The challenge for post-revolt governments in the Middle East and North Africa is harnessing the revolutionary energy and channeling it from street into pluralistic politics.
Egypt's militant soccer fans, one of the country's largest civic groups, have emerged from a week of street agitation politically strengthened as they seek to chart a course in the post-Mubarak era.
The Egyptian interior ministry has handed newly elected president Mohammed Morsi an unexpected asset to garner public support in his struggle for power by refusing to lift a six-month old ban on professional soccer.
With both candidates claiming victory, irrespective of whoever emerges victorious, the outcome of the election promises to increase volatility and unrest rather than put Egypt back on a path towards political stability.
In democracies, voters know what the president's formal, constitutional powers are. And they know for certain. But in Egypt Egyptians will go to vote with no knowledge of what authorities will be vested in the president.
Tens of millions of Egyptians will head to the polls Wednesday to vote for the candidate they hope will move the country from a state of transition to one that is stable and ruled by a civilian government.
It took Egypt's military brass less than six months to first isolate street-battle hardened soccer fans, the country's most militant opponents of military rule, and then restore their waning popularity amid mushrooming protests.
All cities and towns in Egypt are, to some extent, football-mad, but Port Said is a city which takes its football fervor to the extreme.
The Egyptian Football Association (EFA), acting on instructions of the interior ministry, has cancelled the rest of this season's league matches in the wake of rioting at a match last month that killed 74 people and injured hundreds of others.
We are discovering that rule by the military council is a carbon copy of Mubarak's regime. The ruler may have changed but the system remains as it was.
At least 16 people were killed in the wake of the Port Said incident in six days of fighting between security forces and youths seeking to storm the interior ministry in central Cairo.
Fears of renewed clashes this week are reinforced by a growing sense that the militant soccer fans' raison d'etre increasingly has become their deep-seated hatred of the police and the Central Security Force rather than a political vision for the future of Egypt.
There's the tried-and-true means of stifling the press: whack the reporters. Jail them. Beat them. And what better opportunity than during protests that demanded the ultimate taboo -- that the generals should immediately transfer authority to a civilian government?
Egypt has a rich legal history that has produced one of the most complex and sophisticated legal systems in the Middle East. But this very system has been one of the strongest tools in the arsenal of Egypt's dictators.
There are four stories to be told in Tahrir: tear gas suffocation and death; extreme police brutality; incredible acts of sacrifice, and the foundation of a new social contract.
As during the Mubarak era, the administration appears to believe that U.S. interests, including Egypt's peace accord with Israel, are more important than the lives of the Egyptian people.