This piece initially published in Al-Monitor

There was something almost ecstatic about Egypt during its uprising against Mubarak. A nation that was once dismissed as old and submissive had risen up against its dictator and managed to do it in style. It was a perfect political tale, and it’s no wonder that hopeful descriptives like “spring” and “awakening” flooded the media. Two years later, however, the scene in Egypt could not be more different from that ebullient time. The forces that were once united against Mubarak have turned out to be a coalition of enemies that has disintegrated. Instead, they are now fighting a dirty war to dominate the political scene.

Egypt’s current political chaos has to be seen within the perspective of its contemporary history. Despite its different phases and themes, there was one prevailing conception that was consistently shared by the country through each successive leadership regime. All…

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