I think Egypt will recover from the current unrest with a reasonably soft landing.
IMHO, Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak will hang on as a figurehead leader for some time, perhaps weeks to months. His presence in Egypt serves as a kind of lightning rod covering the other government leaders there. Control will be maintained by the leadership of the Army.
They have installed Army-connected men in charge. They have wisely allowed the demonstrations to continue and, to some extent, have restored the Internet and cell phone service. The demonstrations will continue, but at reduced intensity.
Come September, the Army-connected leadership group will preside over a somewhat controlled general election, with some participation from "liberal" elements. The new government will be less dictatorial than the current one.
Fortunately, Egypt is a good bit more secular than other Moslem countries, particularly the Iran of decades ago. The Internet and cell phones that helped spark and organize the rebellion will help keep the secular leaders on both the government and uprising sides from allowing Egypt to slide into extremist Islamic ideology. At least that is what I hope will happen. Time will tell.
The photos are from my old http://pages.prodigy.net/ira/egypt.htm website, were you can read a blow-by-blow account of our Egyptian adventure, including:
- Our visit to the Queen Hatshepsut Temple in Luxor, only weeks before several dozen tourists were killed there,
- My solo bicycle ride through the downtown Luxor rabbit warren of dirt streets,
- Our police-escorted convoy to Alexandria,
- Our Nile River cruise, including a galabia party where they said I looked like a rabbi,
- Traffic in Egypt where lane markers and traffic lights are merely for decoration,
- Our camel rides at the Pyramids,
- Our subway ride to old Cairo where we got stoned,
- Our visit to the Ben Ezra Synagogue (attended in the 11th century by Maimonides),
and, of course,
- My solo walk from our hotel to the McDonalds near Tahrir Square!
As we watch the news on TV we sympathize with our tour guide, Mona, whose business must have been devastated by the current crisis.
Prior to our trip in 1997, there had been unrest as well. Due to that uncertainty, there were only five people on our tour, Vi and I and another couple and their adult son. Our tour bus was a Volkswagen van. We therefore received a very personal tour, including a visit to Mona's apartment, where we met her three young children and her sister. During our time in Cairo, we talked Mona into her first ride on bumper cars (just like Coney Island).