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Dating back to 3150 B.C., Egypt's distinctive culture has consistently inspired and fascinated the world. As a hub of revolution in the 21st century, Egypt continues to be a regional leader.

Mohamed Morsi

(Photo by Daniel Berehulak/Getty Images)
Egypt's first democratically elected president who came to power more than a year after his predecessor, Hosni Mubarak, was ousted in Egypt's Arab Spring revolution. Chairman of Freedom and Justice Party founded by his Muslim Brotherhood from the fall of Mubarak in 2011 to his election as president in June 2012, when he was the party's official candidate. When Mubarak was in power and Morsi served as a member of parliament, he ran as an independent because the Muslim Brotherhood was officially banned.

Mohamed ElBaradei

(Photo by Peter Macdiarmid/Getty Images)
An Egyptian diplomat and scholar, previously best known in the Iranian nuclear development crisis as head of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), an international governmental organization under the auspices of the United Nations, but returned to Cairo from Vienna at the beginning of 2011 protests against the rule of President Hosni Mubarak to establish himself as an opposition leader. A Nobel Peace Prize recipient, along with the IAEA, in 2005.

Hosni Mubarak

(Photo by Central Press/Getty Images)
Egypt's president from 1981, when, as vice president, he took the reins of the government following the assassination of Anwar Sadat, to 2011, when he stepped down in the face of intense anti-government protests. The fourth Egyptian president came under criticism for human rights and a lack of democratic institutions in the nation, but was also seen by many as a necessary ally who has kept extremists at bay in that critical region.

2011 Egypt Uprising

(Photo by Peter Macdiarmid/Getty Images)
The Arab Spring fervor brought protesters into Tahrir Square en masse to demand an end to decades of authoritarian rule. Here is a collection of images from the 2011 protests against the government of Hosni Mubarak in Egypt.

Washington Reacts to Egypt Protests

(Photo by Alex Wong/Getty Images)
"When President Mubarak addressed the Egyptian people tonight, he pledged a better democracy and greater economic opportunity. I just spoke to him after his speech and I told him he has a responsibility to give meaning to those words, to take concrete steps and actions that deliver on that promise. ... And we are committed to working with the Egyptian government and the Egyptian people -- all quarters -- to achieve it."

Results of the Arab Spring

(Photo by Peter Macdiarmid/Getty Images)
The peaceful protests began on Jan. 25, 2011, and, though they would spread across the country, centered mainly on Cairo's Tahrir Square ("Liberation Square"). The grievances were many: crackdowns on free speech that included jail time for insulting President Hosni Mubarak, police brutality that had been captured on film by a grass-roots generation of Egyptian social-media activists for years, economic woes including high unemployment and food prices, a lack of political freedom and more. The millions protesters represented all walks of Egyptian life, and ranged from secularists to the Muslim Brotherhood. Mubarak's government tried to clamp down the protests with tactics ranging from curfew to violent clashes in which at least 135 protesters were killed.

The Arab League

The League of Arab States, usually referred to as the Arab League, was founded by Egypt, Iraq, Lebanon, Saudi Arabia, Syria, Yemen and Transjordan, which became Jordan in 1950, in Cairo in 1945. Membership later expanded to include Algeria, Bahrain, Comoros, Djibouti, Kuwait, Libya, Mauritania, Morocco, Oman, Qatar, Somalia, Sudan, Tunisia and the United Arab Emirates. The League underwent upheaval in 1979. Egypt signed a peace treaty with Israel, prompting the other members to suspend the country from the Arab League and move the headquarters from Cairo to Tunis. The parties didn't mend fences until 1987, when Egypt was allowed back in the League.
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