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The Aftermath of 72 Tumultuous Hours in Cairo

Egypt’s January 2011 revolution is beyond restoration.
Soldiers stand guard on an armoured personnel carrier positioned outside Ramses Square, near al-Fath mosque in Cairo August 17, 2013. Egyptian authorities rounded up more than 1,000 Islamists as the Muslim Brotherhood leadership defiantly called a week of nationwide protests starting on Saturday after a day of carnage. After Friday's bloodshed in which more than 100 people died in clashes that pushed Egypt ever closer to anarchy, tensions were high with supporters of ousted Islamist President Mohamed Mursi
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By the end of the most tumultuous 72 hours in Egypt’s recent memory — at least since the January 2011 revolution — hundreds, according to conservative official counts, are dead (including the son of General Guide Mohammed Badie, the daughter of Mohammed El-Beltagy and the grandson of the Brotherhood's founder Hassan El-Banna), and thousands are injured on the pro-Morsi side. More than 40 police members are dead, hundreds have been arrested and a few dozen churches attacked or torched amongst other sectarian-based attacks — the sheer volume of which is unprecedented (the army has said it plans to restore the damaged churches with its own resources). Buildings (government or otherwise) set ablaze, violent clashes taking place all over Cairo and the rest of Egypt, a strict and eerie curfew imposed upon most governorates, an incredible combination of impassioned cheers, deep shock and general gloom. It is still almost impossible to digest it all.

In fact, the volume, magnitude and velocity of events is beyond the capability of anyone alone right now to document, fathom or fully analyze. The somber chain of events occurring right now will probably last at least a few more days in one form or another and will have long-term tremors. And the one thing Egypt has increasingly forced upon observers is that it is almost impossible to predict anything with full confidence, at least anything of a long-term bearing. Yet, as things stand, one can try to make some preliminary readings, posing more questions than answers.

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