/ Jimmy's Corner: 2008's Fart: Egypt - The Land of The Rich

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Wednesday, January 02, 2008 

2008's Fart: Egypt - The Land of The Rich

As a whole new year starts, hopes and wishes become the spirit of the world; specially in the first few days of January. In Egypt, we replaced hopes and wishes with brain farts....

Earlier last year, the government announced that a citizen who earns 45 Egyptian pounds (EGP)a month is not officially considered poor. With very little calculation we come to the conclusion that a citizen that earns 540 EGP a year is not considered poor. Thus, basically the Egyptian government believes that a citizen that earns what is equal to 97 USD a year is not poor.

When I first read that piece of news I did not think about its impact on people as much as I thought of what kind of ivory towers the government in Egypt is living in. If you do not know, 45 EGP can hardly help you survive a day in Egypt; satisfying your daily needs only. And if you consider taking a quick view of the payment-versus-prices scale in Egypt, you will find out that 540 EGP a month are not even enough to help you lead a minimalist life where you just satisfy your daily needs and pay your bills. So what about 540 a year?... Yeah, true! Bullshit.

In order to help you imagine the life of a man who earns 45 EGP a month, I list the following prices:
Metro/Subway ticket: 1 pound one way. (Note: it was only 50 piasters until the government took control of the facility)
Bus ticket: 50 piasters. (Note: it is not a bus as much as it is a destroyed garbage can)
Bread: 25 piasters a loaf (Note: you need at least 4 for your 3 meals)

Water bill: Nothing less 10 pounds.
Phone bill: Nothing less 45 pounds.
Electricity bill: Nothing less than 20 pounds.

Now you are an Egyptian that eats only bread and uses only one bus a day (saying that you go where you to earn your living once in a bus and then walking back home) and you are not paying your water, phone or electricity bills: you are not a poor man. Therefore, if you pay the rent to your landlord, take the luxury of using the subway, take the adventure of using cheese with bread for your breakfast and decided the help the government by paying your bills you will not only fall short of your 45 EGP a month budget, but also you will go to jail. And still, you are not a poor man to the government.

What is worse is to find people who believe what the government pucked into the media mics. I have seen a conversation today where one of my relatives was arguing so hard that Egypt has no poor people. He was also arguing that no one is poor in Egypt that is why the government does not consider a guy with a 540 EGP annual income to be poor. People believed that shit.

My uncle replied back that when they were making a survey about the situation in Cairo's poorest districts they found people who live beyond what we can call "the life of animals". They do not have a stable income and leading a life that produces only criminals and thugs. They survey concluded that these families have income that is higher than 45 EGP a month. However, despite their vivid need of help, the Egyptian government do not treat them as poor.

And there are assholes who believe and make their own 2008's brain fart: Egypt is the land of the rich.

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They must be high. One should confront whoever said this idiocy and dare them to say that with a straight face.

(Good to see you're back blogging again)

(Good to see you're back blogging again) yep..

Let's see: £45, I would make in about 20 minutes, and I'm not a rich man by Danish standards.

Sorry to say, from here it looks like there's simply too many Egyptians to share the economy. You can only produce so much and you are way too many to get a decent share.

Solution ? a bomb to the Nasser dam would do the trick, but these days it's seen as unethical.
(sorry, bad joke)

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