Friday, March 02, 2007

New York Times: The poor in Egypt are left to their fate

Interesting article about Egypt in the New York Times.

To sum it up:

- To Egyptians, the government is not there to better their lives; advancement is based on connections and bribes; the central authority is at best a benign force to be avoided.

- Egyptians feel that there is no such thing as a government. The government is one thing, and the people are something else.

- While the Egyptian government is the country’s largest employer, it is by all accounts an utterly unreliable source of help for the average citizen.

- There is no widespread expectation that the authorities will give the common man a voice, and so there is rarely any outrage when they do not. The feeling of separation is one reason that the leadership has been able to clamp down on opposition political activities without incurring widespread public wrath. The most that Egyptians could hope for from the government was that it stay out of their lives.

- People see the government as something quite foreign or removed from their lives. Poor Egyptians do not see the government as particularly interested in their lives, and they also see politics as quite elite and risky and something to stay away from.

There is alot of truth in this I think.


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