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Why Egypt’s economic reforms aren’t enough to win over the street

A new report shows significant progress in Egypt, but demonstrations are placing new pressures on President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi to do more to battle corruption.
21 September 2019, Egypt, Cairo: Protesters shout slogans during a rare anti-government protest in Downtown Cairo. (Best quality available) Photo: Oliver Weiken/dpa (Photo by Oliver Weiken/picture alliance via Getty Images)

While the Turkish invasion of Syria and the protests in Iraq have the attention of the world, a crisis in Egypt is quietly smoldering — a reminder never to take your eyes off Egypt, even when things appear quiet, or at least relatively so, compared to other regional hotspots.

Despite mostly successful economic reforms, turbulent anti-government demonstrations that started Sept. 20 led to the subsequent arrest and detention of an estimated 2,800 protesters, students, activists, journalists and lawyers — the largest crackdown since Egyptian President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi took power in 2014.

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