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  • By: Brian Whitaker
    Last December Egypt's minister of culture, Ines Abdel-Dayem, went into battle against sectarianism – armed with a flute. The minister, who is a former director of the Cairo Symphony Orchestra and a former chair of the Cairo Opera House, played her favourite instrument at a concert in Minya...
  • By: Brian Whitaker
    Twenty-one-year-old Algerian student Assil Belalta was murdered on Sunday night in what appears to have been a homophobic killing. According to friends who discovered his body, his throat had been slit and the words "He is gay" were daubed in blood on the wall of his room. The Algerian...
  • By: Brian Whitaker
    Jeff Bezos, the American multi-billionaire who claims he was the target of a blackmail attempt, has been talking mysteriously of a possible Saudi connection. On January 9, Bezos and his wife jointly announced they were divorcing after 25 years of marriage. Next day, the National Enquirer, a...
  • By: Brian Whitaker
    The British government has refused a visa for a Sudanese writer who was due to spend a term at Durham University as a Visiting Fellow. Hammour Ziada, who writes in Arabic, is the author of two published novels and two collections of short stories. His most recent work, Shuq al-Darwish ("The...
  • By: Brian Whitaker
    Proposed constitutional changes in Egypt, announced at the weekend, could keep President Sisi in power until 2034. Sisi is currently in the second of two four-year terms and, if the constitution remains unchanged, he must leave office in 2022. Under the proposals submitted to parliament...

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