Egypt and North Africa: what happens now?

Originally appeared on

Many of us are watching the daily news to see how events are unfolding in North Africa and the Middle East. It seems to be such a turbulent, yet hopeful, time for citizens in these countries.

But I’ve noticed that while these revolutions are going on, quite a few people in the media, as well as colleagues and friends, are asking – “What happens now?” Fledgling democracy, if that is the will of the people, seems a still fragile hope in some of these states. Yes, some of those long in authority are now gone, but the citizens, often repressed for many years, don’t seem quite sure what to do next. Some Western observers have expressed fears that extremists will take over these governments and that the ordinary citizens will be no better off at all.

As I was thinking and praying about this recently, I remembered back to 2001. Like very many people worldwide at that time, I was regularly praying in the aftermath of the events of September 11 in the United States. I live in England, but I had a brother living in the US at the time, and so I know keenly how relatives and friends yearn to help their loved ones overseas when it looks as though they may be in potential danger.

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