11
Mai
2005

Western-style democracy proves to be a tough sell

05/10/05

Baradi, the coffee shop at the corner of Tahrir and Dokki streets [in Cairo], is typical of thousands of cafes in this largest and most moderate of Arab Muslim cities. White-tiled walls and high ceilings lined with fans help patrons keep cool in a climate that can be sweaty even in winter. The courtliness of the clientele -- accountants and government clerks in worn dishdashe gowns and polyester suits -- also helps keep things temperate, even when the conversation amid the smoke from apple-scented waterpipes turns to President Bush's push for democracy in the Muslim world. No one here wears the distinctive clothing and beard of Muslim fundamentalists. Voices are not raised in anger, no matter the intensity of feelings. But there is no mistaking the deep distrust and dislike patrons harbor toward the United States...

//tinyurl.com/aketv

from Boston Globe


Informant: Thomas L. Knapp
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