With Parliament dissolved, Egyptians now face a Presidential election between two extreme candidates, without any assurances about the authority the eventual winner will assume. As the situation stands, the next President will have supreme power of government – with no balance of Parliament and a constitution that is still written for a [...]
Today Tahrir Square is not the scene of demonstrations against the military. Instead, it is a centre for political campaigning for the 50 newly-formed political parties, divided mostly between Muslim and secular ideologies. This is Egypt’s first free Presidential election – Hosni Mubarak had formed the euphemistically named National Democratic Party, which made a charade of elections and planned to have Mubarak’s son succeed him.
Yesterday, in Tahrir Square, the Egyptian army was doing its worst and I found that I could not draw my eyes away from the emerging horror.
Seventy years ago, war was burning across the deserts of North Africa. My grandfather, then a junior officer at the Qassasin encampment west of the Suez Canal, was a fraction younger than I am now. I imagine him wilting in the hot desert air, as I would. I can picture him struggling unhappily with the flies.
During the Egyptian revolution, some of the most inspiring scenes to emerge from Tahrir Square were the scenes of solidarity between Muslims and the Coptic Christian minority. Egypt’s Copts were particularly discriminated against under Mubarak rule, so many hearts were warmed by images of Christians forming human barriers around Muslims as they lined up for [...]
The police are back on street corners, guns slung over their shoulders. They were forced out during the revolution, but have been instructed to return to duties. Children clothed in dirty t-shirts and sandals sell packets of tissue paper out of cardboard boxes. A man who can’t walk drags himself across the pavement past a [...]
Questions have frequently been asked in India during the past three weeks about whether the type of uprising seen in Cairo’s Tahrir Square could happen there, with a street-level rebellion occupying a city centre and spreading across the country to such a degree that it topples (or almost topples) the national government.
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