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Opinion: A right to lampoon Arab leaders

CAIRO, Egypt — Every Arab country in the Middle East and North Africa has laws or policies criminalizing speech that questions or offends the head of state, according to data from Freedom House and Reporters Without Borders. By the time young journalists in Arab countries tackle their first reporting assignment, they’re well aware of this admonition: Don’t touch the folks at the top.

Something fishy is going on in Egypt

Today, Egyptians marked the start of spring by celebrating an ancient tradition, Sham el-Nessim, a non-denominational public holiday of Pharaonic origin. Sham el-Nessim is a time for rebirth and "smelling the breezes." Spring may be in the air, but so is the stench of rotten fish.

StreetLife: A Pharaonic fish tale from Cairo

Presidential candidacy by Facebook page ... Egypt's ElBaradei tests the method

Mohamed ElBaradei can say he’s not running for president in Egypt. But with everything he does resembling calculated campaign moves, it’s getting harder and harder to believe him.

Poking fun, US-style, in Egypt

CAIRO, Egypt — In Egypt, where the government keeps a close eye on the media and most other forms of expression — an alternative has emerged: fake news.

Demise of a modern-day pharaoh

CAIRO, Egypt — Stocks in Egypt tumbled when anxiety-ridden investors heard the news. President Hosni Mubarak had checked into a hospital in Germany for a minor surgery, but on the streets of Cairo, there was speculation he was seriously ill, maybe even dead. It wasn’t Mubarak’s first health scare, but with no successor named for their aging president, Egyptians begged the question: Who will take over if he dies?

Rumors of Mubarak's demise fly through Egypt's blogosphere... again

 If rumors spread like wildfire, then the Egyptian blogosphere is a blazing three-alarm inferno right now. Local bloggers have been abuzz with unconfirmed news about the health of Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak, who underwent gallbladder surgery in Germany over a week ago.

Synagogue makeover exasperates Egyptians

CAIRO, Egypt — Through a maze of narrow stone alleyways in Cairo’s ancient Jewish quarter, the Ben Maimon synagogue is surrounded by churches — a remnant of Egypt’s diverse and religiously tolerant past. This month, a private ceremony inaugurated the renovated synagogue as part of a greater government initiative to restore all 10 of the country’s Jewish temples.

Desert ecotourism: what's in it for Egypt?

BAWATI, Egypt — The windswept peak of Black Mountain could be the perfect place to watch a sunset. Normally quiet and isolated from the rest of the world, the narrow ridge overlooks Bahariya Oasis, a lush depression of palm trees in the middle of Egypt’s remote Western Desert.

ElBaradei leaves Cairo ... for now

CAIRO, Egypt —After 10 days of stirring up the usually stagnant waters of Egyptian politics, Mohammed ElBaradei this week returned to his home base in Vienna, leaving behind an enlivened opposition and mounting speculation over his potential presidential candidacy.
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