You’re impatient. All you have to do is wait. Everything takes time.
Give the man a chance.
This has been the chorus, and it arose within months after El Sisi came to office. It’s still there, spoken once in a while by the loyalists, as it was previously played on and on by those who believed the regime would work things out to their interests, one way or another. Those that believed they’d be better off.
Not many in Egypt are better off.
Everybody is struggling to make ends meet, those who had been eking a fair life before now find themselves with their backs against the wall. Inflation and a devaluation of the pound have resulted in private schools that charge more per student for one semester than a man making minimum wage could earn in 14 years.
Instead of employees seeing their wages rise to make up for this, many of them have, in fact, just lost their jobs. The military investment machine has become the Amazon of Egypt, casually destroying any business sectors that they choose to monopolize. Making it impossible for Egyptian private investors to profit, and terrifying foreign investors.
Tourism? You’ll see more tourist buses in Dubai now than you do in Cairo. It doesn’t matter anymore how many pyramids you’ve got stashed in your backyard if, on an international public relations level, you reek. Egypt, once a proud travel destination, now conjures thoughts of men in military uniform selling ghee, a police force that oppresses its own people, mistakenly murders Mexican tourists, and seems complicit in the disappearance of a young Italian student. An airplane explosion certainly didn’t help.
More surprising, however, is the fact that people seem to care about the political situation of countries they choose to visit. It’s a small sample, but when I conducted an ad hoc poll on Twitter, the results were revealing…
In total, around 76 percent of potential travelers are more dissuaded by factors relating to the regime than by plane crashes.
Think about that.
Meanwhile, of course, while telling Egyptians how poor Egypt is, and in the absence of enough tourism to even support local private businesses, the military launches high-end luxury hotels:
At an estimated cost of 1 billion pounds, and launches with a ceremony featuring people like Hussain Al Jassmi, Nancy Ajram, and Tamer Hosny.
They seem happy enough, I suppose. If their names aren’t familiar to you, just know they’re huge in the Middle East and they’re very expensive.
So it goes.
The lack of clean water in Egyptian villages results in the loss of 15,000 children per year, and El Sisi spent upwards of $8.2 billion dollars on expansion plans for the Suez Canal while the Suez Canal ROI continues to decrease year by year.
In Dubai, the state assigns a Minister for Artificial Intelligence, while in Egypt, the president is seen laughing and gawking at a Dancing Robot that was purchased online, and presented to him as an Egyptian Invention….
To anybody with half an ounce of education and national pride, this is just humiliating.
But progress, they assure us, is right around the corner.