State and Revolution in Egypt: The Paradox of Change and Politics
Abdel Monem Said Aly
Crown Essay 2, January 2012
For years, indeed for decades, aged Arab leaders had retained power. Suddenly, Tunisia witnessed the fall of its leader, Zein al-Abidine Ben Ali on January 14, 2011. On February 11, the President of Egypt, Hosni Mubarak, left Cairo for internal exile at the Sharm el-Sheikh resort area; within a short period of time, revolutions and calls for fundamental change gained momentum across the Middle East. This Crown Essay examines the Egyptian revolution, and particularly how the “Prelude to Change”—the 2005 parliamentary elections—set the stage for the current revolutionary ferment in the country. After examining the multiple causes, basic dimensions, and (mis)management of the present revolution, this essay will speculate about possible future directions the revolution might take.