Sunday, March 11, 2007

Signs of Shitty Times

It's no secret that the Egyptian economy is not doing great. Inflation and umemployment are up, and growth and investment are going down, but the government is telling us that everything will be OK.

Researchers at the semi official Al Ahram centre for strategic studies have been critical about the state of affairs in Egypt, citing many inaccuracies and misleading figures purported by the government about alleged economic achievements.

Today Mubarak is bragging about his governments efforts to boost investment and fight umemployment, but the reality is that Egypt dropped to 165th place out of 171 countries rated by the World Bank for easiness of investment.

According to the Al Ahram report: "A university graduate working as a civil servant is paid LE170 in total every month, which means less than one dollar per day. This salary causes the employee to suffer real poverty or resort to corruption to make more money."

Young umemployed people who are desperate to break out of poverty are resorting to very unusual ways.

A few days ago, police in Alexandria arrested a young man who wanted to meet the Israeli consul to ask him for a job in Israel.

The police issued a statement saying that the guy is crazy. This may or may not be true, but the during the interrogations, he mentioned that he has been umemployed for the past four years.

Five days later, police in Cairo arrested another young man infront of the Israeli embassy who wanted to meet the ambassador to get a job in Israel.

Apparently, this is not a new phenomenon, it's been going on for years.

This is happening even at a time when the controversy over the Israeli TV documentary 'The Spirit of Shaked,' is inflaming passions and bringing back memories of war and killing between Egypt and israel.

The difficult thing is to make sense out of this. Egyptians who want to work in Israel are not members of a hippie peace movement. They are angry because their own country alienated them and forgot about them. Their response is: OK fuck it. They don't care about us, so we dont belong to this country and these people anymore and we'll deffect to their enemies.

It must be worrying for the Egyptian government when things go bad to the extent that drives people to take desperate measures.



  • Hi,
    I am an economics major in Alexandria. It's my final semester. I only study the American economy -be it through an Egyptian socialist, Islamic fundamentalist or a moderate pro-capitalism eye.
    Unless a radical change of discourse happens, the Egyptian Economy seems to be slipping down a cliff.
    Why are we so afraid? what have we got to lose? What is more precious than our sense of humanity and identity- that sensation u lose when u decide to sit still and do nothing?
    nice blog

    By Blogger a grain of wheat, At 2:58 PM, March 16, 2007  

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