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The Daily Star
SATURDAY, 19 APR 2014
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Collapsing colossus
Police officers inspect the site of a bomb attack in front of the damaged Cairo Security Directorate building, which includes police and state security, in downtown Cairo January 24, 2014.  (REUTERS/Mohamed Abd El Ghany)
Police officers inspect the site of a bomb attack in front of the damaged Cairo Security Directorate building, which includes police and state security, in downtown Cairo January 24, 2014. (REUTERS/Mohamed Abd El Ghany)
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The bomb attacks targeting Egypt’s capital Friday represent a disturbing development for the country’s stability, and highlight the presence of a growing segment of society which feels completely negated by the current system.

Those who care about the region had tried to convince themselves Egypt was immune to the type and scale of violence that has befallen Iraq, Yemen, Libya and Syria, among others, but worryingly, it looks as though this is not the case.

The region’s giant, Egypt seemed too big to fall, and while attacks targeting security forces have grown increasingly frequent in the Sinai and other provinces, these are the first major incidents in Cairo.

Certainly, all the ingredients for widespread violence are there: extremely high levels of poverty and unemployment, a lack of education, and a hangover from decades of an often cruel and oppressive military dictatorship. The population has grown enormously over the last 50 years, but without the needed economic, urban and social planning.

Stability is needed, badly. A climate of confidence and calm must be nurtured if these violent attacks are going to cease any time soon.

After winning the first free elections, the Muslim Brotherhood neglected its opportunity to govern fairly, but depressingly, it appears that their form of dictatorship has been replaced by an army dictatorship, not unlike the era of Mubarak.

But if this new regime is going to have any hope of lasting in place longer than its predecessors, it must choose to embrace its enemies, rather than remaining in permanent confrontation with them. Those Brotherhood supporters, not an insignificant minority, must be made to feel that they have a place in this new Egypt.

 
A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Daily Star on January 25, 2014, on page 7.
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Story Summary
The bomb attacks targeting Egypt's capital Friday represent a disturbing development for the country's stability, and highlight the presence of a growing segment of society which feels completely negated by the current system.

A climate of confidence and calm must be nurtured if these violent attacks are going to cease any time soon.

Those Brotherhood supporters, not an insignificant minority, must be made to feel that they have a place in this new Egypt.
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