News / Middle East

    Egypt's Politics Move Ahead, Economy Lags Behind

    Mohamed Said Zaki believes Egypt lurches from one crisis to the next, Zagazig, Egypt, April 2012  (E. Arrott - VOA)Mohamed Said Zaki believes Egypt lurches from one crisis to the next, Zagazig, Egypt, April 2012 (E. Arrott - VOA)
    x
    Mohamed Said Zaki believes Egypt lurches from one crisis to the next, Zagazig, Egypt, April 2012  (E. Arrott - VOA)
    Mohamed Said Zaki believes Egypt lurches from one crisis to the next, Zagazig, Egypt, April 2012 (E. Arrott - VOA)
    Elizabeth Arrott

    ZAGAZIG, Egypt - Egyptian voters are making their final choices in the first post-revolution presidential election. Many Egyptians say the electoral process will not resolve the issue at the top of people's minds, however, and that is the sorry state of the economy.

    Egypt's revolution bears fruit this month with the nation's first widely-contested presidential election. But another force behind last year's uprising - economic discontent - has yet to be eased.

    For some, there is no end in sight. Mohamed Said Zaki is among the estimated 25 percent of Egypt's youth who are unemployed. He said he doesn't know where the country is headed. "We come out of one crisis to go into another."
     

    Rising prices unchecked

    At a market in the Delta town Zagazig, northeast of Cairo, business is tough for vegetable vendor Nagy el Din Osman. He said that after the revolution, prices soared and there was no monitoring or controls.

    Part of the problem is that in the chaos of the last year, black marketeers have made fortunes from subsidized goods. Zaki said average Egyptians now face shortages. He said he can't get such basic commodities as a loaf of bread or a canister of gas.

    It's not just individual Egyptians who are hurting. The nation's debts are mounting, foreign reserves are dropping, and every flare-up of political protest delays recovery in the key tourism industry.

    Western-oriented economists say the nation needs an injection of foreign cash to push through the crisis, but distrust of foreign powers runs deep. A survey earlier this year indicated a majority of Egyptians don't want U.S. help.

    Accusations of rampant corruption

    More to the point, say some, Egypt is rich enough on its own. Corruption, they argue, is the problem.

    Zaki said the country has lots of resources, but he argued they are not equally distributed.

    Most candidates have promised to stamp out the cronyism and favoritism that marked the economy under the old government. But their economic platforms, for the large part, remain generalities. And even for those with concrete plans, without a constitution it remains unclear how much power the next president will even wield.

    The promise of a better life under new leaders was one of the implicit promises of Egypt's revolution. Abdel Hamid Sayed, a retiree sitting in a Zagazig cafe, has heard a lifetime of promises.

    As he pointed to the waiters and the patrons nearby, he said all that was needed is that these poor people could make a living. That's all we need, he added, from the president or anyone.

     

    You May Like

    Turkey, West in Standoff Over Syrian Refugees

    Turkish government refuses to admit refugees, the first in a wave of civilians fleeing offensive by Assad regime in northern Aleppo countryside

    Jailed American Testifies About Islamist Involvement in Mumbai Attacks

    David Headley testifies via video link that Pakistan-based Islamic terror group made two failed attempts to mount strikes in Mumbai in months prior to coordinated assault

    These Are the 10 Smartest US States

    A new report breaks down the nation's best and brightest

    This forum has been closed.
    Comment Sorting
    Comments
         
    by: ADEL ALSHEAR from: OSLO NORWAY
    May 15, 2012 8:41 AM
    THIS IS MAFEA A SPYION HZB ALTHRER GROUP ALNBHANI . THIS IS MAFEA HZB ALTHRER GROUP ALNBHANI . THIS IS MAFEA ALNBHANI .

    by: ADEL ALSHEAR from: NORWAY
    May 15, 2012 2:30 AM
    THIS IS SPYION ALMBAHTH IN COURT . THIS IS ALMBAHTH ALAMN ALDWLH IN COURT . THIS IS MILITARY COUNCIL ALMSHER ALTNTAWI IN COURT . THIS IS ALMSHERALTNTAWI IN COURT .

