The Egyptians had wanted him to speak from a thousand-year-old mosque, but the local Al-Masry Al-Youm says Barack Obama will deliver his historic address to the Muslim world next Thursday from the main conference hall at Cairo University. The Washington Post had reported earlier this month that Cairo university was out because Obama's speech "would have disrupted exams," but Al-Masry Al-Youm says next Thursday's exams have been cancelled and that the hall is already being spruced up.
The university should qualify as the sort of "neutral venue" that some human-rights activists have sought. Now for the rather more difficult work of finding the right balance in the speech--between support for human rights and democracy on the one hand, and support for a repressive-but-friendly Egyptian regime on the other. Don't expect speechwriter Ben Rhodes home in time for dinner over the next few days.
Update: Obama's also stopping in Saudi Arabia en route.
Obamania in Cairo, by Michael Crowley (6/1/09)
Muslim Brothers Make the Obama Cut, by Michael Crowley (6/2/09)