"What is the perfect day for Hosni Mubarak? A day when nothing happens." — Egyptian joke, December 2001
"A bunch of incognizant, ineffective young people" — Egyptian Interior Minister Habib al-Adly on the Tahrir Square protesters, Jan. 25, 2011
In just 18 short days, the young protesters in Cairo's Tahrir Square upended global politics. Not even three weeks after the peaceful demonstrations began, not even two weeks after pro-government thugs charged into the square on camels and horses to force them out, one of the most entrenched leaders in the Middle East and a longtime U.S. ally, Hosni Mubarak, was gone—and autocratic leaders from Morocco to Bahrain were feeling the heat.
Where did this wave of anger come from? Why did it begin in Tunisia, and what does it mean? FP's special report starts with a revelatory first chapter that shows how the revolutionary rumblings were ignored, dating back to Issandr El Amrani's prescient warning to Barack Obama in January 2010: Egypt, he wrote, could be the ticking time bomb that overwhelms your international agenda. The coverage also includes a dramatic day-by-day retelling of the battle to hold Tahrir Square, insider accounts of Washington's flip-flopping and struggle to keep up with events, and some of the world’s leading authors and experts, from James Traub to Gary Sick to Robert D. Kaplan, on where we go from here.
Consider it a guidebook for these revolutionary times.
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Who: Our contributors include Issandr El Amrani, Karim Sadjadpour, Marc Lynch, Toby C. Jones, Ellen Knickmeyer, David Kenner, Christopher Alexander, Michael Koplow, Tom Malinowski, Steven Heydemann, Eric Goldstein, Ashraf Khalil, Amil Khan, Blake Hounshell, Peter Bouckaert, Tina Rosenberg, Maryam Ishani, Hugh Miles, James Traub, Robert D. Kaplan, Gary Sick, Elliott Abrams, Zalmay Khalilzad, Stephen Sestanovich, Aaron David Miller, Stephen M. Walt, Nathan J. Brown, Mohammed Ayoob, and David A. Bell. PLUS: New introduction and updated coverage with the latest from the region.
What: This special report from Foreign Policy offers 217 pages of news, views, and insight into the dramatic events unfolding in the Arab world, with chapters ranging from the experts who caught the first signs of the conflagration to the on-the-ground tick-tock from Tahrir Square. Check out the table of contents for more details.