Military Wiki

Ibrahim Abdel Ghafour El-Orabi
إبراهيم عبد الغفور العرابي
[[file:Lieutenant General Ibrahim El-Orabi|frameless|alt=]]
Chief of Staff of the Armed Forces of Egypt

In office
11 May 1983 – 30 August 1987
President Hosni Mubarak
Minister Abd al-Halim Abu Ghazala
Preceded by Abd Rab el-Nabi Hafez
Succeeded by Safey el-Din Abu Shnav
Chief of Operations of the Armed Forces of Egypt

In office
11 January 1981 – 30 May 1983
Preceded by Abd Rab el-Nabi Hafez
Succeeded by Ahmed Salah al-Din Abdel-Halim
Commander of the Second Field Army of Egypt

In office
20 January 1980 – 12 January 1981
Preceded by Abd Rab el-Nabi Hafez
Succeeded by Ahmed Salah al-Din Abdel-Halim
Personal details
Born 20 May 1931(1931-05-20) (age 91)
Cairo, Egypt
Political party Independent
Religion Islam
Military service
Allegiance  Egypt
Service/branch Egyptian Army
Years of service 1951–1987
Rank EgyptianArmyInsignia-LieutenantGeneral.svg Lieutenant General
Commands Chief of Staff of the Armed Forces
  • Liberation Order
  • Commemorative Medal of the United Arab Republic
  • Medal of Distinguished Service
  • Order of the Republic - Grand Cordon

Ibrahim Abdel Ghafour El-Orabi (Arabic language: إبراهيم عبد الغفور العرابي‎, Egyptian Arabic: [ˈibrahim ʕæbdel ˈɣafour el ʕorabi]; born 20 May 1931) was an Egyptian military commander. He was Chief of Staff of the Armed Forces of Egypt at the beginning of the era of former President Hosni Mubarak for several years until the year 1987. He began his military career at the end of the forties and witnessed all Arab-Israeli wars and all the political volatility that ‬passed by Egypt since the 1948 Arab–Israeli War to the Yom Kippur War‬ which he was one of its prominent leaders. Best known for severe discipline and rigor.[1]

His Birth

Ibrahim Abdel Ghafoor El-Orabi was born (20 May 1931) in Mahallat Abu Aly, a village in the center of El-Mahalla El-Kubra Gharbia Governorate for a family of five brothers and his family was well off breadwinner works in agricultural land province of Gharbia Governorate.

A number of his family members are leading men. He is the relative of Ali Zaki El-Orabi Pasha, Minister of Public Knowledge and Head of the Parliament of Egypt in the period (May 7, 1942 - Dec 19 1944) and (June 17, 1950 - Dec 10 1952) during the reign of King Farouk I of Egypt, and brother of Nabil El-Orabi, Egypt's Ambassador to the Russian Federation, and the relative of Mohamed Orabi, former Minister of Foreign Affairs of Egypt.

His Interests

And there during his childhood ‬began to appear his military inclinations ‬when he sees ‬along with his friends British Army convoys coming from Alexandria going near their village on ‬farm roads to escape from the German Air Force and that during the period of the beginning of World War II in ‬the end of the thirties, ‬in ‬this historic juncture formed his character ‬this resulted to his desire ‬to enter the Egyptian Military Academy and has already achieved his wish. ‬For this he was always in advanced standings in the college and then graduated in ‬1950 and he went to the armored corps training to specialize as an Armor Officer.

His Education

He was among the children of his family who received formal education before Egypt know free education, he received a Bachelor of Military Science from the Egyptian Military Academy in 1950, Master of Science from M.V. Frunze Military Academy in Moscow, and a Master of Science from the College of Military commanders and Staff, PhD in Military Science from Nasser Military Academy, Fellow of the Higher War College.

The beginnings of his career

He began service in‬ Armored Corps and learn on ‬the hands of the great leaders and in‬ this period began the formation of the Free Officers Movement and was with him in the corps of the Free Officers ‬Abdel Fattah Ali ‬Ahmed ‬(God's mercy) and was present also Hussein El-Shafei but did not speak with them in politics and through Tharwat Okasha ‬he joined the ‬Free Officers and participated in the Egyptian Revolution of 1952.

