ANALYSIS | A decade after Mubarak fell, Egypt is a diminished state
Promise of the revolution gives way to stifled dissent, reduced investment and a decline in regional influence
Ten years ago this week, Egyptians fired the imagination of the world when they toppled Hosni Mubarak. The Tahrir Square uprising, the centrepiece of a chain of Arab rebellions against tyranny, seemed not only to have ended 30 years of Mubarak dictatorship but to have upended six decades of military rule.
Only weeks earlier, the police state of Zine el-Abidine Ben Ali was overthrown in Tunisia. In short order Muammer Gaddafi was toppled in Libya and Ali Abdullah Saleh in Yemen, while Syrians rose up against the dynastic dictatorship of the Assad family. Yet it was the heady ferment of Tahrir that seemed to presage that Arabs were finally on a path to democracy.
Generation after generation, Arab coups had been passed off by their beneficiaries as revolution. This, at last, seemed the genuine article: a solid regime, rooted in the army and the security services, blown away by the people in the streets. “Lift your head high, you are Egyptian,” the youth of Tahrir said in the afterglow of victory...