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It has been illuminating this week to spend time in Cairo during the constitutional referendum and the run-up to the Jan. 25 anniversary of the massive demonstrations that eventually toppled President Hosni Mubarak regime in Egypt three years ago.Egypt will have a huge impact on developments across the Arab world in the years ahead, but how itself develops will not be clear for a few more years. It is simplistic to note, as many have in the region and abroad, that the "Arab Spring" has turned into a forlorn autumn or even a dark winter. The new element today that Egypt still displays is that those who control the power structure – now it is the second military republic in three years – do not totally control the public sphere, or the minds of all Egyptians. That is a meaningful milestone this third year of the Egyptian and other Arab uprisings that cannot be denominated in seasons of the year, but only in the attitudes of individual citizens who are determined to express themselves politically and in public.
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