The citizens of Cairo are queuing in the hot sun. A pool of people fills the full width of the street, narrowing to a thin channel – only one person wide – between two barriers. Two soldiers are standing by the barriers, weighed down by the guns strung around their necks. Underneath the butt and the barrel, the tips of their fingers are pressing upwards, lifting a little of the weapon’s weight from their shoulders. The day stretches ahead. One of the soldiers waves the next man through and he duly steps forward to cast his vote.