Monday, March 21, 2011

Letters from Egypt: Bank Corruption Allegations

Photo Source: The Guardian
Another similarity to Tunisia post-revolution has Egypt on the rampage to round up anyone suspected of fraudulent actions.

A female managerial staff member, located at a main banking branch of one of the largest international financiers present in Egypt, is currently suspended pending an investigation into reports of embezzlement. The branch is one of the largest in the country dealing with high profile clients/corporate owners.

This woman has been taking money from these VIP customers in the form of foreign currency and exchanging it for Egyptian pounds (EGP or LE). The problem: instead of using the bank to make the exchange, she went to a currency exchange that had cheaper fees and garnered a nice commission. Say that the bank’s exchange rate to convert USD to EGP is at a rate of 5.85, but the New Nile Exchange Co.’s rate is 5.90. This wouldn’t matter if she were only changing in $100 here and there.

However, the VIPs are potentially exchanging millions at once. Hypothetically, if she exchanged $1 million at a nearby currency exchange equals about LE 590 million. Her bank would have only provided LE 585 million, giving her a LE 5-million commission. However, she is only taking a commission of max LE 15,000 (approximately $2,542). Where does the rest of the money go? Back to the VIPs of course.

The bank’s policy is that an executive may not accept gifts over LE 100 (around $17), and so now the investigation is on into the wheelings and dealings of this managerial staff member. The woman is also facing bribery charges for easing transactions like granting loans for corporate business owners to extend their operations.

Egypt’s financial industry is facing a hard challenge as many of its employees seem to be more disgruntled over salary discrepancies than other industries. How did this female manager come to be investigated? Her employees began complaining to upper management, and the ones that didn’t complain were, as my friend put it, “living in deep sh*t.”

This is a good indicator as to the possible ease of corruption levels here. However, what is the likelihood that the corporations will endure the same treatment? Herein lies the problem – without making corporations also pay for their misdeeds, the suspension with possible termination of one employee will fall on deaf ears. The problem will continue with these large companies looking for the next manager that will comply with the corporations’ dubious demands and the circle continues.

Then again, maybe a checks and balances will begin to form in order to instill moral and ethical conduct in the professional context. Now if only that can reach to the government officials and prohibit the use of “backsheesh” (bribes).

Words from an Egyptian on the matter:
”But after January 25th revolution, fear is gone leaving behind an encouraging spirit of hope and aim for a real positive change which makes protesters arouse everywhere -not only in banks- asking for their rights.  Accordingly, the main issue of the protest was not the amount of the wages itself but rather the inequality of distributing the profits among the employees. Some take all others have nothing.”

Quick Rant:

Saudi Arabia is not Tunisia, Egypt, Libya, etc.

I see all these news reports discussing how we’ll all be in real trouble if Saudi faces the dissidence that has fallen upon Tunisia, Egypt, Libya and with other countries holding anti-government demonstrations (Bahrain, Yemen, Algeria, Jordan and Morocco).

Of course, my opinion might be presumptuous, but here are some things to consider before getting your hopes up (or fears as they may be):
  • Population of the Royal Family
  •  Education Levels
  •  Poverty Rate
There are 7,000 members of the House of Al-Saud, the ruling family in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia (KSA). This figure is incomparable to Libya’s Qaddafi family, Egypt’s Mubarak regime, Ben Ali of Tunisia, etc. If you have time, you’re more than welcome to look up all the extended family members of Qaddafi, Mubarak and the like, but I think it’s safe to say that the figures are nowhere near that of the Al-Saud royal family.

While a few family members of recently ousted leaders Ben Ali and Hosni Mubarak held government positions, again it cannot be compared to KSA. The major oil producer’s cabinet is appointed by the monarch every four years which include many royal family members. Elections are non-existent and even if there were elections, what does it matter when the family is so large and in-charge?

In addition, I’m unsure if that 7,000 figure only constitutes the men in the Al-Saud family. Why? Women born in Saudi have no rights. Likewise, any other religion born in Saudi isn’t granted citizenship (hence why reports have the country at 100% Muslim). I have a Coptic Christian friend here who was originally born there as his parents were working in KSA. He is ineligible for a KSA passport because he is Christian.

