Shahbaz Bhatti, the only Christian cabinet member in the People’s Party led government in Pakistan, was brutally assassinated in Islamabad on 2 March 2011. But what was his crime?

With Sudan again hovering at the precipice of uncertainty and hope, and the Arab world writhing under the weight of popular upheaval, Leila Aboulela’s dynastic novel ‘Lyrics Alley’ could not be more timely.

Café La Vie, Ramallah. Chat, chink of glasses and beer bottles. Sweet apple smoke narghila and the tang of lemon and almond trees shading the café garden and the periphery of the adjacent refugee camp.

Following the division of the country on 9 July 2011, the mood in the Sudanese capital Khartoum is one of dazed uncertainty.