More than two years after social media networks helped Egyptian activists organise massive street protests that led to the fall of former President Hosni Mubarak, these networks are now playing a less positive role, often serving as a platform for incitement, rumour-mongering and downright disinformation.
Regardless of who is responsible for Egypt's current political impasse – be it the administration of Islamist president Mohamed Morsi or an aggressive secular opposition – local experts are certain of at least one fact: Egypt's dire economic circumstances will not improve without political stability.
Egypt has recently stepped up its support for Syria's armed insurgency, with President Mohamed Morsi urging disparate anti-Assad factions to "coordinate" with a leading Syrian opposition coalition that has taken Cairo as its headquarters.
Since the second anniversary of the uprising that ended the Mubarak regime, Egypt has witnessed a spate of political violence. Egypt's opposition led by the high-profile National Salvation Front (NSF) blames President Mohamed Morsi for the bloodshed, but many blame the NSF and its leaders.
Concerns are mounting over Egypt’s future after the outbreaks of violence that marked the second anniversary of Egypt's January 25 Revolution. Massive anti-government rallies led to ongoing clashes between protesters and security forces that have left at least 40 people dead. Cities along Egypt's Suez Canal faced a government-declared state of emergency.
Hundreds of thousands hit the streets countrywide on and after the second anniversary of Egypt's Tahrir Square uprising Jan. 25 to protest the policies of President Mohamed Morsi and the Muslim Brotherhood from which he hails. A chief demand was the abrogation – or modification at least – of Egypt's newly-approved constitution.
This Saturday, Egyptians will head to the polls to vote on a controversial draft constitution. The referendum has divided this nation – still pulsing with the revolutionary fervour that toppled former dictator Hosni Mubarak in early 2011 - with most Islamist parties and groups supporting the proposed national charter, while liberal, leftist and 'revolutionary' groups, in addition to Egypt's sizable pro-Mubarak demographic, are opposed to it.
Egyptian President Mohamed Mursi issued a controversial decree last week that temporarily puts his decisions beyond judicial challenge. While critics decry the move as a blatant power grab, the presidency says it was necessary to safeguard Egypt's post-revolution democratic transition.
The reaction of post-revolution Egypt to Israel's weeklong onslaught on the next-door Gaza Strip – brought to a halt temporarily at least by a Wednesday night ceasefire – has contrasted sharply with the former regime's callous approach to the besieged coastal enclave.
The election of the Muslim Brotherhood's Mohamed Morsi to the presidency this summer was followed by a flurry of conjecture that the restoration of Egyptian-Iranian diplomatic relations – frozen since 1979 – was in the offing. Yet despite some initial indications to this effect, local analysts now say such speculation appears to have been premature.
The wave of unrest in the Middle East caused by blasphemous depictions of Islam's Prophet Muhammad last month – and events near the U.S. embassy in Cairo in particular – does not appear to have impaired Egypt's longstanding 'strategic partnership’ with Washington, say local analysts.
Many of Egypt's Coptic Christians met the recent assumption of the presidency by the Muslim Brotherhood's Mohamed Morsi with trepidation, even panic – some even made plans to leave the country. Almost three month's into Morsi's term, these fears, say some experts, appear largely unfounded.
With the election of the Muslim Brotherhood's Mohamed Morsi as Egypt's first-ever freely elected president, the Gaza file – especially as it pertains to Egypt's border with the besieged enclave – is fast becoming one of the new president's first major foreign policy challenges.
The first major confrontation between Egypt's new Islamist president and its quasi-ruling military council – fought over the issue of legislative authority – appears to have been won by the latter.
The Muslim Brotherhood's Mohamed Morsi faces a host of daunting political hurdles after being officially declared Egypt's first freely-elected president on Sunday.