A basic book — Egypt’s Arab Spring: The Long and Winding Road to Democracy

This is an over-hyped book if one looks at the accolades printed on the back cover. It may be the fault of sloppy editors. To call this book a ” culmination of several years’ work, starting from the beginnings of the Egyptian revolution.” is also factually wrong. The revolution started on 25 Jan 2011. This book was published in 2013. The ouster of Morsi and the coup by Sisi have not even happened at the time of writing and thus not covered in this book!

This book does give perspective to balance the unrealistic pro-democracy bias of books like in the hands of Soldiers and A Revolution Undone.

Hany tells us that the Morsi election was rigged. {page 7}. He tells us that Egypt descended into mayhem and massacres post 25 Jan 2011. Coptic churches were attacked, 72 football fans were killed by rival fans {p 18}, the streets of Cairo and Alexandria became unsafe to walk on {p 45}, etc.

He tells us that Morsi’s popularity dwindles by the day among the Egyptians. He even predicted that it would not surprise him ” if Morsi were to be placed on trial for his actions during his presidency. ” {p 57}.

Books lamenting the failure of the Egyptian revolution and critics of Sisi are from people who view events through rose-tinted glasses and from the warmth of a full meal and the safety of a nice bed. As Hany said many in Egypt” remain unified on the basis that the criticality of keeping a check on the Islamist rule of the Muslim Brotherhood and Mohamed Morsi is far greater than anything else. ” {p 11}. This book gives a useful overview from the ground level which is missing from critics who lament the lack of democracy in Egypt. These critics do not realise or chose to have Nelsonian knowledge to the fact that full democracy cannot flourish instantly. It cannot be cooked in 2-minute like Magee mee! A look at the tragedy that is Syria is what happens when the West tries to engage in regime change.

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