From my diary

Tonight I completed scanning another 50 pages of the English translation of Ibn Abi Usaibia.  That makes a total of 100 so far.  900 to go!  It’s slow, because my current job leaves me very tired every evening; but we’ll get there.  I started at the beginning of chapter 1, but there is some prefatory matter, mostly rather blurry, which I left to one side, in order to get a bit of velocity with stuff that wasn’t so difficult.  But I’ve started in on that this evening.

There is sad news from Egypt, where the overthrow of Mubarak has led Islamic groups to feel that they can now attack the Coptic Christians with impunity.  Several churches have been burned.  Last night the Copts demonstrated against these attacks, and were themselves attacked by the security forces.   The political instability of Egypt is evident, even now.  

I fear that the Egyptians will come to look back on the days of Mubarak as days of peace and plenty, compared to what may happen.  Little worse is alleged against him than that he grew rich from being president, and a coterie of hangers-on exploited their position.  Corruption is always damnable, and it is the curse of the region.  But Mubarak at least kept Egypt from becoming involved in the pointless wars of the Arab world, and allowed a generation to grow up in peace.  In the end it was the rise in food prices that brought him down, I suspect.  But just changing leader won’t fix that problem, and unless it is dealt with, I don’t see how any regime can be stable.  Nothing will stop his replacements from being equally corrupt, and probably far more quarrelsome.  Let us hope that it all turns out OK.

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