The depth and texture of current events in Egypt seem best illuminated, to my mind, by the history of the Arab world since the late Ottoman Empire (say, the mid-19th-century). This history is shaped, in no small part, by the Arab world’s sometimes conciliatory, sometimes rejectionist, responses to European domination and Western ascendance, as well as the tensions and strains that have come with the presence of Israel in 1948, and the Zionist movement before then. In Egypt since 1952, it’s been Nasser, Sadat, and Mubarak. That’s it.
In a region where the political culture of nation-states is still developing– in the midst of religious, cultural, economic, and geopolitical tensions and pressures– Egypt is attempting to find a way forward.
The theological category for this moment is possibility.