Singer Umm Kulthum, Mounira al-Mahdiyya, Badia Masabni. These are the names of the pioneering performers working in Cairo's dance halls and theatres in the 1020s whom Raphael Cormack has written about in his new book. From that period of cosmopolitan culture to the uprising in 2011 - how has Egypt shifted ? New Generation Thinker Dina Rezk lectures at the University of Reading and she's been reading the new novel by Alaa Al Aswany - The Republic of False Truths. Edmund Richardson researches Alexander the Great and he's written about a Victorian pilgrim, spy, doctor, archaeologist Charles Masson who found a lost city in Afghanistan. Anne McElvoy presents.
Raphael Cormack's book is called Midnight in Cairo: The Female Stars of Egypt's Roaring '20s
Dina Rezk is a New Generation Thinker and Associate Professor of History at the University of Reading. Her recent research has focused on the upheavals of the 'Arab Spring' across the Middle East.
Edmund Richardson is a New Generation Thinker and Associate Professor of Classics and Ancient History at the University of Durham. His book is called Alexandria: The Quest for the Lost City
Producer: Ruth Watts
Image: People celebrate at Tahrir Square, Cairo on 3rd July 2013
Credit: BBC (Abdel Khalik Salah)