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A tour guide in Egypt on the country’s latest elections

Jeremy Hobson Jun 20, 2012

A tour guide in Egypt on the country’s latest elections

Jeremy Hobson Jun 20, 2012

Jeremy Hobson: In Egypt, tens of thousands of protestors have returned to Tahrir Square in Cairo. They’re responding to the country’s recent presidential election between a member of the Muslim Brotherhood and a candidate tied to former President Hosni Mubarak. The official results  be announced tomorrow but the Muslim Brotherhood candidate is already claiming victory. And oh, by the way, the military generals have just stripped the presidency of much of its power.

For more, let’s welcome back to the show Arafa Omran. He’s a tour guide in Cairo and he joins us now. Good morning.

Arafa Omran: Good morning, sir.

Hobson: Well, how do you feel about what looks like a power grab by the Egyptian military — not allowing the Muslim Brotherhood to take full power after an election it looks like they won?

Omran: Yeah. I am actually supporting the military. I’m not with what the Muslim Brotherhood is doing right now, especially when they declared after five hours from the start counting their candidate was the winner. It’s very strange actually.

Hobson: OK, but you also did not support the Muslim Brotherhood, right? You didn’t want them to win?

Omran: Yes, I did not support them for many reasons, actually.

Hobson: What does all of this uncertainty about the future there doing to the Egyptian economy? Is it functioning at the moment?

Omran: It is very critical time for the Egyptian economy, especially if you know that the stock market in two days lost about 15 billion Egyptian pounds. And most people — especially the investors from outside — they are a little bit concerned, especially when the Muslim Brotherhood declared that their candidate will be the next president of Egypt. Regardless, where I’m working in tourism, it’s in a very bad condition right now.

Hobson: Yeah, well, last time you and I spoke, you said that you couldn’t go much longer without getting some business from tourists that were coming to Egypt and wanting to use you as a tour guide. How much longer can you go on like that?

Omran: It will maybe take about five, six more months. I don’t receive work since January 2011. I know some people that have started to sell their furniture; they don’t have enough money to pay for the school for their children. There are some who already don’t have money. There are some who did save some money, but the money will run out — it won’t stay forever.

Hobson: Arafa Omran, a tour guide joining us from Cairo. Thank you so much.

Omran: You’re most welcome, thank you too.




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