Egyptians are not the only Arabs who are grappling with the place of religion in their emerging democracy. In Tunisia, perhaps even more so than Cairo, the battle between liberals and Islamists has been raging since last year’s ousting of the Zine al-Abidine Ben Ali regime.

In a country where the state has been staunchly secular – there was a time when police would detain women wearing the headscarf – Islamists in all their shades have faced a more determined opposition than in Egypt.

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For many years Egyptian businessmen have struggled with the ups and downs of economic reforms, but one thing they never worried about was who is in charge of the Arab world’s most populous country. Like it or not, Hosni Mubarak (pictured) has been president since 1981 and he has dominated Egyptian politics, never allowing a credible opposition to organise or pose a threat to his rule.

Now, however, and for the first time in decades, the business community is grappling with political uncertainty as next year’s presidential election looms. Read more