Thursday, April 12, 2012

Plagues in the country of the Pharaohs

Egypt is suffering from all kind of plagues. One of them is the bird flu which took its toll also this year. About two months ago, the foot and mouth disease appeared and so far, around 13’000 cattle (according to official figures) have died. Especially poorer farmers are badly struck because they lose all their belongings and source of income. Compensation was promised – yet if those concerned will ever receive it???

Those among you who have seen how (the poor) people live here may imagine the hygienic standards among birds and cattle. It’s indescribable. I already dread to walk past by the butchers’ where raw and bloody meat together with the cattle’s tail is hanging down… When two years ago the bird flu reached its peak, it was forbidden to sell life poultry. Last year, those sales booths reappeared here and there and now they are once more part of the daily life.

However, Egypt is suffering from other plagues. For months already, people are fighting about gas. Most households use gas containers for cooking and this important good has been rare for months. Artificially rare, because it is stockpiled and sold at high prices to those who can afford it. The big mass of poor go away empty-handed. Of course, emotions explode also over a gas container and fights, stabbings and deaths occur.

Now, a new plague hits the well-offs as well and – yes! – tourism too. Likewise, for months, motor fuel has been scarce. In the news it was reported already weeks ago that drivers queue over several kilometres and for hours in order to get some of the sought-after fuel. The situation is getting worse: in Hurghada too, the queues are growing steadily in length and breadth (two lanes). Waiting for five hours is no exception anymore! Pushing and shoving (such wise guys are everywhere) have erupted not only in bad fights but even in a death. One of my students told me that she could not come to our lesson next week if she couldn’t find any fuel quickly. Soon, even the tourist buses will not be able to fill up their tanks. In the Alps, tourists are blocked because of the danger of avalanches; in Egypt because of fuel shortage?

What’s the reason? Smuggling is one. Another is: tactics and chicanery. To close people’s throats until they beg on their knees: we want the old regime back! Since: without fuel no food, no wheat for the bread and this in a country that relies on food imports for 60% of the food consumed!!!

When I was on my way to El Quesir on Sunday, the driver told me: the „feloul“ (members of the old regime) make drivers of the tank wagons two proposals: a) twice the money the fuel is worth and the fuel will be dumped in the desert or b) a bullet in his hand and the fuel will be dumped in the desert as well. Weeks ago, a video on Youtube was showing a lake of fuel in the desert behind Hurghada’s airport.

As always – remember: we are still living in the old regime, a revolution never happened – soon a powerful person will arise and thanks to his capabilities all these problems will disappear again.

But before that, the SCAF has to finish with the Islamists and all the other undesired figures. This will not take long because the first ones are wearing themselves out and the others are got out of the way by so-called legal measures. Then, the way is cleared for a representative of the old regime. Finally, calmness will come again.

Or just not – depending on ones’ point of view.

No comments:

Post a Comment

Thanks for your comment. I very much appreciate your active participation. Freedom of opinion is guaranteed. However, I reserve myself the right to delete impertinent and insulting comments.