We Four in Egypt

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Poverty, corruption, and bread in Cairo

If you are at all interested in Egypt, or in poverty and government corruption, check out this New York Times article on subsidized bread in Cairo.

The photo with the article shows a man selling bread. That kind of bread is for sale everywhere in this city, including piled high on large woven trays held by men riding bikes, and spread out on blankets on top of the dirty sidewalks.

This article reminded me of how little I know about Egypt, including this staggering statistic:

It is hard to make ends meet in Egypt, where about 45 percent of the population survives on just $2 a day.

And it’s not like everything is cheap in Cairo. I find local food to be very affordable, but of course I’m not making local wages. But I also live in a part of town where apartments can rent for $3000 (that’s American dollars) and up per month. That’s shocking to me. I live in an apartment provided by my employer; we could never afford to live here otherwise.

In another, apparently unrelated article, also in the New York Times, President Bush, on his winter vacation to the Middle East and most recently in Egypt, is quoted as saying this to Egyptian president Hosni Mubarak:

“I appreciate the example that your nation is setting,” he said, facing the Egyptian president.

I’m not blogging politics, not Egyptian politics, because, well, I don’t know much. Also, yikes, I’m a guest here, and you can get in trouble for what you say and do.

But I do know that Bush’s comments are disgraceful. Check out the article if you don’t know much about Egypt and are interested in the corruption sampler.


17 January 2008 - Posted by | food, in the news

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