The Earthquake: How Egypt Emerges From Uncertainty

Part of the Global Forecast 2011

Egypt is not Tunisia. When Tunisian president Zine El-Abidine Bin Ali fl ed Tunis on January 14, it was a curiosity in the Middle East. Tunisia had long nurtured pretentions of being more European than Arab, and its relatively small population cast a scant shadow on the Arab world. Its businessmen seemed more comfortable in Paris than Cairo, and Bin Ali had done little to win either the affection or scorn of his fellow Arab leaders. In the broader scope of Arab life, Tunisia did not much matter.

Jon B. Alterman
Senior Vice President, Zbigniew Brzezinski Chair in Global Security and Geostrategy, and Director, Middle East Program