A letter published by the "Working Group on Egypt" at the Carnegie Endowment for Peace, and addressed to President Obama, deeply criticized the Egyptian Government for its "suppression of the Muslim Brotherhood and other opposition groups" and called the Egyptian people a "divided populace."
The letter, dismissing the popular legitimacy of the June 30 revolution, was signed by top personalities from well-known Think Tanks, on the Left and on the Right.
It's not a crisis of faith, but one of violence
Almost fifteen hundred years ago, a wandering monk called John Moschos described the Eastern Mediterranean as a "flowering meadow" of Christianity. The religion had been born here nearly 600 years before but while, in the early years, it had been a persecuted, militant cult, under the patronage of the Byzantine emperors it had matured and mellowed.
Egypt has frequently changed its flag, no less than 4 times in the last century; a symptom of its identity crisis.
The flag of 1922 was green with a crescent and three stars for Egypt, Nubia and the Sudan. This was a reflection of the regional and provincial organization of the Ottoman empire which had just expired.
In 1953 the current 3 color flag was adopted, with its band of red, white and black, with the imagined eagle of Salahedin as emblem. 1958 was the high point of the attempt to shoehorn the Arab identity into the turbulent Egyptian soul, and the union with Syria saw the eagle abandoned in favor of two stars, an unconscious attempt to emulate the American model. The stars stayed long after Syria left the union.
Tunisia may yet complete the transition to democracy
Anyone surveying events across the Middle East and north Africa since the Arab uprisings began three years ago could be forgiven for being utterly dismayed. Syria remains in the grip of a murderous civil war that has killed about 130,000 people. Libya is on the brink of anarchy, with predictions that the country will split apart altogether. Egypt is reverting to an authoritarianism that exceeds the iron-fisted rule of the Mubarak years. Still, amid all the gloom, there is one country – Tunisia – which suddenly appears within striking distance of successfully completing the journey from dictatorship to democracy.
Nasser's popularity rested on his promises to change Egyptian society; Sisi's comes from promises of stability.
As I walked down Talaat Harb St., a main drag off Cairo's Tahrir Square, a group of men and women stood on a balcony above a giant banner of former President Gamal Abdel Nasser's face, flashing victory signs at the people on the street below. As they waved flags and cheered, a set of aged speakers blared a nationalist song from the 1960s. The headquarters of Egypt's Nasserist Party was bursting with jubilation.
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