I fell in love with Ahdaf Soueif when I read her novel, The Map of Love, several years ago. I learned a great deal about the tangled area history, including the struggles of recovering from colonialism, through her compassionate writing, and in an ideal setting as characters vigorously, naturally debated politics in living rooms over endless cups of mint tea. (In the above picture, she’s visiting the West Bank; her perspective on Palestine is invaluable.)
She’s been writing daily from Cairo, and she brings a good novelist’s keen sense of observation to the table. Since she’s not suffering under the journalist burden, she’s also not censoring her emotions and intuition. Check out her perspective via her website.