Egyptians quickly tired of Muslim Brotherhood
Muhammad has had it with the Muslim Brotherhood.It will probably be an interesting day in Egypt tomorrow, June 30. I can understand their frustration. Even more frustrated are the Copt Christians who are being abused by the radical Muslim groups. The guy In the tourist industry is symbolic of the mess made by the Muslim Brotherhood. It is probably one of the most important sectors of the Egyptian economy, yet the radical Islamist have been treating tourist with hostility.
From the moment we meet, it takes the 30-something Egyptian three minutes, tops, before he expresses his crashing disappointment with his government.
‘‘On June 30, you will see another revolution,” he predicts, as we approach the Egyptian Museum. “Millions of Egyptians will fill Tahrir Square and other squares around the country. We want the Muslim Brothers out!”
As we admire sarcophagi, masks and mummies in this legendary palace of antiquities, Muhammad barely can contain his frustration with current events.
‘‘The Muslim Brothers,” as he and others here call them, “have craved power for 85 years. Now they have it, and they cannot run anything. We were happy to be rid of Mubarak, but right now, we would take him back.” Egyptians rallied for 18 days in early 2011 until their autocratic president stood down. Now 85, Hosni Mubarak is on trial for corruption and complicity in killing protesters during the uprising.
Muhammad is in the tourism industry. (Like others in this article, his identity is obscured for his protection.) “I used to work four days a week,” Muhammad laments. “Now, I work four days a month.”
Thanks to President Mohammed Morsi’s economic mismanagement, Egyptians have seen unemployment rise from 8.9 percent, when Mubarak got booted, to 13.2 percent today. Annual growth in the gross domestic product, which was 5 percent in 2010, slowed to 3.3 percent in 2012, according to TradingEconomics.com. Foreign-exchange reserves have plunged from $36 billion in December 2010 to $16 billion last month. No surprise, the Egyptian pound, which was 5.5 to the US dollar as Mubarak resigned, now is 7.0. While this exchange rate dazzles visiting Americans, Egyptians wilt beneath this 27 percent loss in buying power.
The Muslim Brotherhood’s economic agenda seems to involve printing money; borrowing from Libya, Saudi Arabia, Turkey and Qatar; and awaiting a new, $4.8 billion loan from the International Monetary Fund.
Egyptians also are coping with energy shortages. These include rolling blackouts and gasoline lines that Deya Abaza describes in Ahram Online as “a recurring feature of Egypt’s post-revolutionary landscape.”
‘‘My best year was 2010,” Muhammad says. “I was saving money to buy a house. Now, I have lost one third of my savings. My dreams have been crushed.”
The self-described Rebel movement declared tomorrow, the first anniversary of Morsi’s inauguration, a day of protest. It says it has secured 15 million signatures calling on Morsi to quit, just one year after he took power, and accept early elections. If accurate, these signatures outstrip the 13.2 million votes (51.7 percent) that Morsi received on June 17, 2012, when he defeated Ahmed Shafiq, Mubarak’s last prime minister, who won 12.3 million votes (48.2 percent).