Last night, I squeezed myself into the SRO spot at the back of a Barnes & Noble event where bestselling Egyptian author Alaa Al Aswany was speaking in support of his new novel. Those of you who know Cairo will know his book "The Yacoubian Building."
The author is also a dentist. Still. Even with a bestseller, he cleans teeth. When asked why, he responded with a familiar refrain.
"In Egypt, it is not possible to survive only as a writer. Every writer must also have a second career."
The host responded with exactly what I was thinking. It's not just Egypt.