Hosni Mubarak, going on his 30th year in power, can’t be sleeping well. The 83 year old is in poor health, and while he and his cronies have maintained an iron grip on the Arab world’s most populous nation, it is a grip better characterized by nerves than confidence. Despite the crackdowns, Egyptians have increasingly become emboldened, as demonstrated by the rise of Mohammed ElBaradei, former head of the IAEA and Nobel Prize Laureaute, as a potential competitor for the presidency. While the current legal framework makes it incredibly difficult for any opposition candidate to compete, ElBaradei has become a bit of a spokesman for democratic reform in Egypt. The emergence of a high profile opposition leader, the public furor over the fraudulent elections, and the democratic activity in Tunisia all make for a precarious situation for Pharaoh.
With protests rocking the Cairo, I think 2011 will prove to be an exciting year for Egypt. Let’s hope that Egyptians can acheive change without violence, and that Mubarak can take the hint and open up the political system of his own volition. Who knows how much longer he will even have the control to do so.