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Posted at 8:30 AM ET, 01/18/2011

Could it happen in Egypt?

By Jennifer Rubin

The revolution in Tunisia is resonating in Egypt. This AP report tells us:

An Egyptian man set himself on fire Monday outside the country's parliament, security officials said, in an apparent protest emulating the self-immolation of an unemployed Tunisian man last month that helped trigger a popular uprising. . . .

News of the Tunisian uprising has dominated the Egyptian media over the past few days, with opposition and independent newspapers lauding the fall of Ben Ali and drawing parallels between his toppled regime and that of Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak, who has ruled for nearly 30 years.

Egypt has posted impressive economic growth rates over the past few years, in part fueled by a host of ambitious reforms. But the growth has failed to filter down to many of the estimated 80 million Egyptians.

Nearly half of all Egyptians live under or just below the poverty line set by the U.N. at $2 a day. Mubarak and his ruling National Democratic Party have been pledging to ensure that the fruits of economic reforms benefit more Egyptians.

Stephen McInerney of the Project on Middle East Democracy e-mails me, "The Egyptian activists are all definitely energized. Two hundred of of them spontaneously went to the Tunisian Embassy to celebrate within an hour after Ben Ali stepped down on Friday, and they shouted chants for Ben Ali to take Mubarak with him."

It seems that freedom is catching.

By Jennifer Rubin  | January 18, 2011; 8:30 AM ET
Categories:  foreign policy  
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Comments

Let's hope the self-immolation fad becomes the new trend for islamic terrorists.

Posted by: slowroller | January 18, 2011 9:39 AM | Report abuse

“It seems that freedom is catching”

“Freedom” by whose definition? The Muslim Brotherhood’s?

Posted by: nvjma | January 18, 2011 9:55 AM | Report abuse

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