Inspired by the Tunisian revolt, the 2011 movement in Egypt started as a revolution, eventually triggering a crisis that makes experts question if the state has failed. We trace the protests, political turnovers and waves of repression since 2011:

Anti-government protesters at Tahrir Square in downtown Cairo, Egypt on February 10, 2011.
Anti-government protesters at Tahrir Square in downtown Cairo, Egypt on February 10, 2011. (AP)

The Egyptian revolution of 2011, which began on January 25 in line with the then simmering Arab Spring in neighbouring countries, quickly spread across the country and drew millions of demonstrators on streets.

Inspired by the Tunisian revolt, tens of thousands of young Egyptians rallied for 18 days of unprecedented street protests in Cairo's central Tahrir Square and elsewhere in 2011 against the monopolisation of power, as well as climbing poverty and youth unemployment. 

Yet a movement that began as a revolution has since devolved into a continuing crisis, plunging Egypt in protests, political deficit, sporadic violence and waves of repression.

At the time, the demands were simple enough. They consisted of socio-economic reforms and the overthrow of longtime Egyptian president – for some a dictator – Hosni Mubarak

Mubarak, who was the resolute face of stability in the Middle East, ruled Egypt for 30 years until he was ousted during that period.

Yet the generation that claimed the streets against long-stagnant politics would soon be pushed aside by an intense rivalry that pitted the military and secular parties against the Muslim Brotherhood, a group that believes Islamic principles should regulate all aspects of public and family life.

Military leader Abdel Fattah el Sisi's rise to power pinnacled in the 2013 coup that ousted democratically elected president Mohamed Morsi two years after the revolutionary movement.

Here is a timeline of events surrounding Egypt's 2011 movement and the years that have followed:

Anti-government protesters celebrate next to soldiers inside Tahrir Square after the announcement of Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak's resignation in Cairo, February 11, 2011.
Anti-government protesters celebrate next to soldiers inside Tahrir Square after the announcement of Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak's resignation in Cairo, February 11, 2011. (Reuters)


January 25 – Organised on Facebook and dubbed a “day of revolution” on January 25, thousands gather in Cairo and several other Egyptian cities to demonstrate against poverty and political repression. 

Protesters chanting anti-Mubarak slogans clash with police, who used water cannons and tear gas against the crowds.

Protests erupt across Egypt demanding accountability and democracy. 

January 28 – Anti-government protests in Egypt intensify when demonstrators clash with police following Friday prayers. 

Internet and telephone services are disrupted in an effort to limit the extent of demonstrations. 

Mubarak imposes a curfew and deploys army units in an attempt to control the unrest.

February 2 – Violence intensifies as anti-government protesters clash with crowds of Mubarak supporters in Tahrir Square in Cairo. The members of the Muslim Brotherhood, the most organised political opposition group in Egypt, hide any visible religious symbols in conformity with the non-ideological tone set by the protest’s young organisers.

Security forces kill hundreds of people in clashes that would ensue and the military mobilises amid unrest.

February 6  The Egyptian government holds talks with members of the opposition. The banned Muslim Brotherhood also takes part.

Feb 11  Omar Suleiman, Mubarak’s intelligence chief and vice president, announces that Mubarak would step down after weeks-long protests, leaving the Supreme Council of the Armed Forces, a council of high-ranking military officers headed by then defence minister Mohamed Hussein Tantawi, in control.

Hundreds of thousands celebrate in Tahrir Square. The United States withdraws support for Mubarak’s regime.

February 12  The Supreme Council of the Armed Forces issues a statement saying that the military will hand over power to an elected civilian government. A spokesman also states that Egypt will continue to abide by international treaties, implying that the 1979 peace treaty with Israel would not be challenged.

February 13  The Supreme Council of the Armed Forces suspends the constitution and dissolves Egypt’s two legislative bodies, the People’s Assembly and the Consultative Assembly. 

A statement issued by the council announces that a commission would be set up to draft a new constitution to be approved via referendum and that the military would remain in power for six months or until new elections can be held.

June 29  New clashes break out in Cairo between police and protesters, who accuse the interim government of continuing many of the authoritarian practices of the Mubarak regime.

August 3  Mubarak’s trial for complicity in the killing of some 900 protesters during the 2011 revolution and for corruption begins.


November 2011 to January 2012 The Muslim Brotherhood's political arm, known as the Freedom and Justice Party, wins parliamentary elections called by Egypt's Supreme Council of the Armed Forces. 

The Muslim Brotherhood forms the largest bloc.

June 24 Egypt's first free presidential election, in which 13 candidates competed, goes to a run-off between Brotherhood candidate Morsi and former prime minister and air force commander Ahmed Shafik.

