Just when it seemed as though all the talk was about Euro crises, things kick off big time down Araby way again. As Syria tumbles towards civil war, Bashar al-Assad has vowed to fight and die there. Saif al-Islam Qaddafi has been detained and subjected to passive smoking, with the possibility of even worse to come. And Egyptians have finally decided that trusting a corrupt military leadership to run bicameral elections over six stages and four months is no sensible way to secure a transparent and representative government. In respect of the latter country, you could do a lot worse than read the despatches of former New Statesman literary editor Rachel Aspden, who’s over in Egypt researching a book at the moment. She’s a friend, admittedly, but personal connections notwithstanding she writes perceptively and elegantly. She’s blogging for Prospect, and posting more here.