June 2nd I moved back to Cairo from New York. Despite all of New York's attractions, it's a move I've been looking forward to with anticipation--I've missed my home, my work, my future husband, and my friends. 

I hear there's been lovely, temperate weather the last month, but by the time I arrived the city was already broiling. The blooming flamboyants--the flame trees, my favourite trees here--with their feathery leaves and masses of blood-orange blossoms, seem to actually be catching fire under the sun. But I don't mind the heat--it's familiar, and everything familiar is pleasurable right now. 

I got here just ahead of Obama. I walked around Cairo's eerily empty streets, watched the speech on TV in my neighborhood awha, and did a short radio piece on it you can listen to here. Audiences here--as audiences the world over--were impressed with the new American president; they're disposed to like him. (A few of the ahwa patrons watching the speech were particularly impressed by his Koranic quotations and by his apparent enjoyment of his visit to the Sultan Hassan mosque). But everyone wants to see what he'll actually do next.

Ursula Lindsey

Ursula Lindsey is the managing editor of the Arabist blog. She writes about culture, education and politics in the Arab world. She lived in Cairo from 2002 to 2013 and got her start at the ground-breaking independent magazine Cairo Times. She was the culture editor of Cairo magazine in 2005-2006 and served as special projects editor at the independent news site Mada Masr in 2013-2014. She is the Chronicle of Higher Education's Middle East correspondent. She contributes to the BBC-PRI radio program The World, and has written for Newsweek, The New York Times, The New Yorker online, Bookforum and the blog of the London Review of Books.