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This week marks four years since mass demonstrations across Egypt demanded that the transitional military council transfer power to a legitimate elected government. It has also been three years since the election of President Mohammad Morsi, two years since he was overthrown by street demonstrations and a nudge from the military headed by then-Field Marshal Abdel-Fattah al-Sisi. It has been one year since Sisi became the more or less elected president of Egypt (in the modern Nilotic tradition of elections in which most of the opposition fears to raise it head and is arrested and hounded soon after the election ends). It has also been one year since ISIS declared the establishment of its "Islamic state" and "Caliphate". Egypt today still provides the best, yet most complex and erratic demonstration in the Arab context of how difficult it is to transition from military or colonial rule to genuine national sovereignty anchored in equal personal liberties.The limited but real expansion of ISIS through mostly tiny affiliates – some no larger than motorcycle gangs, someone should tell David Cameron – in over 15 countries should remind us more of the dire conditions that define the lives of hundreds of millions of mistreated people, rather than of the actual strength of ISIS.
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