Story pick: Al Jazeera English for all things Egypt
From the end of the reign of Cleopatra in 30 BC to the mid-20th century, Egypt was ruled by a succession of foreign powers. Once it gained its independence and the last British troops left in the 1950s, it has had a succession of three autocratic leaders who came to power either by force or by inheritance.
To follow not only the latest breaking news on the mass protests that have erupted throughout Cairo and other Egyptian cities in the last week, I read newspapers and checked online websites. I found Al Jazeera English's Anger in Egypt spotlight to have the wealth and breadth of information I was looking for. I found videos, Twitter and Facebook feeds from the protesters themselves as well as up to the minute reports on the collapse of the Hosni Mubarak government.
More, I found satellite maps of the "Day of Wrath" showing the exact location of each of the protests, a timeline of events and an extensive documentary, A Nation in Waiting, on the political history of modern Egypt and the deep roots of the current angry upheaval. Al Jazeera remains highly controversial as a news source--its decision to air Osama bin Laden's diatribes in full, as well as some of its reporting on the United States leads some to believe that the broadcaster's political bent is sharper than it claims to be -- but the channel has been must-viewing throughout the Arabic-speaking world in recent weeks, and was even taken off the air in Egypt over the weekend, blamed by the Mubarak government for inciting the masses (though the footage it showed of the events seemed entirely of a piece with that being shown by almost any Western broadcast outlet.)
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