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Egyptians cast votes for first president since Mubarak

Two voters fill out their ballots in a voting booth in Cairo on May 23, 2012. Today Egyptians cast their votes for the first president since Hosni Mubarak.

Jeremy Hobson: Egyptians are lining up today to vote for their next President and for the first time in a long time nobody knows who's going to win. The country was ruled for 30 years by President Hosni Mubarak -- who was forced from office in the Arab Spring uprising last year. Egypt has been run by the military ever since.

Arafa Omran is a tour guide in Cairo -- and he joins us now from a café there. Good morning.

Omran: Good morning, sir.

Hobson: Well first of all, how have things been for you personally ever since President Mubarak was toppled about a year and a half ago?

Omran: For myself personally, I’m a freelance tour guide, and since the revolution I only had one group. So if you can believe this, one group since January 2011, so it’s very bad for me.

Hobson: How have you been getting by? How have you been surviving?

Omran: Right. For myself, I do have some spare money. So I’ve actually started to spend money from the spare money I saved for any emergency. But if this situation continues for one or two more years, I will not have any money for myself.

Hobson: What are your hopes for the future once Egypt finally elects a president?

Omran: I hope that the general election that is happening today -- I hope that the election goes peacefully, safely for everyone. And I hope that all the Egyptians will accept the result of the presidential election, whoever wins.

Hobson: Do you think that tourism, for instance, will come back once there’s an elected leader?

Omran: It depends who will become the president. Because for example, if we have a member from the Islamic group win the election, many people from many countries in the European and the Western world, this may make them scared. And I believe that the tourists will not be back again as it used to be quickly. It will take some time, because people will need to see how these people will deal with tourism.

Hobson: Finally, let me ask you, you are going to vote today. Do you think your vote is going to count?

Omran: Yes, myself and everyone else in Egypt here are one-hundred percent sure that this time especially every vote will count.

Hobson: Arafa Omran joining us from Cairo, thank you very much. 

Omran: You're most welcome, sir.

About the author

Jeremy Hobson is host of Marketplace Morning Report, where he looks at business news from a global perspective to prepare listeners for the day ahead.

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