His participation in the revolution of July 23, 1952

July 23 ‬night was the date of the move agreed at ‬twelve o'clock at the site of the military ‬technical institute located ‬now in ‬Abbasid and told him ‬ Hussein Shafei: ‬Go now to control the‬ intersection in front of the general command of the army. Have not gone two minutes until ‬came El-Damanhori ‬and said to them: Be aware of Heshmat Bek entered the Armored Corps. He was brigadier-general, the commander of the armored brigade and was characterized by a strong character and they were loving and respecting him very much because he was among educated officers and this man if he had been able to enter ‬Corps he would have spoiled everything. Hussein Shafei said: ‬Go out and caught him. He took with him the power that ‬consisted of two carriages and Pickup where soldiers and two armored. During approached ‬of the gate where the road was too narrow not ‬accommodate the passage of two cars stood Heshmat Bek's car and got out of it and he was ‬wearing ‬civilian clothes and came down to him and said to him: ‬If allowed ‬Afendim do not enter the corps and he knew him so he ‬asked him: ‬What is this Orabi? He told him he has orders. In this moment ‬arrived ‬Hussein Shafei ‬and Tharwat Okasha who was ‬carrying a machine gun without safe. The brigadier-general Heshmat looked at him and said : and you also ‬Tharwat and took him with them and he went to ‬the road intersection and controlled it. The ‬13th ‬battalion has moved from Almaza where began the clash, which ‬happened in front of the Command for ten minutes, which ‬was done ‬by Youssef Seddik. ‬The commands allow officers from the rank of lieutenant colonel to below, ‬and arrest officers from the rank of colonel to higher. ‬ ‬

Cavalry Crisis in 1954

After the revolution, the situation has evolved into general ‬‬cavalry crisis in 1954. He ‬was one of opponents of the action of anti-freedom and democracy ‬pursued by the Revolutionary Command Council for this he was arrested in ‬prison of foreigners in 1954‬ when he opposed these measures with a group of cavalry armor officers. ‬What is important it happened to him ‬the first arrest and was placed in‬ foreigners ‬prison at Egypt Station Square on the orders of President Gamal Abdel Nasser and they were more than twenty cavalry officers and after a week in prison they took them to investigation by Zakaria Mohieddin who did not ‬find anything against him, ‬and came out of prison he went to corps and resigned ‬and told him ‬go to Major General Ali ‬Gamaleddin who was brigadier-general at that time and was a very respectable figures and intellectuals educated, ‬and was commander of the armored forces ‬at that time and gave him his resignation. He asked him: Why? He said to him: ‬I can not imagine that an officer ‬kept in prison and placed him guard like criminals, ‬and then‬ can continue in the armed forces. However, ‬they brought him back to the armed forces.

His participation in the War of 1956

In the ‬Suez Crisis he did not have leading role ‬because he was in ‬Alalaa Alsenturion ‬(Arabic language: الآلاي ‬السنتوريون‎),which was commanded by Lt. Col. Abdel Moneim Wassel at that time, a man of excellent teacher although he was originally a cavalry but was first degree in armor ‬tactic and was teaching tactic armor, and of course what happened in ‬56 ‬was a shock to all of them and their position was in ‬west of Cairo and then moved to Suez Canal and entered the Sinai Peninsula and then returned to Cairo.

M.V. Frunze Military Academy ‬Mission in Moscow

Then, in the early ‬56 ‬he was a major and they summoned ‬him in ‬the General Command and told him ‬you are a candidate for the mission at M.V. Frunze Military Academy in Moscow. ‬After returning from the mission the war in Yemen has begun.

