Like American public diplomacy efforts in the Arab world, the Confucius Institute--the franchise of Chinese educational facilities that was promoted in the Arabic CRI broadcast--also encounters opposition in some countries where it maintains a presence.
The success of the new Egypt is no doubt dependent on many political factors. However, no real democracy or legitimacy can be won if everyone is expected to support the rulers only. Dissent, pluralism and different points of view are essential to guarantee democratic rule.
It hasn't been a good past month for Egyptian Information Minister Salah Abdel Maqsoud who's still being ridiculed for what Arab TV viewers consider an on-the-air pass at an attractive but serious talk show host.
Taking a trip to the Middle East for authentic kebabs or to brush up on your rusty Arabic could cost thousands. Thankfully, with its many different diverse neighborhoods, New York has an easily accessible and inexpensive alternative.
While Egypt's future is uncertain, the feeling of optimism among the people who succeeded in demanding change is palpable today. It wouldn't surprise me if February 11th becomes an Egyptian national holiday in the future.
I was in the middle of buying some mints from a street vendor on Cairo's Talat Harb Street when the rocks started flying. He gave me one pack of mints, and all hell broke loose. "Run, run," people yelled at me.
As a journalist who reported from Tunisia during the Ben Ali era, I can attest to his regime's constraints on freedom of speech and the press. Even checking my innocuous business email account was an ordeal -- I had to go to an embassy to do it.