Egypt Needs Sugar & Everything Else: Lamentation of the Tuk-Tuk driver in Cairo. @EricTrager19, @WashInstitute

Nov 23, 2016, 05:25 AM

11-23-2016 (Photo: Lamentation of the Tuk-Tuk driver in Cairo: “A country that has a parliament, and has military and intelligence apparatus, both foreign and domestic, and has 20 ministries – how can its condition be like this?"

The driver was interviewed in a working-class district of Cairo as part of Ellissy's attempt to gauge the views of ordinary Egyptians on the state of the country.

“I swear to you, before elections took place for the presidency, we had enough sugar, we had rice and we were exporting it. What has happened? Where did it go? We want to understand," the driver said.

“We watch the television, we find Egypt is like Vienna. We go to the streets, we find out it’s like Somalia’s cousin," he said. "I swear to God, tell me what has happened and what is the solution.” ) Twitter: @BatchelorShow

Egypt Needs Sugar & Everything Else: Lamentation of the Tuk-Tuk driver in Cairo. @EricTrager19, @WashInstitute

"...Meanwhile, as revenue streams from foreign investment, aid from Gulf states, and tourism declined, the government instituted stiff capital controls, catalyzing a commodity shortage that became so severe that the Egyptian government raided the sugar supplies of Pepsi and local food company Edita. At the same time, new signs of popular discontent emerged in October: a video of a tuk-tuk driver complaining about the country’s conditions went viral on social media, and when the prime minister visited the Red Sea town of Ras Gharib following a flood, residents protested the government’s slow response and criticized the Egyptian military on television. Most worrying for the government, the Muslim Brotherhood and its allies had called for a “Revolution of the Poor” on November 11 and many anticipated violence: the government claimed that it had shut down a bomb-making factory and arrested militants, while a self-declared leader of the protests vowed to cut off the hands of anyone who attacked the demonstrators.

Yet as has happened many times during the past three years, the doomsday predictions didn’t materialize, and November 11 passed without any significant protests. Still, Egypt isn’t out of the woods: while the government has taken significant steps to address its capital shortages in recent weeks, Cairo knows that these steps entail significant pain and could therefore spark unrest. ..."