North Yemen Civil War

When he was in ‬his unit and doing ‬the process ‬for 4 tanks to travel to Yemen Surprised by the signal coming from the phone through the battalion and that he ‬must take a plane ‬tomorrow to travel to Yemen because Field Marshal Abdel Hakim Amer requested him by name. In the ‬next day he went to ‬Almaza airport where he found a Russian Antonov An-124 Ruslan. He boarded and arrived in Yemen and found Marshal there and said to him: Number of ‬tanks will start growing here so we want an armor officer in the Command to assume ‬Multi tanks and was in ‬these days major. In ‬Yemen despite ‬what is said about Yemen but opened their eyes to ‬many things including: How the State of limited possibilities to manage a war on ‬distance of several thousand miles in very strange‬ land ‬in the middle of very strange people. ‬It is true that they were involved because they were ignorant of the nature of the theater there but the outcome of Yemen despite the drawbacks many have provided them with many positives in ‬certain things. ‬After a year in ‬Yemen he asked the Field Marshal to go back to Egypt and said, things have become stable.

‬ Appointed to the Field Marshal's Office

When he returned, he went for an interview with Shams Badran in the Ministry of War and gave him a report on his mission ‬in ‬Iraq and asked him where where he will work now said to him: ‬will work with us in ‬the Ministry of War and went to the ministry noted that there are signs of change, and news about the existence of corruption and talk about Ali ‬Shafiq, Field Marshal's secretary and found that Tantawi ‬he was appointed as secretary of Mushir instead of Ali ‬Shafiq, and him and Salah Abdel Halim were appointed ‬to the Field Marshal's Office and Ezzedine from Artillery was appointed as Director of Field Marshal's Office, and then came the appointment of Shams Badran minister of defense and their whole job was with him until the war 67.

His participation in the 1967 war

The Six-Day War took place and ‬he was briefing specific missions such as fighting recommendations and there was a crowd seen but internal problems in ‬forces he did not see them because his mission was not more than two hours and then return directly as he was not going to inspect troops but informed the Field Marshal in those crowd ‬days visit he was visiting the Melis Airport they portrayed him things are excellent or as we colloquially say made him the sea tahina. There was an error tackled him there was a given estimate about the occurrence of an attack by the Israelis from the valley ‬in ‬south named ‬Thieves ‬valley. He said to them, this could happen and told them that he is a reconnaissance officer and served in these areas and knows no way major forces can be attacked from there. They did not listen to his words and stood all against him and the result was that they stirred ‬14th ‬Brigade from Arish to there and left the area opened ‬without armored forces. The other mistake was when the decision was taken to close the Gulf of Aqaba where Abdel Moneim Khalil was responsible for ‬paratroopers in Sharm El-Sheikh ‬he went to him and said to him: read to me this decision and found him with incomprehensible details and told him:‬ Do you understand something? He said to him: ‬Not. He said to him: And I also do not understand. He said: ‬Now I want to understand shall I close the strait or not? There was a lack of understanding and messing up and it happened what happened. He also states that he ‬was in ‬the first ‬day of the war in ‬a plane with the Prime Minister of Iraq and they were going to pass on ‬the front and Hussein El Shafei was in ‬another plane and the plane was hit from attacking Israeli aircraft over Fayed base and made an emergency landing and called the command from Fayed airport and told them that the airport was hit and they said to him bring pilot with you and come to Cairo ‬so he took some pilots and returned to Cairo. In ‬the General Command he found ‬a concert without an organizer no one understands something ‬and conflicting in information and the decisions. He went to Field Marshal and said: Hey, if allowed ‬Afendim I am a fighter officer and I would love to go to fight and said to him: ‬Do you want this? He said to him: Yes. ‬He said to him: There is a parachutes battalion take it to ‬Aljfjafah to defend it. This was a speech on June 5 night in ‬dawn arrived to the parachutes battalion and took her and went to ‬ Ismailia and there told them awaited ‬in ‬place under the trees until ‬he goes to the headquarters of the Eastern Command to see what the real situation is and in the command they said to him Aljfjafah fell into the hands of the Israelis forces and all forces came back from Sinai. He asked them where to go and they said: Go and explore the position because communications are conflicting so he took the road to El-Qantarah el-Sharqiyya and met in the way Ibrahim ‬El Rifai God's mercy and he knew the situation and when he returned the Israelis were in ‬his back ‬and when he arrived at Ismailia they told him ‬take order from Eastern Command and there was Abdul Mohsen Mortagy, Mohamed Fawzi ‬and Salah Mohsen. He said to them that there is with him ‬a parachutes battalion. They said to him: Defended Fardan sector. It was Friday morning and told him ‬catch Fardan point until the point of Ismailia own coasts and went to. There was in ‬that time a ceasefire he found Coast Guard booth and had a phone in it and was connected to all the commanders in ‬Ismailia and then found the parachutes officer coming to tell him: Oh Afendim Israelis are inspecting Fardan bridge and there is a boat they are unloading for water and it seems they are going to cross the channel. He said to him shoot although there are a cease-fire. There was with them rocket-propelled grenade (often abbreviated RPG) and four shots and smote and sank the boat. There did not pass few minutes until all Israeli troops in the Eastern Bank hitthem and contacted him ‬a major general of the Eastern Command and told him why ‬Orabi clash? There is a cease-fire and said to him that he does not take orders from the radio ‬and Jews are inspecting the bridge ‬and crossing is very possible, how to wait? He said to him ‬stop shooting, ‬he said to him: ‬The Israelis are the ones who ‬ shoot now and have been under fire from morning till ‬night and ‬next day ‬they told him ‬we will reorganize forces come and to return to Cairo ‬and he returned to Cairo. ‬

