Edward Stourton presents a special edition of the programme from Cairo as Egyptians go to the polls for the first time in decades.

He looks at the rise in sectarian tensions that have marked the post revolution era by visiting the Coptic community that lost nine of its members in recent fighting with local Muslims. He travels to the monastry carved into the bare rock hillside to meet the local priest.

Women played a significant role in the revolution and Edward sits at the centre of the uprising, Tahrir Square, with two female activists, Sally Zohney and Ethar Kamal El-Katatney, who talk about their hopes for the future.

We hear from Dr Khaled Fahmy Head of History at the American University in Cairo, who talks about the strong political culture of Egypt and how that has rippled accross the Middle East.

Edward examines whether fundamental Islamic groups will aim to take advantage of the infant Egyptian democracy with Dr Sara Silvesti from City University, London.

What does all this upheaval mean for the future of the region? Edward will be joined by Gil Hoffman of The Jerusalem Post, Tarek Osman, author of "Egypt on the Brink- From Nassar to Mubarak" and Maye Kassem, Associate Professor of Middle East Politics at the American Univeristy in Cairo to discuss.

E-mail: sunday@bbc.co.uk

Series producer: Amanda Hancox.

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45 minutes

Last on

Sun 20 Mar 2011 07:10