Al Azhar’s edicts were once heeded from Morocco to Indonesia, but the Cairo institution has lost clout as TV imams are reaching larger audiences and Egypt’s President Mubarak has taken greater control. That's a problem for the regime as it braces for its biggest political transition in nearly 30 years.
Amid an escalating sectarian divide, a predominantly Muslim Egypt is touting the completed renovation of the world's oldest monastery as a symbol of tolerance and harmony with the Christian faith community.
Egypt TV showed President Hosni Mubarak sitting up and talking after having surgery last week. The incident had sparked speculation over whether he was too unwell to lead Egypt after nearly three decades in power.