Second Arrest

Upon their return they met Field Marshal Amer Secretary ‬Colonel Tantawi and told them just go to take your orders from Gen. ‬Mohamed Fawzi (general) because Field Marshal Amer resigned and went to Mohamed Fawzi ‬in ‬headquarters in Nasr City and said to them, you will be working with me and they stayed at Mohammed Fawzi doing nothing. In ‬One day, attended them, Major General Mustafa ‬El-Gamal and accompanied them to ‬Military Academy where they think they will be appointed in ‬combat positions and they went and they were surprised that he had been arrested in Military Academy. This has affected ‬himself very much. ‬They have been arrested for nine months without any accusation as they learned they were arrested because they are Shams Badran ‬class. In ‬one day he told his colleagues that he would send ‬telegraph for the president and already sent telegraphs for the president and passed several days and did not receive response until a fellow came who was working at Moscow procurement office and was knowing our ambassador in Moscow Mohammed Murad Ghaleb as well as Sami Sharaf and the president. They asked him to speak with the president about them and the result was a big joke when they knew later when he told President Nasser‬ about them he amusingly said: Are they still prisoners!! ‬He asked Sami Sharaf to drive them out, but Sami Sharaf did not drive them out on the contrary to the president's orders and after his release from detention ‬he worked as a contractor with one of his relatives. ‬

Back to the front

File:إبراهيم العرابى.jpg

Major General Orabi inspects a formations of Second Army Field

One day came to him ‬an official ‬call. He went to the officers affairs and met with Major General Saad Salim who said to him, there are instructions for him to return to the service. He said to him, sorry, and while speaking with him entered the office Major General Abdel-Moneim ‬Khalil who had served with him in Yemen and whom he knew. He asked him what are you doing here? He said to him: ‬They sent him ‬and they want him to return ‬to the army and he refused. He said to him, wait for me until ‬I pray 'Asr (afternoon). He then returned and said to him, I'll tell you a story ‬then you can make your decision and then said: ‬We were in a meeting with President Anwar Sadat and we were talking about tanks and he asked us: "Where is Orabi?" We told him Orabi on pension. He said: Orabi to be back to the Army‬. When Major General Abdel-Moneim Khalil told him this dialogue, he was influenced by the words of President Sadat. He said to Major General Saad Salim: ‬Yes I will return to service. ‬ He went to the Second Army (Egypt)‬ in ‬end‬ 1968, and there he was distributed on training branch where there was Russian experts who said that this officer has studied at us, understand us and must work with us in the second ‬field army operantions. He kept with them for a period ‬on the exercises of transit. Then he was promoted to assume the position of vice president of operations division of the second ‬army field and then suddenly has been hired the leader of the 21st Armored Division, ‬and began to equip for the war and then came the war and took part in it.

