Asmaa Waguih / REUTERS

The Making of Egypt's Presidents

Letter From Menoufia

Even though he grew up poor and illiterate on a small farm at the end of an irrigation canal, Ahmed Fawzy knew from a young age that there was something unusual about his corner of the Nile Delta. During walks over a dirt track to Quesna, the district center, his father would point out the houses where various powerful politicians and military officials had been born. On Quesna’s outskirts, the landmarks would begin to come in thick and fast. “Prime Minister Ganzouri prayed here; [former Egyptian military chief Mohamed] el-Gamasy went to school there,” Fawzy, a 25-year-old mechanic, said in …

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