CAIRO - 1 February 2022: General Mohamed Abdel-Salam al-Mahgoub has been mourned by all of Egypt after his passing on Monday at 86 years old after many years of military and civil service.
Known as Abdel Salam Mahgoub, he was born in Dakahlia, the Delta in 1935. He is most know for being the Governor of Alexandria for nine years from 1997 to 2006, transforming the Mediterranean city into a tourist attraction and a loved destination by many Egyptians. The Stanley Bridge and huge murals that make the city stand out were established during his tenure.
But his less known role is finally getting the attention it deserves on social media. Mahgoub was a high-profile intelligence officer during a critical time of Egypt’s tempestuous relationship prior to the 1979 peace treaty.
Mahgoub was responsible for contacts with Ahmed el-Hawan, one of Egypt’s most renowned spies of all time, who provided the Israelis with false information as per the instructions of the Egyptian intelligence from 1967 leading up to Egypt’s victory in 1973.
The story of Hawan and Mahgoub was immortalized in Egyptian popular culture in the 1989 series Tears in Insolent Eyes, where Mahgoub’s character, played by late prominent actor Salah Kabil, was code named Rayyis Zakariya.
The most famous quote of Mahgoub is "thank you for your cooperation," which he sent from then Israel's most advanced transmitting device after Hawan brought it to the Egyptian intelligence.