Here is also my backgrounder, written in a big hurry at the Asia Society's request. Most of this will be news to no one who reads this blog. Except maybe this nugget:
In 1935, Egypt’s future president Gamal Abdel Nasser starred in a production ofIt's true! Check Georges Vaucher or Joel Gordon or any good Nasser biography.
Julius Caesar put on at his Cairo high school. He played Caesar as a liberating
nationalist hero who defeated Great Britain.