Gdansk, Beijing or Tehran? The hunt for parallels to the Cairo uprising

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The speed with which Tunisia’s popular uprising inspired Egyptian demonstrators to take to the streets suggested that a revolutionary wave could sweep the Middle East the way Eastern Europe’s Communist bloc crumbled.

But whether Middle Eastern regimes will melt away like the Iron Curtain, or stand firm like the Chinese Communist Party after its crackdown in Tiananmen Square, remains far from certain.

The quick ouster of Tunisia’s president fed expectations that Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak could fall just as fast, but the crackdown on anti-government protesters and journalists in Egypt this week was a sobering reminder that regime change is rarely easy and the path of mass movements hard to predict.




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