In the years following the events of September 11, 2001, the image of the US in the Middle East was at its lowest. There were demonstrations against the invasions of Afghanistan and Iraq in Egypt and elsewhere, along with calls to boycott US products.
As of 2010, there was a strong feeling among the general public that Egypt was approaching a major political, social and cultural overhaul. It was a sentiment that had begun to take root earlier, in 2004. But by 2010, after 30 years in power, the time had come for the presidency to be passed from Mubarak the father to Mubarak the son.
Liliane Daoud went from star of a show on Egyptian TV, to villain, to persona non-grata, to deportee in one fell swoop as the regime of President Abde...
The Middle East has turned hostile to Christians and other religious minorities. The Iraqi Christian community has been devastated. Syria's civil war loosed the murderous Islamic State on Christians and others. Libya's disintegration opened the nation to IS fighters bent on killing anyone of the wrong faith.
Given the disastrous course of Egypt's transition since President Mubarak stepped down from office in February 2011, many commentators are quick to claim 20/20 hindsight.
Egypt's "deep state" did not disappear with Mubarak and his regime. Yes, removing an authoritative dictator who ruled for nearly 30 years was indeed a challenge and a major feat. However, as the past five years have shown us, we clearly were not prepared for what came next.
CAIRO -- I had a dream like any other Egyptian. I lived through the unforgettable moment when Mubarak was obliged to cede the throne. I was waiting for a new Egypt, for a different future to come. Now, we are living through the worst moments Egypt has ever lived. Yet even in this complex reality, we still have hope.
The problem with "digital democracy" can be synthesized down to the willingness by those in power within the Bush and Obama administrations (and later, Google) to embrace the incomplete musings of a naïve young man -- Jared Cohen -- about issues he was ill-positioned to proffer.
In the wake of a failed policy (to create a unified and empowered Middle East fighting ISIS), Washington and its allies now must find a new approach. Arabs want governments that respect personal dignity, protect their individual liberty and provide them economic opportunity. The old tactics of dictators insinuating fear and division to preserve stability and prevent terrorism no longer works.
Paris struck home and given human nature, it's hard not to take sides--even unconsciously.
When I look at the "Arab Spring"; the coverage it got when it was just kicking off, and the mess the whole thing has turned into, I cannot help but wonder what role (if any), television news coverage of the "event" played in shaping our view of what was happening.
There are good things about testosterone, like the way it builds strong bones and muscles, or makes guys grow sexy chest hair. But I'm seeing a pattern to violence and aggression and the clouded judgment that unleashes that angry poison onto the world, namely that it is usually male.
The majority of Muslims see no real contradiction between Islam and democracy. Today, the most profound struggles in the Middle East are between democratic visions, whether secularist or religious, and authoritarianism, whether secularist or religious.
The Mubarak verdict puts a spanner in the works in the onward march of the Arab Spring. The question probably on the lips of some Egyptians and foreigners as well, is whether Sisi's rule represents a facsimile of the despised Mubarak era?
In any case, Washington's influence is limited: The Sisi regime will do whatever it believes necessary to retain power. Whatever America does, Egypt is likely to end up without liberty or stability. Washington should step back from a crisis that it can't resolve.
A Saudi Arabia that has failed to open up its political system, that has failed to improve the lot of its people, which has fought the wrong wars, and that has poured all its energies in trying to crush the only real antidote to Takfiri Islam, and that harbors thousands of willing carriers of the black flags of the IS, is vulnerable indeed.