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Arab democracy: A family affair

Getting rid of the head of state is one thing, standing up to the head of your family quite another

By Shereen El Feki   March 2011

On 1st February, the day of the first “million-man protest” in Tahrir Square, I caught up with two of my student friends. Yasmine was fired up from her turn at the barricades: “I cannot imagine how an 82-year-old man can say he is still president. We need fresh blood.” Abdel Rahman, on the other hand, had stayed at home in solidarity with the regime. “If he [Mubarak] leaves, it will be a disaster. He is [like] my grandfather, we cannot say ‘go’ to him.” In his final address, Mubarak played on this filial chord: “I am addressing you all from…

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