Tahrir Square

Tahrir Square

While spending some time in Egypt recently, we were fortunate enough to visit Tahrir Square in downtown Cairo, the focal point of the Egyptian Revolution last year.

Seeing first-hand the optimism and positivity of the people there filled me with renewed hope about the country and the Middle East. However, as this week's continuing protests in Tahrir Square and the pair of insightful articles below point show, the road to peace is long.

The Carnegie Endowment for International Peace has highlighted the challenges and opportunities facing President Obama in 2013, calling for the United States to further the cause of democracy in the Middle East in the wake of the Arab uprisings.

They commented: "The rising up of people demanding freedom, dignity, social justice, and government accountability across the Arab world is an astonishing and positive development. The groundswell put the Arab world back on the right course of history. But there is a long road ahead - the fitful, messy, and unpredictable process of self-government and democratic institution building is just beginning."

Elsewhere, The Economist also ran an engrossing editorial on the Middle East, the role of outsiders and a war that is neither lost or won. It makes good points on the role President Obama has to play in his second term. It would be very sad and a real opportunity missed to not deliver on the Middle East having promised so much in his speech in Egypt when first elected.

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