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Untangling the Mayhem: Crises and Prospects of the Middle East

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Edited By Radka Havlová

The volume discusses the recent developments in selected countries of the Middle East and North Africa. Theoretical chapter presents the internal and external factors influencing the development and democratization processes. Based on these factors the authors analyze in depth the recent development in Egypt, Iraq, Lebanon, Libya, Palestine, Syria, Turkey and Yemen. The authors demonstrate that the recent development in these countries varied significantly, mostly due to the difference of the historical, political, economic, security or religious conditions in the relevant countries.

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Egypt (Jan Chudoba)

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Jan Chudoba

Egypt

In 2011, millions of Egyptians united with the aim of achieving their ultimate goal – to overthrow the regime of Hosni Mubarak, who had served as the president of Egypt for nearly 30 years. The main reasons for discontent were corruption, the lack of rule of law and freedom, the growing gap between the minority of wealthy elites and the impoverished majority, high unemployment rates, the lack of opportunity and the bad economic situation. The revolution promised a path towards more freedom and democratic reforms; however, six years after the revolution, many Egyptians are disillusioned and many say that today’s situation closely resembles the Mubarak era, or is even worse.1

In order to better understand the context, it is necessary to mention key historical events. From the establishment of the Republic of Egypt in 1953, which followed Egyptian independence from the United Kingdom, to 2011, there were three main regimes – the regime of Gamal Abdel Nasser (1956–1970), the regime of Anwar Sadat (1970–1981) and the regime of Hosni Mubarak (1981–2011). Although these regimes differed in many ways, all of them were based on top-down rule, with security forces playing an important role.2

The last two decades of Mubarak’s rule were marked by a continuous effort to suppress Islamists, particularly the Muslim Brotherhood (MB), which was the most important non-governmental movement and opposition. It was officially banned, but its members still took part in...

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