For two years between 2011 and 2013 images of protesters in Egypt were a constant feature on news channels internationally. The streets of Cairo’s downtown district transformed into huge waves of demonstrators, demanding that leaders listen to the will of Egyptians. Yet walking through the traffic-clogged streets of downtown Cairo today, there is little evidence left that such extraordinary and regular demonstrations were once the norm.  

The space for dissent has shrunk drastically in Egypt in recent years. Observers says the country is experiencing repression with a greater severity than what Egyptians experienced under the military dictatorship of Hosni Mubarak, who was toppled in the heady and hopeful days of Egypt’s revolution in 2011 by popular protest.