Jonathan Rugman

From Nasser to Mubarak — Egypt’s modern pharaohs and their phoney myths

Why does the country always prefer the army to politicians? Hazem Kandil's compelling Soldiers, Spies and Statesmen traces 60 years of power struggle

A supporter of Abdel Fattah al-Sisi holds his portrait during a demonstration in Cairo, November 2013 [2013 AFP]

Reporting Egypt’s revolution three years ago, I had a sense of history not so much repeating itself as discharging sparks which seemed eerily familiar. Smoke was billowing into my hotel bedroom from the building next door, the headquarters of the Mubarak dictatorship which protestors had set alight; yet also visible from my balcony in Cairo that night were the flickering lights of Zamalek, the island of privilege in the River Nile where my father grew up before fleeing the flames of the Nasser regime on a flying boat in 1956.

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