Egypt’s national flag flutters in the wind from the top of a flag pole which was recently installed in Tahrir Square, central Cairo. (REUTERS/Mohammad Abdel-Ghany)
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CAIRO: A circular patch of land in Cairo's central Tahrir Square poses a dilemma for the government: How to honor the epicenter of the 2011 popular uprising while pressing ahead with one of the fiercest crackdowns on dissent in Egypt's history?It was the latest attempt by authorities to define the narrative in a square where hundreds of thousands of Egyptians staged protests that ended three decades of iron-fisted rule.History suggests authorities must proceed cautiously in Tahrir. The former headquarters of Mubarak's ruling party, burned and gutted during the revolt, is nearby on the River Nile, a reminder of the power of the street just four years ago.In November of 2013, Egyptian activists, who had been keeping a low profile after the army seized power, returned to Tahrir and destroyed a state memorial dedicated to protesters killed by security forces.The government faces the challenge of persuading Egyptians that it respects the spirit of Tahrir despite condemnation by human rights groups which suggests otherwise.One day before the anniversary, female protester Shaimaa Sabbagh was shot dead not far from Tahrir.
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