Italy and Egypt

Alan Johnston presents insight, wit and analysis from BBC correspondents around the world. In this edition, David Willey in Rome analyses the role of Italy's President, Giorgio Napolitano, while Tom Dinham joins the pilgrims and worshippers at a moulid (religious festival) in Cairo.

A calm head amid choppy waters

Italy's Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi recently suffered a seious rebuff at the hands of the grand old man of Italian politics, President Giorgio Napolitano. The Italian Head of State called Berlusconi's bluff on some budget manoeuvrings, forcing the PM to cancel his umpteenth attempt to create legislative immunity for himself from the law.

From Rome, David Willey recalls his many meetings with President Napolitano - who last month celebrated his 86th birthday and was honored with an honorary law degree from Oxford University.

Ecstasy and diversity at the Sayyida Zeinab Moulid

Public religious life in Egypt is often discussed in terms of the relationship between Muslims and Coptic Christians. But there are also real differences between Muslims over the 'correct' way to observe their faith and celebrate the major points in the religious calendar.

Thomas Dinham visited a Cairo mosque marking a religious 'birthday' or moulid, and gained a vivid sense of the variety and intensity of religious practice in the city.

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10 minutes

Last on

Wed 13 Jul 2011 03:50 GMT

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