Sondos Asem has butterflies, formulating answers to questions she expects to be asked and practicing her diction with the devotion of a high school debate champion. The gentle 24-year-old graduate student at the American University in Cairo is in a hotel room in downtown New York, figuring out what to wear on national television. ("This blazer would look good, right?" "Should I wear more color?")
Like many young Egyptians, she's been tweeting the fallout after the 2011 uprising that brought down former Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak. The stakes are higher than 140-character dispatches might suggest. Asem has emerged as an unlikely unofficial spokeswoman for the Muslim Brotherhood, helping to run its English-language Twitter feed, @Ikhwanweb, and in turn revamp the group's image in the West.