The Arab world has traditionally looked to Egypt as a leading light in politics and culture for the region. In the time since Egyptian President Mohamed Morsi came to power in Egypt, he looked for a while like he was doing the Arabs proud again, and as he stridently called for Israel to back off the Palestinians in Gaza, it was a throwback to the era of Gamal Abdel Nasser in the 1950s. So then how did Egypt plunge into its latest round of protest mayhem?
Soon after his democratic invitation to lead the heart and soul of the Middle East into a new post-autocratic age, for a moment, there was a fighting chance that Morsi had accrued a fine bit of respect internationally and enough domestic clout to start delivering what protesters had fought for. But as winter approached the Egyptian street was heard calling their ‘spring’ President Egypt’s ‘new pharaoh’, a common and denigrating reference to Mubarak in the early days of the revolution.
After Morsi announced in a decree (he later said was passed begrudgingly) that he would effectively be above legal reproach until a new parliament was elected, it didn’t take the people long to turn on him.
He later took the sting out of his constitutional coup or power grab, softening it from any autocratic flavor and eventually scrapping it altogether. But has the damage already been done to his friendly facade?
Egypt has a tendency to change overnight, quicker than most of the Arab slow-starters who let their revolutionary habits drag out for months and years. So, with all the noise coming out of a re-energized Egypt, and given the rapid changes to have beset the country in the last few weeks, Al Bawaba thought it fitting to deliver a summary of what's gone down in protest-central for those that blinked and missed it.
Share your take on the latest round of the political crisis in Egypt. Have Morsi and his supporters betrayed the original goals of the revolution? Or has the president been misunderstood?