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Egypt In Crisis

Egypt in crisis.  A “collapse of the state” warning, and what comes next.

Egyptian protesters chant anti-government slogans during a rally in Tahrir Square, Cairo, Egypt, Friday, Feb. 1, 2013. (AP)

Egyptian protesters chant anti-government slogans during a rally in Tahrir Square, Cairo, Egypt, Friday, Feb. 1, 2013. (AP)

Two years ago from Cairo’s Tahrir Square, Egypt swept out a dictator. Then came elections and a push to democracy – the first in 7000 years – and tumult.

Last week, Egyptians were in the streets yet again. Fiercely. And fiercely repelled by the government of president Mohammed Morsi of the Islamic Brotherhood. Curfews again. Emergency rule. Police hitting hard. And a top general warning of the “collapse of the state.”

Suddenly it seemed it could all come apart at the seams. Just fail. But then what?

This hour, On Point: the crisis in Egypt and where it goes.

-Tom Ashbrook

Guests

Nancy Youssef, covers the Middle East for McClatchy newspapers. (@nancyayoussef)

Samer Shehata, professor of Arab politics at Georgetown University. Author of “Islamist Politics in the Middle East: Movements and Change.”

Gigi Ibrahim, Egyptian journalist, blogger, and activist. Time magazine called her “one of the leaders” of the Tahrir Square protests in 2011. (@gsquare86)

Closing Segment on Syria

Sam Dagher, Middle East correspondent for the Wall Street Journal. (@samdagher)

From Tom’s Reading List

McClatchy “Declaring that ongoing street protests could lead to the ‘collapse of the state,’ Egypt’s top military general warned Tuesday that if opponents of President Mohammed Morsi continue to paralyze the country through demonstrations, the military might have to intervene to defend the government.”

The New York Times “Protesters threw incendiary devices over the walls of Egypt’s presidential palace during Friday demonstrations against PresidentMohamed Morsi, leading to clashes with riot police officers that filled the area with tear gas and threatened to deepen Egypt’s spiraling political crisis.”

The Daily Beast “While Saturday’s violence highlights the increasing polarization in Egypt—which only two years ago united to topple a dictator—it also demonstrates the growing power of this group of young men, known as the ultras. Organized and unified, arguably more than any other opposition group, this bunch of hooligans played a key role in the popular uprisings two years ago, often thrusting themselves on the front lines when battles with security forces grew fierce.”

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