In December of 2010, a Tunisian street vendor set himself on fire to protest humiliation and harassment he suffered at the hands of a policeman.
The incident sparked the anti-regime protests later known as the “Arab Spring,” which exploded onto the streets of Egypt on Jan. 25 of 2011.
The aftermath could hardly be foreseen by the main actors in Egypt, the Arab World’s most populous nation.
The ensuing demonstrations ended the 30-year rule of autocratic President Hosni Mubarak and triggered a series of events that would profoundly impact the future of Egypt.
The following are the watershed events that marked the five-year period from January 25, 2011 to the present:
January 25, 2011: Egyptians hold demonstrations to protest unemployment, corruption and the Mubarak regime’s tyranny. Violent clashes between protesters and Egyptian security forces result in the death of hundreds of people.
February 11, 2011: Mubarak steps down, ending his 30-year rule, and asks the army to form a new government. The Supreme Council of the Armed Forces (SCAF) dissolves parliament and suspends the constitution.
June 14, 2012: Egypt’s Supreme Constitutional Court dissolves a post-revolution parliament in which the Muslim Brotherhood had won the majority of seats.
June 16/17, 2012: Egyptians vote in the country’s first-ever free presidential elections. The Muslim Brotherhood’s Mohamed Morsi narrowly beats Ahmed Shafik, Mubarak’s last prime minister, becoming Egypt’s first-ever democratically elected president.
June 30, 2012: President Morsi formally swears in his cabinet.
August 12, 2012: Morsi appoints Abdel-Fattah al-Sisi as his defense minister, replacing long-serving army chief Mohamed Hussein Tantawi.
November 22, 2012: President Morsi issues a presidential decree immunizing his decisions from a judicial establishment that remains largely controlled by Mubarak loyalists. The move triggers widespread protests and calls for Morsi to step down.
December 15-22, 2012: A draft constitution, supported by Morsi and his Muslim Brotherhood and its allies, is accepted with 63.8 percent of the vote in a nationwide referendum.
February-March, 2013: Seventy-four people are killed in a football-related riot in the northern city of Port Said. A court sentences 21 people to death for their involvement in the incident, triggering widespread protests.
Morsi imposes a state of emergency in Egypt’s canal cities, prompting further protests in which the security forces refuse to intervene.
June 30, 2013: On the first anniversary of Morsi’s assumption of the presidency, massive anti-Morsi protests are held in Cairo’s Tahrir Square and in other cities in which demonstrators demand that Morsi step down as president.
The army warns it will step in if national conciliation cannot be achieved.
July 3, 2013: The army, led by al-Sisi, removes Morsi from office and puts him under arrest. Al-Sisi assumes executive power, suspending the constitution and issuing arrest warrants for Muslim Brotherhood officials.
Supreme Court head Adly Mansour is made Egypt’s interim president, while al-Sisi unveils a “roadmap” for Egypt’s political future.
Saudi Arabia congratulates the newly-appointed interim president, while Morsi and the Muslim Brotherhood are accused of collaborating with foreign powers and espionage.
Hundreds of Brotherhood leaders and members are rounded up by security forces.
July 5, 2013: Morsi’s supporters launch a major sit-in protest against the military coup in Cairo’s Rabaa al-Adawiya Square in which tens of thousands of people participate.
July 8, 2013: Eighty-four pro-Morsi demonstrators are gunned down by security forces near Republican Guard headquarters in Cairo.
July 13, 2013: Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates and Kuwait begin to provide Egypt’s coup regime with financial support, pledging billions of dollars to prop up the country’s ailing economy.
August 14, 2013: More than a thousand people are killed when security forces violently clear pro-Morsi sit-ins in Cairo’s Nahda and Rabaa al-Adawiya squares, sparking protests nationwide.
In the ensuing weeks, security forces disperse pro-Morsi demonstrations with increasing ferocity, killing scores of protesters across the country.
Thousands of people, including journalists covering the events, are rounded up by police.
December 25, 2013: Egypt’s coup government designates the Brotherhood a “terrorist” organization.
May 26-28, 2014: After resigning as defense minister, al-Sisi wins presidential elections — marred by widespread irregularities — with 96.9 percent of the vote.
Nov. 29, 2014: A Cairo court acquits former President Mubarak of corruption charges and charges of having ordered the killing of protesters during the 18-day uprising in 2011.
May 2015: Morsi and 100 other Muslim Brotherhood members are sentenced to death en masse on an array of criminal charges. The sentences remain subject to appeal and have yet to be carried out.
Jan. 25, 2016: The fifth anniversary of the 2011 uprising sees scattered protests throughout the country during which security forces reportedly arrest dozens of demonstrators.