Since the release of his first novel, "The Yacoubian Building," in 2002, Alaa al Aswany has catapulted from being a dentist with a literary bent to the Arab-speaking world's best-selling fiction writer.

Though Ohio's two-term Senator Republican Mike DeWine has insisted in his campaign that he is an independent force, his ties to President Bush may cost him his re-election to the Senate. Recent polls show Democratic candidate Sherrod Brown widening his…