As the country’s economy spirals downwards, the poor are becoming ever more desperate and ever more angry – and their plight is set to worsen as the IMF prepares to step in with loans – with conditions that would squeeze the poor even harder.
In Tunisia, one man set himself on fire; in Egypt the poor are headed in the direction of burning down the entire country.
There is widespread talk of a ‘hunger revolution’ with many we spoke to indicating that the poor (1/3 of Egyptians live below the poverty level) were approaching their breaking point.
Disturbingly, some are actively hoping for the threshold of suffering to be breached because they believe that only the anarchy that this will bring will unseat the despots that continue to run the country.
This they believe is the only way that they can ever realize the opportunity of a truly democratic government. On the other hand, there is the realization that a ‘hunger revolution’ could lead to a total collapse of society and utter chaos.
One cannot help but think that given the dire situation in the Egyptian economy (it takes literally hours in line to get a tank of gasoline – and even then the station often runs out before you take your turn at the pump), compounded by the worsening global economy, that it won’t matter who runs the country – things will not improve.
On Friday we were on hand to observe as thousands of opponents of Egypt’s Muslim Brotherhood clashed with supporters of the Islamist group near its headquarters in Cairo on Friday. At least 40 people were wounded.
As you can see, these are truly desperate people who feel they have no choice but to resort to desperate measures.