Egypt’s Nightmare

Sisi’s Dangerous War on Terror

Egyptian President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi at the Air Force Academy in Cairo, Egypt, July, 2016. Reuters / Egyptian Presidency handout

On January 25, 2011, tens of thousands of Egyptians took to the streets, demanding an end to the nearly 30-year rule of President Hosni Mubarak. Eighteen days later, Mubarak stepped down. In Tahrir Square, the crowds cried, “Lift your head high, you’re an Egyptian.” “We can breathe fresh air, we can feel our freedom,” Gamal Heshmat, a former member of parliament, told The New York Times. “After 30 years of absence from the world, Egypt is back.”

Today, such pride and hope are a distant memory. Once again, a former military official turned dictator rules the country. But President Abdel Fattah el-Sisi has established an even more harshly authoritarian regime than the one Mubarak oversaw. By almost every measure, conditions in Egypt are worse now than prior to the revolution. Economic growth remains stagnant. Egypt’s reserves of foreign currency have dwindled to perilous levels: in July they dropped beneath $16 billion, their

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