Is Egypt getting worse?

“It’s worse since the revolution — there is no safety, no security, no police,” says Nashwa Mustafa, a friendly woman garbed in black who sits with four friends in a job training center. By learning to use a sewing machine, she hopes to boost her current income of about $70 a month. She is so worried about lawlessness that she stays indoors at night; the four other veiled women nod in agreement…

Rida Mohammed, an older woman who is teaching the others how to work the sewing machine, says quietly that she misses former president Hosni Mubarak, who was toppled in February. “Now Egypt is not safe,” she murmurs. “I wish he would return.”…

“The situation is 100 percent messy, going from bad to worse,” says ElBaradei. “People thought this revolution was about freedom and basic needs, but they haven’t seen anything yet of either.” The army has the power, but “they have no clue how to run the country.”

ElBaradei volunteers to serve as prime minister for the broad coalition government he hopes will emerge from elections: It could recreate the unity of the Tahrir revolution, he argues. The key is to gain enough time and stability to write a careful constitution that guarantees basic freedoms and keeps Egypt a “civil” state: “Democracy is not instant coffee,” says the former Nobel Peace Prize winner.