Egyptian blogger Big Pharaoh detects change in the air :

For such a long time, the office of the presidency here was like the Pope or the Grand Ayatollah, a position with a lot of reverence and fear. I can see this barrier crumbling down. (via Iraq The Model)

More green shoots noted by the Telegraph's Patrick Bishop, in an interview with the feminist novelist, Nawal El Saadawi, one of Mubarak’s opponents in the forthcoming elections. Although she's described as the local equivalent of Doris Lessing, Germaine Greer might be a closer match, judging by some of the quotes. But as Bishop notes, that's still a step in the right direction:

Conservative Islam and American imperialism, she believes, complement each other. "Bin Laden and George Bush are twins," she said. "They serve each other's purpose." .....Her targets are the usual objects of Arab anger - the Americans and the Israelis. What makes her and a growing number like her dangerous is her willingness to include the Middle East's own rulers in the list of the culpable.

On the broader front, Belgravia Dispatch (who has now left London to settle in New York) recommends a guide to the various forms of Islamism, toxic and not so toxic. Signs of hope here.
|||Clive|||http://clivedavis.blogspot.com/2005/03/stirrings-egyptian-blogger-big-pharaoh.html|||3/31/2005 05:24:00 pm|||||||||