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Archive for the tag “Tahrir Square”

An Ancient War Resurfaces

Throughout the Arab world, a struggle between two major historical forces, religion and secularism, is now unfolding. It is the type of battle between Caesar and God that took Europe centuries to resolve. The future of the Arab Middle East will be decided in the fight between Syria’s Sunni insurgents, supported throughout the region by the Saudi Wahhabis – the patrons of religious fundamentalism – and its secular Baath regime; between the fundamentalist Hamas and the secular PLO in Palestine; and between Egypt’s young secular opposition, forged in the protests of Tahrir Square, and the Muslim Brotherhood and radical Salafists.

Read Here – Project Syndicate

Arab Spring: An Economic Protest

Two years ago, the West thought it recognised what was happening in the Arab world: people wanted democracy, and were having revolutions to make that point. Now, recent events in Egypt have left many open-mouthed. Why should the generals be welcomed back? Why should the same crowds who gathered in Tahrir Square to protest against the old regime reconvene to cheer the deposing of their elected president? Could it be that the Arab Spring was about something else entirely?

Read Here – The Spectator

The Irony Of Tahrir Square

The main difference between 2011 and 2013: In 2011, there was hope that the standoff would end in a way that allows Egyptian politics to become normal. In 2013, that seems less likely.

Read Here – Foreign Affairs

Who Will Save Egypt?

Underneath all the anger in Egypt lies a basic fact: The country’s economy is in deep trouble. Normally a country in such a bad way would go to the IMF for support. Instead, it has tried to play the fund and Gulf donors off one another to stay afloat.

Read Here – Foreign Affairs

Is Egypt Preparing For A Second Revolution?

Millions of Egyptians flooded into the streets on the first anniversary of President Mohamed Mursi‘s inauguration to demand that he resign in the biggest challenge so far to rule by his Muslim Brotherhood.

Read Here – Reuters

The Information Revolution Gets Political

The second anniversary of the “Arab Spring” in Egypt was marked by riots in Tahrir Square that made many observers fear that their optimistic projections in 2011 had been dashed. Part of the problem is that expectations had been distorted by a metaphor that described events in short-run terms. If, instead of “Arab Spring,” we had spoken of “Arab revolutions,” we might have had more realistic expectations. Revolutions unfold over decades, not seasons or years.

Read Here – Project Syndicate

Factional Squabbles Hold Egypt To Ransom

It must have been unsettling for President Mohammad Mursi to find himself, on the second anniversary of the Egyptian revolution, forced to take measures reminiscent of those used by Hosni Mubarak in a last-minute attempt to rescue his regime from collapse. Faced with growing unrest and the failure of police to contain the turmoil in central Cairo and elsewhere, Mursi ordered the army to restore order in Port Saeed, Suez and Esmailia.

There are some parallels with the 18-day uprising that ended Mubarak’s 30-year rule. However, apart from some wishful thinkers in Tahrir Square, no one is seriously claiming that history will repeat itself, at least not so soon.

Read Here – Gulf News

Violent Dissent And The Dream Of Democracy

Millions of people in Arab Spring nations are painfully realising that the fruits of revolution are not all they were cracked up to be. January 25 was meant to be a joyous occasion in Egypt, but instead of fireworks, there were Molotov cocktails and smoke from burning tyres and torched buildings. No major Egyptian city escaped violent protests resulting in hundreds of injuries and at least ten fatalities. Demonstrators were angry that their revolution had been hijacked by Islamists. Those interviewed by Arab networks were increasingly breaking a taboo. Life was better under Hosni Mubarak, they said. In terms of security, stability, jobs and cash in people’s pockets, it indisputably was.

Read Here – Gulf News

Islamists Rally Behind Mursi As Egypt’s Rifts Widen

Islamist crowds demonstrated in Cairo on Saturday in support of President Mohamed Mursi, who is racing through a constitution to try to defuse opposition fury over his newly expanded powers.

Many thousands assembled outside Cairo University, waving Egyptian flags and green Islamist emblems to show their backing for the president and the constitution he is promoting. Mursi was expected later in the day to set a date for a referendum on the constitution hastily approved by an Islamist-dominated drafting assembly on Friday after a 19-hour session.

Mohamed Ibrahim, a hardline Salafi Islamist scholar and a member of the constituent assembly, said secular-minded Egyptians had been in a losing battle from the start.

Read Here – Reuters

Egypt’s Constitutional Crisis Will Be Test Of Its Revolution

Egypt is going through what may be the most serious crisis since the overthrow of the Mubarak regime. At its heart is the decision by its Muslim Brotherhood-aligned president, Mohammed Morsi, to issue a decree that shelters his actions from judicial review, effectively giving him more power than his predecessor had. Denounced as a latter-day pharaoh, the president says this is a temporary measure, until a new constitution is approved in a referendum.

Read Here – The National

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