The "Arab Spring" was led by Egypt, a country with an emerging literature much like that of South Africa 30-40 years ago. If the recent governmental overthrow produces nothing more than a louder voice for writers there, it will be a great success, for Egypt and the Middle East.
In Cairo, in March, the city had a surplus of intellectual energy. Literature, it seemed, might just be at the vanguard of Egypt’s social change. Novelists were writing columns for every significant newspaper; the opinions of fiction writers like Alaa Al Aswany were hotly debated on satellite news channels and in streetside cafes, over backgammon.