    Featured Videos

    Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
    German Artists to Memorialize Refugees With Life Jacket Exhibiti
    X
    Hamada Elsaram
    February 05, 2016 4:30 PM
    Sold in every kind of shop in some Turkish port towns, life jackets have become a symbol of the refugee crisis that brought a million people to Europe in 2015.  On the shores of Lesbos, Greece, German artists collect discarded life jackets as they prepare an art installation they plan to display in Germany.  For VOA, Hamada Elrasam has this report from Lesbos, Greece.
    Video

    Video German Artists to Memorialize Refugees With Life Jacket Exhibit

    Sold in every kind of shop in some Turkish port towns, life jackets have become a symbol of the refugee crisis that brought a million people to Europe in 2015.  On the shores of Lesbos, Greece, German artists collect discarded life jackets as they prepare an art installation they plan to display in Germany.  For VOA, Hamada Elrasam has this report from Lesbos, Greece.
    Video

    Video E-readers Help Ease Africa's Book Shortage

    Millions of people in Africa can't read, and there's a chronic shortage of books. A non-profit organization called Worldreader is trying to help change all that one e-reader at a time. VOA’s Deborah Block tells us about a girls' school in Nairobi, Kenya where Worldreader is making a difference.
    Video

    Video Genius Lets World Share Its Knowledge

    Inspired by crowdsourcing companies like Wikipedia, Genius allows anyone to edit anything on the web, using its web annotation tool
    Video

    Video Former Drug CEO Martin Shkreli Angers US Lawmakers

    A former U.S. pharmaceutical business executive has angered lawmakers by refusing to explain why he raised the price of a life-saving pill by 5,000 percent. Martin Shkreli was removed from a congressional hearing on Thursday after citing his Fifth Amendment right to stay silent. Zlatica Hoke has more.
    Video

    Video Super Bowl TV Commercials are Super Business for Advertisers

    The Super Bowl, the championship clash between the two top teams in American Football, is the most-watched sporting event of the year, and advertisers are lining up and paying big bucks to get their commercials on the air. In fact, the TV commercials during the Super Bowl have become one of the most anticipated and popular features of the event. VOA's Brian Allen has a sneak peek of what you can expect to see when the big game goes to commercial break, and the real entertainment begins.
    Video

    Video In Philippines, Mixed Feelings About Greater US Military Presence

    In the Philippines, some who will be directly affected by a recent Supreme Court decision clearing the way for more United States troop visits are having mixed reactions.  The increased rotations come at a time when the Philippines is trying to build up its military in the face of growing maritime assertiveness from China.  From Bahile, Palawan on the coast of the South China Sea, Simone Orendain has this story.
    Video

    Video Microcephaly's Connection to Zika: Guilty Until Proven Innocent

    The Zika virus rarely causes problems for the people who get it, but it seems to be having a devastating impact on babies whose mothers are infected with Zika. VOA's Carol Pearson has more.
    Video

    Video Solar Innovation Provides Cheap, Clean Energy to Kenya Residents

    In Kenya, a company called M-Kopa Solar is providing clean energy to more than 300,000 homes across East Africa by allowing customers to "pay-as-you-go" via their cell phones. As Lenny Ruvaga reports from Kangemi, customers pay a small deposit for a solar unit and then pay less than a dollar a day to get clean energy to light up their homes or businesses.
    Video

    Video Stunning Artworks Attract Record Crowds, Thanks to Social Media

    A new exhibit at the oldest art museum in America is shattering attendance records. Thousands of visitors are lining up to see nine giant works of art that have gotten a much-deserved shot of viral marketing. The 150-year-old Smithsonian American Art Museum has never had a response quite like this. VOA's Julie Taboh reports.
    Video

    Video Apprenticeships Put Americans on Path Back to Work

    Trying to get more people into the U.S. workforce, the Obama administration last year announced $175 million in grants towards apprenticeship programs. VOA White House correspondent Aru Pande went inside one training center outside of Washington that has gained national recognition for helping put people on the path to employment.
    Video

    Video New Material May Reduce Concussion Effects

    As the 2016 National Football League season reaches its summit at the Super Bowl this coming Sunday (2/7), scientists are trying to learn how to more effectively protect football players from dangerous and damaging concussions. Researchers at Cardiff and Cambridge Universities say their origami-based material may solve the problem. VOA’s George Putic reports.
    Video

    Video Saudi Arabian Women's Sports Chip Away at Stereotypes

    Saudi Arabian female athletes say that sports are on the front line of busting traditions that quash women’s voices, both locally and internationally. In their hometown of Jeddah, a group of basketball players say that by connecting sports to health issues, they are encouraging women and girls to get out of their homes and participate in public life. VOA’s Heather Murdock reports.
    Video

    Video A Year Later, Fortunes Mixed for Syrians Forging New Lives in Berlin

    In April of last year, VOA followed the progress of six young Syrian refugees -- four brothers and their two friends -- as they made their way from Libya to Italy by boat, and eventually to Germany. Reporter Henry Ridgwell caught up with the refugees again in Berlin, as they struggle to forge new lives amid the turmoil of Europe's refugee crisis.
    Video

    Video Zika Virus May be Hard to Stop

    With the Zika virus spreading rapidly, the World Health Organization Monday declared Zika a global health emergency. As Alberto Pimienta reports, for many governments and experts, the worst is yet to come.