It was just in 2011 that powerful protests of the Egyptian people sparked the ouster of longtime Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak. Democracy was the goal. A constitutional convention was conducted. Elections were called and the people voted in current President Mohamed Morsi. Nevertheless, stability and economic growth remain out of reach. Many thousands of people don't feel represented by Morsi and what few parliamentarians remain in power. Once again, the streets are teeming with protesters. A deadline set by the military for Morsi to appease the people has passed today and it has suspended the country's constitution.
What can either side do for a way forward? Could talks earlier today between prominent Egyptians - including pro-reform leader Mohamed ElBaradei, the top Muslim cleric of Al-Azhar Mosque and the Coptic pope - amount to anything?
Borzou Daragahi, covers North Africa and the Middle East for the Financial Times. He is based in Cairo, Egypt
Nezar AlSayaad, Chair, Center for Middle Eastern Studies, University of California at Berkeley