Sunday, February 13, 2011

Egypt: how the people span the wheel of their country's history

By overcoming their fears and defying the man whose regime had terrorised them for 30 years, Cairo's protesters not only drove out Hosni Mubarak, they have changed the Arab world

David Sharrock, Jack Shenker in Cairo and Paul Harris in Washington, Saturday 12 February 2011

"There is a tide in the affairs of men which, taken at the flood, leads on to fortune, says Brutus in Shakespeare's Julius Caesar as he urges his comrades to seize the moment to overthrow the ruler they see as a tyrant. It has taken decades for the storm surge to break over Egypt, but when it finally did the forces of change proved irresistible, sweeping away Hosni Mubarak in just 18 days of popular and peaceful street protests.

The most remarkable feature of all is that nobody saw it coming. For all its resources, the United States and its western allies were taken completely by surprise by the brutally swift events which are now reshaping the geo-strategic map of the Middle East. Regime change, the Arab street has shown, need not be given such a bad name after all......"

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