dilapidation since throwing off its colonial shackles. Aswany used hisprominence to help found the Kefaya political movement, which firstarticulated the demands that would energize the youth in Tahrir Square: anend to corruption, a rejection of hereditary rule, and the establishment of atrue democratic culture. For his political activism, Aswany was blacklisted by Egypt's state-owned publishing houses, and security officials harassed theowner of the cafe where he met with young writers.How times change. Aswany was a fixture in Tahrir Square during Egypt'suprising -- he was almost killed three times, he said, during the running battles between demonstrators and pro-Mubarak thugs. And he has tried tokeep the revolution's spirit alive since, pressing the country's ruling military junta to remove the vestiges of Hosni Mubarak's regime and assailing Egypt'sIslamists for their willingness to sacrifice the movement's principles for a tasteof power. In the process, Aswany has given voice to a people silenced for toolong. "Revolution is like a love story,"
in February. "When you are inlove, you become a much better person. And when you are in revolution, you become a much better person."
The best muse for these times
The millions of Egyptians on Feb. 11 who were gathered whenMubarak decided to leave.
Stimulus or austerity?
Both are a very good idea.
America or China?
America. I had an American education and lived in Chicago. The American experience is an important part of my life.
," by Anton Chekhov;
The Brothers Karamazov
, by Fyodor Dostoyevsky;
The Old Man and the Sea
, by ErnestHemingway.
KHALED DESOUKI/AFP/Getty Images
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