- BBC: The unpredictability of revolution (Kevin Connolly, March 2)
"Three years after the start of the Arab Spring, Egypt's capital city is feeling the impact of the revolution in some surprising ways. At the chaotic height of Egypt's revolution against the brilliantined autocrat Hosni Mubarak, every single member of the uniformed security forces suddenly disappeared from the streets."
- Reuters: Egypt government resigns, paving way for Sisi to seek presidency (ASMA ALSHARIF AND YASMINE SALEH, February 23)
"After the July overthrow of elected Islamist President Mohamed Mursi and subsequent crackdown on Islamists and liberals with hundreds killed and thousands jailed, critics say Cairo's military-backed authorities are turning the clock back to the era of autocrat Hosni Mubarak era, when the political elite ruled with an iron fist in alliance with top businessmen."
- BBC: Sisi in Russia: Moscow's Egyptian gambit(Jonathan Marcus, February 13)
"There is undoubted symbolism in Moscow being the first foreign port of call for the Egyptian military chief Field Marshal Abdul Fattah al-Sisi since he ousted the Islamist administration of President Mohammed Morsi last July. Symbolism and some substance too."
- Reuters: Insight - Mubarak-era networks return for new military man in Egypt (MAGGIE FICK, January 29)
"Analysts say the nature of Egyptian politics means that the influence of local notables over voting habits, especially in rural towns and villages, where most people live, is likely to remain widespread for years to come. With many of Mursi's followers in jail or driven underground, and liberal parties unable to challenge Sisi, there are few forces in a position to overhaul the system."
- BBC: Egypt army backs Sisi as presidential candidate(Orla Guerin, January 27)
"Three years after the revolution of 2011 swept away the military strongman, Hosni Mubarak, Egypt could soon by ruled by another. The newly minted Field Marshal, Abdul Fattah al-Sisi, has no experience of war but has shown himself to be a skilled political tactician."
- Washington Post: Making things worse in the Middle East (Fareed Zakaria, January 17)
"The Middle East is in the midst of a sectarian struggle, like those between Catholics and Protestants in Europe in the age of the Reformation. These tensions are rooted in history and politics and will not easily go away."
- BBC: The Iraqi government's battle to control Falluja (Frank Gardner, January 7)
"The predictions for Iraq are dire. Analysts both inside and outside the country warn Iraq is once more poised on the brink of a sectarian civil war. In Anbar province, the country's largest and most restive, troops from the Shia-dominated government in Baghdad have been sent to regain control of the mostly Sunni cities of Falluja and Ramadi from al-Qaeda and other insurgents."
- The Guardian: Islamists exploit weak border to fight in Iraq and Syria (Martin Chulov, January 5)
"The US secretary of state, John Kerry, on a visit to the Middle East, said he was extremely worried by developments in Iraq, which the US military left in late 2010 after occupying it for nearly eight years."
- BBC: Lives of fear for Egypt's Christians (Orla Guerin, December 23)
"As Coptic Christians in Egypt prepare to celebrate their Christmas on 7 January, they are still waiting for scores of churches destroyed in August to be rebuilt. Christians - who account for an estimated 10% of Egypt's population of 92 million - have long been easy targets. And for some families this Christmas is a time to mourn."
Three years ago this month, a poor market trader set himself alight in the Tunisian town of Sidi Bouzid, generally seen as the event that sparked the anti-government uprisings across the Middle East. BBC's Lyse Doucet writes on the mood in the region as the initial enthusiasm of the "Arab Spring" gave way to hard political realities.
- BBC: Hard winter for the Arab Spring (Lyse Doucet, December 13)
"That spirit still resonates today but the people's will is no longer the force it was in driving political events across the Middle East and North Africa. Libya is now awash with rival militias, Egypt struggles to chart a new path towards democracy, Yemen is shaken by al-Qaeda-linked violence, and in Syria, a worsening war is also a deepening humanitarian disaster."