Tuesday 22 February

A picture may say a thousand words, but let me say a few about this picture.

The subjects are Dalia Ziada, blogger and American Islamic Congress-North Africa Director plus the little Egyptian flag, placed inside the sugar holder of the upscale Cilantro coffee shop (the "Starbucks of Egypt"). The interview today was another of those "Egypt moments" that are difficult to describe to non-Egyptians. Dalia is a devout Muslim; a liberal; a pacifist; a woman's activist; a translator; a devotee of Martin Luther King; young and very accomplished! She is studying at Fletcher School (Tufts) for a master's degree; she recently received the Anna Lindh Euro-Med Journalism Award (2010). her blog: http://daliaziada.blogspot.com/

We see flags everywhere. People wear them; place them on their car hoods and trunks; drape them from their balconies. And billboards all over Cairo are putting flags up with inspirational and patriotic slogans - "let's build our country anew"; "God protect our country"; "we are all one arm" [the implication being, "Christian and Muslim - we are all one"].

And now the Revolution, and the flag, are the hottest selling commodities in Egypt. Flags, kitsch, souvenirs, remembrances of the shuhada (the martyrs of the Revolution, 300-plus murdered by the corrupt regime, now dead), and even to the point of silly hats and fake license plates with 25 January the focus.


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