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Supporters of Egyptian President el-Sisi mark Police Day, which falls on the anniversary of the 2011 uprising, Cairo, Egypt, Jan. 25, 2016 (AP photo by Amr Nabil).

Five Years After Tahrir Square, the Lessons From Egypt’s Failed Revolution

Thursday, Jan. 28, 2016

The fifth anniversary of Egypt’s failed democratic revolution came and went this week, without mass protests or visible signs of popular upheaval. There was, however, one unmistakable sign that the symbolically charged date was approaching: Security forces had gone into overdrive in the days and weeks leading up to the anniversary, intensifying a crackdown that reveals the one truth that President Abdel Fattah el-Sisi would prefer to keep quiet: Although the revolution has been effectively crushed, el-Sisi, it seems, is afraid.

Five years after the uprising, the best Egyptians can do is try to find lessons from the tumult that backfired so badly, dashing the hopes of pro-democracy activists, Islamic parties and everyday Egyptians who were more interested in seeing their daily lives improve than in the philosophical or political ideologies underpinning a new leadership. But if democracy, rule of law and prosperity remain vanishingly elusive, at least the lessons are not hard to find. ...

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