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Protests Hint at New Chapter in Egyptian Politics

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The week marking the first anniversary of the US-led invasion of Iraq saw a flurry of demonstrations across Egypt. A protest in central Cairo marking the beginning of the war was followed by a series of demonstrations at al-Azhar and other major universities, as well as the lawyers' and journalists' syndicates, upon the Israeli assassination of Hamas founder and spiritual leader Sheikh Ahmed Yassin just three days later. While none of the protests matched the magnitude of those that rocked the Egyptian capital in March 2003, the constant recurrence of public demonstrations over the past year reveals much about how regional crises continue to exacerbate domestic economic and political tensions.


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