The violence around Cairo University last night might be a bleak window on Egypt"s future.
For the most part the two opposing camps have stayed well away from each other, staging huge demonstrations several miles apart.
But at the university they got close up and nasty for several hours.
Cars were torched and premises ransacked.
We spent a nervous half an hour watching and listening as a gunman, probably from the Muslim Brotherhood, fired on opposition supporters who had gathered to defend their turf.
By the time the night was over at least 16 people were dead and many more injured.
Wounded from both sides are being treated in local hospitals. In one there have been fights between visiting families with different political viewpoints