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The Arab uprisings
Democracy's hard spring
Once the protests are over, institutions need building up—often from scratch
Briefing
Mar 12th 2011 edition
Mar 10th 2011
CAIRO
AS A dramatic revolutionary moment, the storming of Egypt's notorious State Security Investigations Directorate (SSI) seemed to rank with the fall of the Stasi headquarters in East Berlin in 1990. Over the first weekend in March furious crowds surged into the imposing bureaus of the secret police in half a dozen Egyptian cities. At their sprawling main complex in a Cairo suburb, some gleefully hunted for documents and computer discs. Others searched for hidden dungeons, shouting into air vents and frantically prising up floor tiles in the hope that long-missing relatives might be found underground.
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