A Coptic Christian man holds a cross made of flowers during a clash between Christians and Muslims in Cairo in November. Relations are becoming more strained between the two communities, and there has been periodic violence.
With a bit of reverence, librarians carefully wind an antique library clock near the circulation desk in a temple of learning called the Providence Athenaeum.
This is one of the oldest libraries in the United States, a 19th-century library with the soul of a 21st-century rave party. In fact, the Rhode Island institution has been called a national model for civic engagement.
The entire public school system in Kansas City, Mo., has flunked.
The state board of education revoked its accreditation on Jan. 1. Public schools met just three of the 14 standards set by the board for basic proficiency. They received failing grades for attendance, graduation rates, plus math and reading and writing scores.
"I don't know why the traffic is like this," he said. "It's Friday just before prayers; where are all these people going?"
My friend Emad and I had been driving around the perimeter of Bab al-Azizia, Gadhafi's notorious compound just outside downtown Tripoli. It was here that NATO concentrated many of its bombing runs, as did President Reagan in the 1980s. Now the outer walls are a crumbling mess, covered with anti-Gadhafi graffiti.