Faith and the Campus

Laura El-Tantawy / VII Mentor for TIME

Cairo's al-Azhar Mosque, founded in the 10th century, remains the focal point of the university

The dorm served lunch at noon, and the first ambulance screamed onto the al-Azhar University campus in eastern Cairo just after 3 p.m., followed by a line of white vans from the Red Crescent, the Arab world's Red Cross. By sunset, the tally of students laid low by food poisoning at the esteemed Islamic university stood at 600 — more than enough, in the tinderbox of postrevolutionary Egypt, to set off a demonstration. Thousands of young people took angrily to the streets, broke down the door to the offices of al-Azhar's religious head, known as the grand sheik, and...

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