Western Intelligence agents based in Cairo, Egypt, have informed their governments of the real reason why President Hosni Mubarak is refusing to leave power and accept exile as the Egyptian people are demanding.
He fears that he will be unable to continue to dye his hair.
According to the agents, President Mubarak dyes his hair with a potion made from a blackberry that dates from ancient times and can today be found only on the banks of the Nile.
It was in search of this berry that Cleopatra, who had gone prematurely grey, had set off for Egypt, rolled up in a carpet, and not to catch the eye of Caesar.
"It is the world's best guarded secret that Cleopatra's pitch black stresses were in fact dyed," said one of the agents.
President Mubarak, today 83, had heard of the blackberry hair dye from an Egyptologist when he was still in his thirties but had already started to go grey. He applies to lotion to his hair every night.
"You can imagine the state of his pillow cases," mused the agent.
It is understood that President Sarkozy, on learning of President Mubarak's hair dye dilemma, had offered him a free supply of France's most effective hair dye, one that guarantees perfect cover of the most persistent grey hair, for the rest of his life, if he would abandon power and accept exile.
President Mubarak's reply is not known.