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Egypt's Democratic Quest: From Nasser to Tahrir Square

Speaker: Steven A. Cook, Hasib J. Sabbagh Senior Fellow for Middle Eastern Studies, Council on Foreign Relations
Producer: Hagit Ariav, Video Producer,
October 6, 2011

Egypt's 2011 revolution marks the latest chapter in Egyptians' longtime struggle for greater democratic freedoms. In this video, Steven A. Cook, CFR's Hasib J. Sabbagh senior fellow for Middle Eastern studies and author of "The Struggle for Egypt", identifies the lessons that Egypt's emerging leadership must learn from the Nasser, Sadat, and Mubarak regimes.

Egypt's new leaders "need to develop a coherent and compelling, emotionally satisfying vision of Egyptian society, and answer the question what Egypt stands for and what its place in the world is," argues Cook. "If they don't answer those questions in a way that makes sense to most Egyptians," Cook cautions, "they too will be forced to rely on coercion and fear to maintain their rule. This, like Mubarak before them, will be their undoing and the struggle for Egypt will continue."

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