Exactly a year ago, on the national day which honours the achievements of the Egyptian police, the "Arab Spring" moved from Tunisia to Egypt. After just 18 days of peaceful protest, the Mubarak regime fell.
Twelve months later, a first interim balance must come up with a mixed judgement: on the one side, Egypt has changed substantially. A look at the increasingly lively way in which discussions are held and the varied approaches to protests which are evident in every area of life only show how the "Fall of the Egyptian Wall" has had an influence on daily life.
On the other side, the picture of a society undergoing a liberal revival has to be seriously questioned in the light of religious tension, accusations of torture against the military regime, the indiscriminate arrests of activists and the continued arbitrary use of power by the police.
Contradictory signals from the military council
Since it took over presidential powers on 11 February 2011, the military council has been sending very contradictory signals. That, and its inadequate public relations, has repeatedly provided an excuse, especially for the young members of the protest movement, for them to recall to mind the "values of the revolution" and insist that they be respected.
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