It’s not easy to see where Egypt is heading, or whether it can recover from the downward economic spiral that has accompanied the so-called revolution. After the exuberance of Tahrir Square in 2011, protests have returned and the air is full of disillusion with the elected Muslim Brotherhood government and the absence of improved living standards.
The post-revolutionary struggle has pitted Egypt’s various actors including the establishment, military, the Brotherhood and Islamists, a pluralistic opposition, and a volatile public in a struggle to define the trajectory of Egypt’s future. It has also severely called into question Egypt’s regional leadership credentials by demonstrating Cairo’s inability to influence other simmering conflicts in the area, or to act as a brake on Iran’s nuclear ambitions.
Domestically, there is an uneasy truce between Egypt’s generals, upon whom President Morsi is dependent to maintain security, and the Muslim Brotherhood government. Both sides joined forces to drive out the Mubarak regime; both sides need each other. Can it retain – or perhaps more accurately regain the centre of gravity for the region? Can the disagreements between the various parties and the public be reconciled, or will the country become more divided, and less respected?
In the second of two events on the changing Middle East, AIIA NSW invited Sydney-based scholar Amro Ali to inform us on the future of the Arab world’s most populous country. He spoke to the AIIA (NSW) on Tuesday 26 March 2013.
Amro Ali is a Middle East analyst and PhD scholar at Sydney Democracy Network (SDN), and the Department of Government and International Relations, at the University of Sydney. His research examines new spaces of politics and revolution in Alexandria, Egypt. He has a Master of Arts with Honors in Middle Eastern and Central Asian Studies and a Master of Diplomacy from the Australian National University. He blogs at www.amroali.com and Tweets @_amroali
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