The Middle East Channel

Egyptian revolution anniversary marked by celebrations and protests

Egyptian revolution anniversary marked by celebrations and protests

Egyptian revolution anniversary marked by celebrations and protests

Egyptian youth activists planned a sit-in in Tahrir Square demanding a transfer to civilian rule and vowing to remain in the square in Cairo until the military council, the Supreme Council of the Armed Forces, yields power. They were part of the crowds amassed — some in protest and some in celebration — throughout Egypt on January 25, and tens of thousands of people gathered in Tahrir Square to mark the one-year anniversary of the revolution that led to the toppling of former President Hosni Mubarak. Activists protested saying the ruling military has failed to realize the revolution’s demands, claiming nothing has changed since Mubarak. Attiya Mohammed Attiya, a protester present in Tahrir said, “I am here for a second revolution. The military council is made of remnants of the Mubarak regime. We will only succeed when we remove them from power.” There were no police or troops posted at Tahrir Square over concerns that their presence would provoke violence. While no major clashes were reported, events were not without tension, as the Muslim Brotherhood and anti-military protesters ran competing soundstages.


  • The Arab League mission in Syria continued without Gulf observers as security forces were deployed to Douma, a Damascus suburb plagued with clashes.
  • Two bomb attacks killed 13 people in Iraq including two policemen and their families in their home south of Baghdad.
  • China criticized the European Union’s ban on Iranian oil as “not constructive.” Meanwhile, Iranian legislators are drafting a bill that would preemptively cut off oil exports to Europe.
  • The Syrian Arab Red Crescent’s vice president, Abdulrazak Jbeiro, was shot and killed while driving from Damascus to Idlib, however the “circumstances are still unclear.”
  • Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas said “exploratory talks” have come to an end as the deadline for border proposals expires today.

Daily Snapshot

CAIRO, EGYPT — Egyptian people continue to demonstrate in Tahrir Square on January 26, 2012 in Cairo, Egypt. Tens of thousands of Egyptian people gathered yesterday to celebrate the anniversary of the start of the uprising which ended President Hosni Mubaraks rule (Jeff J Mitchell/Getty Images). 

Arguments & Analysis

‘Can Israel stop Iran’s nuke effort?’ (Karl Vick, Time)

“Cordesman reckons Israel probably has enough aircraft and enough range to do serious damage to 10 to 12 of Iran’s atomic facilities. But damaged labs can be rebuilt, he notes, and Iran has announced plans for 10 new enrichment sites-further dispersing later-generation centrifuges in places smaller, harder to locate and easier to harden. The issue, Cordesman says, is not simply capability but consequences. “If anyone tells you this is sort of binary, either ‘Yeah, they can do it’ or ‘Oh, no, they can’t,’ they don’t know what they’re talking about,” he says. “Israel is going to act strategically. It’s going to look at the political outcome of what it says and does, not simply measure this in terms of some computer game and what the immediate tactical impact is.””

‘January 25th and the Egypt the revolution has made’ (Steven A. Cook, Foreign Affairs)

“This perverse political order in which institutions are rigged to serve the elite remains intact. Yet how to finally finish the job? The instigators of the uprising have taken a principled stand against the ruling Supreme Council of the Armed Forces and its leader, Field Marshal Hussein Tantawi, because they believe the military is a counterrevolutionary force. But the activists’ permanent revolution has had diminishing returns. They may have started the revolt, but as the first phase of Egypt’s transition comes to a close they are finding themselves marginalized.” 

‘The seasonal effects of an Arab Spring’ (Imad Mansour, Open Democracy)

“Iranian and Turkish messages about their important positions in a transitioning Arab system come from two different backgrounds and offer varied promises in terms of policy; they both might be hard-pressed to find an all-attentive Arab audience. But then for decision makers, the external and domestic policy domains are intricately joined; and so it might be that a significant part of such messages is really intended for a receiving domestic audience. It remains to be better analyzed, but foreign policy posturing has been well invested domestically in power balancing (e.g. among the various political actors) and/or electoral purposes.”