- Middle East/North Africa
Unprecedented preparations are being made for Mubarak's first ever visit to Port Said following an attack on him there ten years ago.
The streets along which the presidential convoy will drive were cleaned and beautified, in particular the streets of 23 July and Mohamed Ali. Speed bumps were removed and lampposts installed, and a gate was fitted allowing the president's car direct access to one of the factories in the investment zone.
Banners lined the streets welcoming the president, who visited the East Port Said port two months ago, but has not entered the city itself since the assault on him back in September 1999. The attack happened when Said Hassan Suleiman, a clothing vendor with no known political affiliation, approached the presidential motorcade bearing a sharp instrument. According to official statements Mubarak was lightly wounded on his arm. The assailant was quickly killed by special security guards.
The president is scheduled to visit two petrochemical factories west of the city, and to inaugurate the Mubarak Military Hospital and a clothes factory.
Expressing his astonishment at the cleanliness of the city, el-Badry Farghaly, the city's former People's Assembly member, said, "I wish the president would visit Port Said every month so we can enjoy the cleanliness we see now. 23 July Street and Mohamed Ali Street seem to belong in Paris."
Translated from the Arabic Edition.