Morsi wins with nearly 52 percent of the vote.

August 12 Morsi removes top military commanders and appoints General Abdel Fattah el Sisi as minister of defence and military commander-in-chief.

October 9  Morsi issues a general pardon for political activists jailed since the 2011 revolution. Some of Morsi's pardons would later be revoked.

December 15 to 26  Morsi pushes through a new constitution in a controversial referendum that leads to clashes between religious ideologists and their opponents. 

The aim is to fulfil some demands of the revolution: the end of Egypt’s all-powerful presidency, a stronger parliament and provisions against torture or detention without trial.

But in the meantime, it also gives Egypt’s generals much of the power and privilege they had during the Mubarak era.

The turnout is about 33 percent. Nearly 64 percent of voters endorse the constitution. 

Morsi implements it on December 26, just hours after the results were announced. 

Read more: Morsi: From farmer’s son to president to prisoner


July 3 – With the economy crumbling and with shortages of electricity and fuel, anger at the government mounts. 

Following mass protests in Cairo's Tahrir Square, army chief Sisi announces the ouster of the country's first democratically elected president, Morsi, and the appointment of an interim president. 

Morsi is arrested alongside other Brotherhood leaders after the military coup

The generals build their case for intervention in a carefully orchestrated series of manoeuvres, calling their actions an effort at a “national reconciliation.” They refuse to call their takeover a coup.

August 14 Hundreds are killed as security forces storm pro-Morsi protest camps in Cairo in what human rights groups call the worst massacre in Egypt's modern history. 

Official sources claim that 578 were left dead. 

The Brotherhood claim that 2,200 are killed and 10,000 injured. 

Egyptian authorities impose a dusk-to-dawn curfew and declare a state of emergency. 

December 25 – The military-backed government designates the Muslim Brotherhood a terrorist organisation. The decree criminalises the activities and finances of Egypt’s largest opposition movement. 


June 3 - Results of the presidential election, which had a turnout of about 47 percent, are announced. Sisi is declared the winner with more than 96 percent of the vote, promising stability and economic recovery.

November 10 – Sinai-based terror group Ansar Beit al Maqdis pledges allegiance to Abu Bakr al Baghdadi and Daesh, effectively setting up an Egyptian branch of the violent jihadist group based in Iraq and Syria.


June 29 – A powerful bomb kills Egypt’s top prosecutor as he drives to work. The prosecutor, Hisham Barakat, is the most senior official to be killed in Egypt since the insurgency began in 2013.


July 12 – Egyptian authorities issue a requirement for Muslim clerics to read out identical pre-written weekly sermons as part of the Egyptian government’s campaign against extremism.

November 11 – Egypt secures a $12 billion loan deal with the International Monetary Fund and devalues its currency, leaving most Egyptians worse off amid austerity measures aimed at improving the economy in the long term.

November 15 – The Court of Cassation overturns Morsi’s death sentence and orders a retrial of the case in which he was charged with orchestrating a prison break. 

Read more: The erasure of Morsi's legacy is an attempt to scrub democracy from Egypt


March 24 – Mubarak is freed after six years of detention and cleared of charges, including corruption and the killing of protesters in 2011.

April 9 – Two bombs are detonated at Palm Sunday masses in Tanta’s St George’s Church and Alexandria’s St Mark’s Cathedral, killing at least 43 people and injuring more than 100. 

Daesh claims responsibility for the attack via its Amaq news agency. Egypt declares a three-month state of emergency.

June 14 – Sisi's parliament approves plans to transfer two uninhabited Red Sea islands to Saudi Arabia despite a court order that blocked the transfer in March. 

September 16 – Court sentences deposed president Morsi to 25 years in prison in a final ruling over a case accusing him of spying for Qatar.


March 26 to 28 – The conservative Nour Party, the last permitted religious party in Egypt, backs Sisi for a second presidential term. 

He does not face any real competition. Serious challengers had ended their campaigns months prior to the election. 

One was arrested. The remaining candidate had no intention of challenging the president. 

April 2 – Sisi’s victory is announced. 

He allegedly receives 97 percent of the vote, while the turnout was only 38 percent.


April 23 – Voters approve a series of constitutional amendments that significantly increase the power of the presidency and military. 

These include an extension to presidential terms that could allow Sisi to remain in power until 2030. The bill also allows the president to appoint top judges and grants military courts wider jurisdiction in prosecuting civilians.

June 17 – Egypt's first democratically elected president Mohamed Morsi collapses during a court session and dies

Read more: When Morsi died, Egypt’s hopes for democracy died with him

Source: TRT World