Who will follow President Mubarak?
Egypt is the most populous country in the Middle East and is pivotal for stability in the region and beyond.
After nearly three decades in power, President Hosni Mubarak, who is now 81 years old, has no obvious successor - raising fears of a succession crisis.
Magdi Abdelhadi explores what kind of society Mr Mubarak will leave behind, and finds, to his surprise, that, nearly sixty years after the military seized power and abolished the monarchy, Egyptians still look to the army for a saviour.
BBC Radio 4's Crossing Continents is broadcast on Thursday, 10 September, 2009 at 1102 BST and is repeated on Monday, 14 September, 2009 at 20:30 BST.
Reporter: Magdi Abdelhadi
Producer: Michael Gallagher