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After Egypt, Tunisia, Libya overthrows, Arab upheaval begins to settle

Egypt quietly moves into another phase of voting, while the monarchs in Morocco and Jordan have stabilized their rule through reforms. 

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Tumult. Tragedies. Victory. Exulta­tion. That was 2011 in Tunisia, Egypt, and Libya, where longstanding dictators were swept away by popular revolts that are still reshaping the Arab world.

"We started the revolution, but we're still completing it," says Ahmed Salah of Cairo, who quit his job at a stock exchange last year to help unite revolutionary forces.

Indeed, 2012 is the year of what comes next, of deep breaths after a furious sprint, of political strategizing, building on gains made, and repairing economies damaged by a year of almost unprecedented upheaval.

That is, for the three countries mentioned above. In the rest of the region, the popular calls for political change have stalled.

In Bahrain, state repression has shoved mass protests back into their box, and the jails remain filled with political prisoners.

In Syria, there's an increasingly entrenched and violent conflict. At least 5,600 have died in the yearlong revolt against President Bashar al-Assad's rule, and while there's much international hand-wringing, a foreign military intervention like the one that helped turn the tide against Muammar Qaddafi in Libya at the moment appears very unlikely.


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