in conferences relating to women and children. In 1985 she founded the Child Museum of Cairo in collaboration with the British Museum. In 2005, she opened the Hurghada branch of Mubarak's Public Library.[8] In October 2008, she was nominated as Goodwill Ambassador of the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO).[9] She was a patron of the children's television series, Alam Simsim (Arabic for "Sesame's World"), Egypt's version of the American series, Sesame Street.

On 18 October 1988, at a party in Egypt in her honour, Uday Hussein killed his father's favorite valet and food taster Kamel Hana Gegeo in the presence of party guests.[10]

In March 2008, Egyptian journalist Ibrahim Eissa was arrested for reporting on Hosni Mubarak's health problems in August 2007.[11] Mubarak then gave a rare television address to allege that Hosni was actually healthy and reporters who suggested otherwise deserve to be punished.[11]

In 2011, WikiLeaks released cables that indicate Mubarak "commandeered" a bus during a trip to the Sinai. The bus had been paid for by the United States Agency for International Development to carry children to school.[12]


Mubarak is married to former Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak. She is the daughter of an Egyptian pediatrician, Saleh Sabet, and Welsh nurse Lily Palmer. Saleh Sabet, at the time a 29-year-old medical student at Cardiff University, married the 29-year-old Lily May Palmer at Islington, London on 16 March 1934. Palmer was a trained nurse working at The Infirmary on Camden Road, Islington. She was the daughter of colliery manager Charles Henry Palmer, and grew up in Pontypridd, Glamorgan, Wales.[1] Mubarak's older brother, Mounir Sabet, is a former president of the Egyptian Olympic Committee.[13]

She has two sons — Alaa and Gamal — two grandsons and a granddaughter. One of the two grandsons, 12-year-old Muhammad Mubarak, died on 18 May 2009 in Paris after a two-day health crisis.[6]


  • 2006: Ibsen Centennial Commemoration Award, presented by Queen Sonja of Norway in Egypt on the occasion of the Ibsen Year
  • The 1989 UNICEF Executive Board conferred upon Mrs. Mubarak its highest honour, the "Maurice Pate Award", in recognition of her dedication and efforts for child survival, protection and development.
  • Given the highest Award in 1989 by the Rehabilitation International Centre for her outstanding services and support to disabled children.
  • Given an Honorary Fulbright Award, in recognition of her efforts in the field of child development and education,
  • The "Together for Peace Foundation" bestowed upon Mrs. Mubarak "The 1992 Enrique de la Mata International Prize for Peace" in recognition of her dedication in promoting child development and alleviating the suffering of victims of natural disasters.
  • The Rotary Foundation of Rotary International named Mrs. Mubarak in 1992 a "Paul Harris Fellow" in appreciation of the tangible and significant assistance for the furthering of better understanding and friendly relations between peoples of the world.
  • The " Health for All Gold Medal", the highest distinction awarded by the World Health Organization, was conferred upon Mrs. Mubarak in June 1994 in recognition of her outstanding contributions to improving the quality of life of the women and children of Egypt and her personal commitment to international efforts aimed at integrating health in the development process.
  • Mrs. Mubarak received the "International Book Committee, International Book Award" in April 1995 in recognition of her outstanding efforts to promote reading in Egypt.
  • Soka University bestowed upon Mrs. Mubarak its Award of Highest Honour in April 1995.
  • Westminster College, New Wilmington, honoured Mrs. Mubarak with the degree of Doctor of Laws in recognition of her outstanding achievement for the people of Egypt and in causes valued by the international community.
  • "The American World Book Association for Publication Award" in recognition of her role in the publication of books and her efforts in supporting the campaign of "Reading for All".
  • "Award of the Arab Publishers Federation in recognition of her efforts in promoting Arab literature. Cairo, 1996.
  • The UNESCO Avicenna Medal in recognition of her role in promoting cultural activities in Egypt, 1997. The award "honours heads of state and other personalities who have made a significant contribution to the advancement of UNESCO’s goals".[14]
  • "Prize of Tolerance", European Academy of Sciences and Arts, Salzburg, 1998.
  • "The Degree of Professor Counsellor", Shanghai University, April 1999.
  • Honorary Doctor Degree", Iwa University, Seoul, Korea, for her efforts to promote women's education and social development in Egypt, April 1999.
  • The "Rotary Award" for her efforts in combating polio, June 1999.
  • "Honorary Doctor Degree for Humane letters", American University in Cairo, February 2000.
  • "Honorary Doctor Degree", American University in Spain, in recognition of her distinctive efforts in the social field in Egypt, February 2000.
  • "Honorary Doctor Degree", Azerbaijan State Economic University, in recognition of H.E. activities in field of education, her unwavering support for youth and her efforts to protect and promote women and children rights across the Arab world. Cairo, Egypt, November 23. 2009
  • The Alexandria Regional Center for Women's Health and Development was formerly called The Suzanne Mubarak Regional Centre for Women's Health and Development, in honour of her work on behalf of women in Egypt.
  • In December 2006 Mrs. Mubarak received the Dr.Rainer Hildebrandt Human Rights Award endowed by Alexandra Hildebrandt.


  1. ^ a b "Egypt's first ladies". Historica. Retrieved 2 March 2013.
  2. ^ "Egypt: Suzanne Mubarak 'recovering' from sudden illness". BBC. 14 May 2011. Retrieved 24 July 2012.
  3. ^ Mahnaimi, Uzi (12 June 2005). "Wife bids to build Mubarak dynasty". The Times.
  4. ^ Evans, Martin. "Egypt Crisis: Mubarak Family Profile – Telegraph."30 Jan. 2011. Web. 14 May 2011. [1].
  5. ^ a b c d Leary, Alex (14 February 1988). "A Greater Role for Egypt's First Lady". New York Times. Retrieved 16 May 2011.
  6. ^ a b Thurber, John. "Suzanne Mubarak's Literary Career|Los Angeles Times." |18 May 2011. [2].
  7. ^ Hendawi, Hamza. "Court: Remove Mubarak name from public facilities – Yahoo! News." 21 April 2011. [3].
  8. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2 December 2008. Retrieved 19 July 2009.CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)
  9. ^ "First Ladies Summit at FAO, Rome". FAO Newsroom. 5 November 2009.
  10. ^ Miller, Judith (23 July 2003). "After the War:The Quarry; For Brutality, Hussein's sons Exceeded Even Their Father". The New York Times. Retrieved 19 June 2019.
  11. ^ a b "Egyptian Journo Jailed For Prez Reports" 26 March 2008. CBS News. Retrieved 17 May 2015.
  12. ^ Landler, Mark & Lehren, Andrew (27 January 2011). "Cables Show Delicate U.S. Dealings With Egypt's Leaders". The New York Times. Retrieved 17 May 2015.
  13. ^ Hays, Kathleen; Morris, Valerie; Willis, Gerri (10 December 2003). "Deadly Checkmate" (Free with registration). Egypt Today. America's Intelligence Wire. Retrieved 7 October 2010. the Egyptian Olympic Committee (EOC), headed by Gen. Mounir Sabet, the brother of the First Lady Suzanne Mubarak...
  14. ^ "Bundestag speaker addresses UNESCO general conference and receives award". UNESCO.
Honorary titles
Preceded by
Jehan Al Sadat
First Lady of Egypt
Succeeded by
Naglaa Ali Mahmoud