Cast into darkness

As every internet addict in Egypt knows, yesterday one of the main cables linking Marseilles to Alexandria was cut, bringing down most internet access in Egypt and elsewhere in the region (and even India). Some very limited access is still possible thanks to the undamaged cable going through the Suez Canal, but only to certain ISPs (TE Data apparently) or using dial-up. Even so, the internet is slow, and hence posting will resume after the problem is resolved. They say it will take five days -- that's five days without, Bittorrent, RSS, YouTube and all of the other accoutrements of modern living. I predict complete social breakdown in vast swathes of Heliopolis and Mohandiseen as thousands are unable to update their Facebook status. 
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Issandr El Amrani

Issandr El Amrani is a Cairo-based writer and consultant. His reporting and commentary on the Middle East and North Africa has appeared in The Economist, London Review of Books, Financial Times, The National, The Guardian, Time and other publications. He also publishes one of the longest-running blog in the region,