At start of Ramadan, Egypt still feeling the strain

Kimberly Adams Jul 11, 2013
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At start of Ramadan, Egypt still feeling the strain

Kimberly Adams Jul 11, 2013
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It’s been just about a week since President Mohammed Morsi was ousted from power in Egypt.

Since then, the U.S. has questioned whether it should continue to give its annual $1.5 billion in aid to the conflicted country. That amount, though, pales in comparison to how much neighboring nations like Saudi Arabia have pledged — around $12 billion with possibly more on the way.

An interim prime minister was also appointed in the country, a well-known economist and former finance minister named Hazem el-Beblawi.

But what’s it like for the average Egyptian on the ground today, amdist all this upheaval? For answers, we turned to Kimberly Adams, a journalist based in Cairo.

From her perch outside a gas station in the city, Adams sees a few major differences from the time of Morsi.

“There were huge lines at gas stations and there were all these power outages — some of the main reason that people were complaining about Morsi and wanting him out of office,” she says. “All of a sudden, these things have ceased to happen.”

Looks can be a bit deceiving, though, when it comes to all the closed businesses. “Businesses are re-opening, but the problem is now that it is Ramadan, meaning businesses have to cut back on their hours because people are fasting,” she adds. “People are supposed to be coming out late at night to celebrate, but because of the unrest people don’t want to be out at night.”

As for the appointment of el-Beblawi, Adams thinks it’s already having an impact on the country’s stability — and helping Egypt get money from Gulf countries. “What that influx of cash is going to do is help the government keep up its subsidies and its programs that keep the population happy — whether those be gas or bread subsidies — and basically counteract some of this public angst that was really weighing on Morsi toward the end of his time in office.”

Read all of our ongoing coverage on the situation in Egypt, click here.

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