Friday, 8 July 2011

Political MELTDOWN Impact

“Please look at Egypt! Is this what we are trying to copy? My fellow good citizens of Malaysia, we are NOW living on ALLAH chosen single heaven!  Together we must protect our peaceful land, racial harmonies, wealth,   law, constitution and families.” ….Please do not create the political turmoil, do not join any rallies…BERSIH2 or Patriot, or Perkasa! STAY HOME enjoy your weekend with love one! 


Egypt Pays A Heavy Price For Revolution
July 08, 2011 12:46 PM
By Nurul Afida Kamaludin

CAIRO, July 8 (Bernama) -- In the aftermath of the 'people's revolution' to topple Hosni Mobarak's regime, it now appears Egypt is paying a heavy price.

The perpetrators of the revolt achieved their objective, but at what cost? While they claim to have done it for democracy, the revolt did not bring about any significant improvement to the country that is known for its rich civilisation.

While its people are facing greater hardships than prior to the revolution, its economy has become tougher to revive after foreign investors lost confidence in its stability.

According to reports from foreign news agencies, the 18-day revolution which erupted on January 28, caused Egypt's annual growth to fall below two per cent, compared to the earlier projection of five per cent.

Also, as a consequence, its currency depreciated 25 per cent.

Egypt's tourism industry was badly hit, as well. The industry, a major contributor to Egypt's economy, shrunk 40 per cent.


On a recent visit to Egypt, with a team from the Malaysian Association of Tour and Travel Agents (Matta), this writer learnt that economic recovery may take a long time. Additionally, the education, housing and health sectors also require rebuilding.

The writer concluded this after observing that the city of 22 million people had been damaged, beyond repair.

Angry with Mobarak, demonstrators looted, vandalised and burnt many buildings in the city, including the headquarters of the former president's National Democratic Party (NDP), at Tahrir Square.

However, the Egyptian Museum, located next to the NDP building, survived the destruction, despite some damage from attempts to steal its artifacts.

The aftermath of the catastrophe saw many housing projects abandoned. This forced many buyers to occupy partially completed homes, as they had bank loans to service.

According to a tour guide, a two-room apartment unit in the suburbs of Cairo is now selling at a price of about 95,000 Egyptian Pounds, while a three-room unit is priced at 150,000 Pounds. Repayment periods are short and interest rates are high.


A tourism student from Singapore, who wished to be known as Zakiah, said she had to pay a large sum to rent a two-room apartment on the outskirts of Cairo.

"To survive and cut costs, I cook my own food and take on part-time jobs," said Zakiah.

On a trip to Old Cairo, this writer was shocked to see many residents staying in a graveyard. Poverty had left them with no choice, said the tour guide.

Several Egyptians admitted being plagued by hardships after opting to support the revolution.

Mohamed Hasan, 35, said he had wanted a peaceful Egypt, led by fair and intelligent leaders.

"That was the reason we backed the revolution. As it turned out, things became more difficult after that.

"I am thankful that I still have a job. Business was bad during the revolution, our hotel did not receive any guests at all. Reservations made were cancelled," said Mohamed, who works at a hotel in 6th October City.

The city known as 6th October is located one hour from here. It presents a different picture from Cairo. Here, there are rows of posh bungalows, valued at millions of Egyptian Pounds, each.

There are also five-star hotels and departmental stores. The area is located next to the smart city that houses nearly 100 leading ICT and financial firms.

According to Mohamed, many of his friends lost their jobs after the revolution.

"Life must be very difficult to them," he said, admitting that higher education is important for employment in this country of 80 million people.


Khalid Abdul Fatah, 29, admits Egyptians are facing hardships after the revolution.

Khalid, who speaks Malay well, after having worked for five years in Malaysia, said Egyptians needed to think about their future, and work harder to assist the country's economic recovery.

"Now, efforts should be focused on rehabilitating and redeveloping Egypt's economy. Look at Malaysia, and how your country rapidly achieved development after Merdeka. The important thing is that your country is being guided by fair and wise leaders," said Khalid, who works in the transport sector.

Khalid said he carries a heavy responsibility on his shoulders, as he has a wife and children. However, he is fortunate to have received higher education, which has earned him a good job.

Bus driver Abdul ElBadry, 57, said he had to work longer hours to make ends meet for his wife and four daughters. He expressed hope that his children would be able attend a university, as only higher education ensured a good job.

"When there is employment, life will be better," said Abdul, who did various jobs before being employed as a bus driver.


The effects of the revolution were visible at El-Khalili Bazaar, a renowned shopping site beside Al Hussein Mosque.

Many boys and girls were selling small packs of tissue paper, for a price of one Egyptian pound. They were aged between five and eight years, but were not attending school, since they had to support their families.

The same scene greeted this writer at several mosques here. Children were seen everywhere, begging for money.

The tour guide for the Matta team said the situation was the same in Old Cairo, due to the extreme poverty there.

During the trip to Old Cairo, this writer saw banners with names and photographs of Egypt's young men who died in the revolution.

Their deaths led to severe hardships for their respective families, as many of them were the sole breadwinner for them.

This is the price of revolution in modern Egypt.


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