Egypt is home to the world's oldest civilization, but for two millennia Egyptians bowed to foreign rule. Now Islamic militants are making their bid for power. In this hour of To the Best of Our Knowledge, the once and future Egypt. Also, how an Egyptian girl became an Arab — overnight. El Nino and the course of the Nile. And recipes worthy of a Sphinx.
Mary Anne Weaver is a staff writer for the New Yorker and author of "A Portrait of Egypt: A Journey through the World of Militant Islam." She tells Judith Strasser that because the Egyptian government is so authoritarian, militant Islamist groups represent the only way to signal opposition to the regime, and that many of their social programs benefit poor Egyptians.SEGMENT 2:
Brian Fagan teaches anthropology at UC/Santa Barbara and is the author of "From Black Land to Fifth Sun." He tells Steve Paulson that the Nile River is central to Egypt's civilization and survival, and always has been. Also, Leila Ahmed tells Jim Fleming that Egyptians have only recently been taught to think of themselves as Arab, and remembers her father's troubles with the Nasser regime. Ahmed calls her memoir "A Border Passage." And, Colette Rossant is the author of "Memories of a Lost Egypt: A Memoir with Recipes." She tells Judith Strasser about one of her grandmother's recipes, and explains that her cuisine was always multi-cultural.SEGMENT 3:
Journalist Max Rodenbeck writes for The Economist and is the author of "Cairo: The City Victorious." He's lived in Cairo for much of his life and tells Judith Strasser what he loves about the city and why it's sometimes just too much.Cassette copies are available at 1-800-747-7444. Ask for program number 99-08-01-A.
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