Egypt on the edge: democracy last hope to fight poverty
25 Feb, 2011 08:10
There is fresh hope of a brighter future under democracy in Egypt. However, fighting poverty and other deep-rooted problems may be just as important.
The fact is, many Egyptians live in dire economic conditions. In an interview with a major newspaper, the minister for Social Solidarity warns that unless the poor receive the help they need, the next revolution will be one of the hungry.The past years have seen the major cities in the north become wealthy, whilst the south of the country has suffered with social problems, such as unemployment and education.Some of the poorest people in the Egyptian capital live in the Bulak area of Cairo. Here many are hopeful that a democratic Egypt will help them out of poverty.However, others express concern that they may see the rich get richer while the poor get poorer.“I am worried things could get worse for the poor if democracy is not implemented, I pray God will keep Egypt safe,” says a resident of Bulak.Amor Eietrebi is an activist and one of the organizers of the revolution that toppled Honsi Mubarak. He believes that Egypt can make the transition from dictatorship, to a democratic state. Self-determination, he says, is the only way forward.Support for a democratic Egypt has come from governments around the world. However, some of those leaders who have been quick to congratulate the revolutionaries may not be so pleased with the possible future for the country.“One basic problem we see – and this is a big dilemma for the West – we want democracy, but we also want states who'll be friendly to us and do what we want, but almost certainly Arab democracy is going to be a great deal less comfortable for the West than Arab dictators, Arab autocrats, Arab monarchs have been,” historian Mark Almond told RT.However the dictators have been swept aside by people who, after years of injustice, finally had enough.While the West may have been convinced Egyptians were fighting the democratic principles they may be in for a nasty shock when they find out that people simply wanted change.