On Dec. 17, 2010, Mohamed Bouazizi, a young man in rural Tunisia, poured gasoline on himself -- and ignited an entire region. One by one, the people of Tunisia, Egypt and Libya toppled their rulers. One year after Bouazizi's self-immolation, much has changed in the Maghreb. But a lot has remained the same. In places where secular rulers prevailed for decades, Islamists are now trying to seize the reins of power. And many people there are just as poor and hopeless as they were before the revolutions.
This is the third article in a series by SPIEGEL correspondent Alexander Smoltczyk as he travels along the Transmaghrébine highway from Morocco to Egypt together with a photographer. On the third leg of his journey, he travels from the Libyan border, through Alexandria and on to Cairo, where he finds violence flaring up on the streets once again. Be sure to also read the first and second parts of the series.
The revolution has returned, as our journey ends on the banks of the Nile in mid-December. Revolutions are mysterious events, hard to grab hold of, never quite over and always alarming.
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