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We only eat meat in our dreams and possibly on holidays – Income Disparity in Egypt

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The growth in income disparity around the world is striking.The internationalization of capital and trade has led to increasing amounts of income for the top percentiles of the world population while the bottom percentiles share of income continues to decline.This has not only been happening in developing countries like Russia,India ,Egypt but also in some developed countries like the US. Their are many causes for this disparity but the end result is that its leading to increasing poverty , misery and social unrest. Capitalism practiced by most countries is a form of elite enriching crony capitalism in which the rule of the game totally favor the elites of the society.This leads to ever increasing Gini coefficient and corresponding growth in theĀ  level of social problems.

From meat to wages, economic woes fuel Egypt anger – AP

For the past six weeks, Khulud Mustafa has walked past the butcher near her apartment in Cairo’s run-down Ain Shams district, casting wistful looks at the meat hanging outside his shop as the price has steadily risen.

From the equivalent of $8 per kilogram (2.2 pounds), to $9, then $13. When it peaked at more than $14, she stopped looking.

“I asked him, ‘Are you crazy? What are you doing? How can it go up that fast?'” said Mustafa, a 24-year-old housewife with 3 children. “How are we supposed to eat?”

Mustafa’s voice is one in a growing chorus of despair and frustration over rising prices of everything from food to housing in a key U.S. Mideast ally where more than 40 percent of the population of 79 million lives under or near the poverty line.

What’s worrisome for the government is that this anger is showing signs of turning political. The surge in the price of meat — blamed by officials on a “mafia of traders” — has led to a movement to boycott meat. Near daily protests have been held outside parliament on a variety of economic issues, including demands for an increase in the minimum wage, which since 1984 has been stuck at $6 per month. Across the country over the past year, there have been numerous strikes at factories demanding better working conditions and salaries.

The protests have mostly been small, but they cast a spotlight on an income disparity that critics contend goes to the heart of Egypt’s social and economic woes: An ineffective and autocratic regime more intent on preserving its authority and catering to the elite than the needs of the overwhelming majority of its 80 million citizens.

At one recent demonstration outside parliament, protesters spoke of working several jobs to make ends meet. Hussein Suroor, married with four children, said he earns only 425 pounds ($76) a month from his primary job as a technician at a public contracting company.

“The government wants us to be concerned with how we’re going to put food on our tables, so they keep us busy while they rob the country,” Suroor said.

Rida Noman traveled from the Gharbiya province 94 kilometers (59 miles) north of Cairo to show his support. He works as a property tax collector, making 350 pounds, or $63, but has to do carpentry in the evenings to feed his family of five. He broke into laughter when asked if he can buy meat.

“Meat?! We only eat meat in our dreams and possibly on holidays,” he said.


Sneha Shah

I am Sneha, the Editor-in-chief for the Blog. We would be glad to receive suggestions, inputs & comments on GWI from you guys to keep it going! You can contact me for consultancy/trade inquires by writing an email to

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