The recent revolution in Egypt has shaken the Arab world to its roots. The most populous Arab country and the historical center of Arab intellectual life, Egypt is a linchpin of the USs Middle East strategy, receiving more aid than any nation except Israel. This is not the first time that the world has turned its gaze to Egypt, however. A half century ago, Egypt under Nasser became the putative leader of the Arab world and a beacon for all developing nations. Yet in the decades prior to the 2011 revolution, it was ruled over by a sclerotic regime plagued by nepotism and corruption. During that time, its economy declined into near shambles, a severely overpopulated Cairo fell into disrepair, and it produced scores of violent Islamic extremists such as Ayman al-Zawahiri and Mohammed Atta. In The Struggle for Egypt, Steven Cooka Senior Fellow at the Council on Foreign Relationsexplains how this parlous state of affairs came to be, why the revolution occurred, and where Egypt might be headed next.
This presentation was part of Teaching The Middle East: Between Authoritarianism And Reform, a History Institute for Teachers. October 15, 2011 http://www.fpri.org/multimedia/20111015.trager.egypt.html
May 31, 2012 The outcome of the presidential elections will have a major impact on the future of Egypt, affecting the power of the Islamist parties, the position of the military, and its economic future.