Participation in the war in October 1973

The 21st Armored Division, which he was leading was working as a strategic reserve for the second ‬field army as one of the main forces on the development axis of ‬middle road. Indeed, the 21st Armored Division led by Brigadier General Ibrahim El-Orabi at that time crossed the channel and developed the attack in the east ‬Sinai. The offensive began on 14‬ October and indeed, the division fulfills its duties but faced a desperate Israeli defense. It was clear that Israel has benefited from American reconnaissance sorties over the front and supported the troops with supplies and new weapons that the U.S. and its impact ‬ appeared evident in the battlefield. ‬Israeli forces were waiting for the 21st Armored Division and took place on the land of Sinai battles with tanks, ‬Israeli and international references said it was one of the largest battles in the armor ‬ history.

Main Command Positions

Orabi served in numerous leadership positions, the Egyptian armed forces commissioned by former President Hosni Mubarak has to assume responsibility for the presidency of (AOI). Among the positions he has held ‬commander of the Arab forces in Iraq, and then went to the second field army, in ‬end ‬of 1968, ‬Then promoted to take vice president of operations of the second field army, and then suddenly he was appointed commander of the 21st armored division, ‬and began equipped for the war and then came the war and participated in, and was promoted to the rank of major general in July 1977 and was appointed assistant commander of the second field army, ‬and then was appointed Chief of Staff of the second field army in 1978, ‬and then was appointed commander of the second field army in 1980,‬ and then returned to the operations authority after the incident, the plane that ‬cite the Field Marshal Ahmed Badawi where he was appointed chief of operations of the armed forces in 1981, and then assistant minister of defense in 1982, and finally was appointed chief of staff of armed forces in 1983 and was promoted to the rank of lieutenant and then became head of the Arab Organization for Industrialization (AOI) since 1987 and until 1995, when retired.

These positions are:

  • ‬Commander of the Arab Forces in Iraq
  • Vice President of the Operations Division of the Second Field Army
  • Commander of the 21st Armored Division
  • Assistant Commander of the Second Field Army
  • Chief of Staff of the Second Field Army
  • Commander of the Second Field Army
  • Chief of Operations of the Armed Forces
  • Assistant Minister of Defense
  • Chief of Staff of the Armed Forces
  • Promoted to the rank of Lieutenant General
  • Chairman of the Board of Directors of the Arab Organization for Industrialization (AOI)

Military Participations

Decorations and Medals

Military Medals

  • Egypt Military Medal of Courage - Gold
  • Egypt Medal of Long Service and Good Example - Bronze
  • Egypt Liberation Medal
  • Egypt Commemorative Medal of the United Arab Republic
  • Egypt Military Medal of the Evacuation
  • Egypt Military Medal of Independence - 2 classes
  • Egypt Victory Medal
  • Egypt Sinai Liberation Medal
  • Egypt Medal of Military Duty - Gold
  • Egypt Medal of Training - Gold
  • Egypt Medal of Distinguished Service
  • Egypt Medal of Long Service and Good Example - Silver
  • Egypt Army Day Commemorative Medal
  • Egypt Tenth Anniversary of the Revolution Medal
  • Egypt Twentieth Anniversary of the Revolution Medal
  • Egypt October 6 Memorial Medal
  • Libya Decoration (Libya)
  • Iraq Decoration (Iraq)
  • Zaire Decoration (Zaire)
  • United States Decoration (United States)
  • Cameroon Decoration (Cameroon)

Civil Medals

  • Egypt Order of the Republic - Grand Cordon, twice (1987 and 1995)


External links

Military offices
Preceded by
Abd Rab el-Nabi Hafez
Chief of Staff of the Armed Forces of Egypt
Succeeded by
Safey el-Din Abu Shnav

This page uses Creative Commons Licensed content from Wikipedia (view authors).