Other countries revolted because of education and poverty. Literacy rates in KSA are over 78%. While the CIA World Factbook doesn’t report on the poverty level in the country (figure simply says N/A), I did find that in 1999 the National Commercial Bank estimated that out of a population of 20 million (now it’s closer to 25 million), there were 120,000 millionaires (I’m sure I could find more recent research, but you get the point). With the population increase and oil revenue continuing to roll in, I think it’s also safe to say the number of millionaires has increased.

A more recent figure by the UNDP said the percentage of families living in extreme poverty was 1.63% in 2005. Present-day Egypt has more than 20% of its population living below the poverty line.

However, it is true that IF KSA had a revolution (DOUBTFUL) that there would be MAJOR concerns. You would undoubtedly see a religious war break out because every Muslim from all corners of the world would come to protect the holy land (Mecca and Medina specifically). Saudis are heavily regarded in Islamic society no matter how horrible they may be as an individual (to date, I’ve failed to meet one Saudi that was genuinely kind and respectful – male that is).

Although part of me wishes that if a KSA revolution were to happen, that it would signify a more secular society that was open and accepting to all religions, genders, etc. Then again, the fear would lie with a more radical version of Islam being introduced – if its remotely possible to see a more radical version than what Saudi maintains currently.

Sunday, March 20, 2011

Letters from Egypt: Controversial Outcome to Saturday’s Elections

One of the latest murals cropping up throughout Egypt showing support for a secular Egypt, Christians and Muslims: One Hope, One Pain
Saturday was the first “democratically-held” elections that Egypt has seen in a long time, if ever. Egyptians, at least 16 years of age with identification cards, went to local high schools to vote on constitutional referendums which included a quick presidential election to be held within six months.

Many voters said “no” to this proposal as it does not give enough time for opposition parties to organize their campaigns. However, Referendum Chairman Mohamed Attiya said that Egyptians voted more than three to one in favor of the amendments with 41% of eligible voters turning out.

I suppose the three-to-one ration includes a majority of people whom I do not know since everyone I spoke to voted no. My own poll: three-to-zero in favor of postponing presidential elections. In fact, I only heard of a friend of a friend that actually said yes. And now everyone is in a frenzy.

This video is one of many that went viral inspiring computer-savvy Egyptians to vote no while giving background as to why, and I think that there should be stock in the use of multi-media since that was proven to be the main backbone of the revolution.

And yet, the outcome came to a resounding "yes" followed by concerns of the Muslim Brotherhood.

“Egypt's best organized political forces, the Muslim Brotherhood and members of the former ruling party, campaigned for passage,” according to NPR. So ladies and gentlemen, it’s time to get your panties in a wad and get geared for another al-Qaeda/Hamas faction…

No. Not really.

For the 1000th time, why is so much stock being placed in the Muslim Brotherhood? The Muslim Brotherhood constitutes a very small percentage of Egypt. They had nothing to do with the revolution, only took part after it gained speed. The younger Egyptians called on the revolution and the younger Egyptians will NEVER support the Muslim Brotherhood.

NPR continued: “The Brotherhood, which has strongly campaigned for the adoption of the changes, advocates the installment of an Islamic government in Egypt. The ambivalence of its position on what role women and minority Christians play under their hoped-for Islamic government — like whether they could run for president or be judges — worry large segments of society.”

Oh for the love of God, STOP THE PRESS ON THE MUSLIM BROTHERHOOD ALREADY!!! CAN’T YOU SEE IT ONLY SERVES AS A RECRUITMENT TOOL (as I blog about this – pot, kettle, black).

If the election outcome was rigged, it isn’t to back the Muslim Brotherhood. It is only to put the military at a greater advantage to install yet another military ruler. Don’t believe me, look at the history in Egypt and throughout Africa.

I was getting my hair done a few weeks ago and my hairdresser, Ahmed, began discussing the most viable presidential options as he saw it. He discussed the Muslim Brotherhood and said, “We will never let them control our country.” Ahmed is not a young Egyptian, but rather a mid-40 year-old from a poor area outside of Maadi.

Were the elections “free and fair”? I’m sure that isn’t the case, but it is an uneducated fool that would think such progress could be made overnight. However, it is hoped that with each new election, it will get better.

Who are most Egyptians gunning for? Ahmed said, “I don’t know who will be our president. I can’t say. I just hope that he leads with a good heart.”

Another message painted on a school wall with the Christian symbol (cross) and Muslim symbol (moon)

This Week's Eat of the Week:
It's been awhile, but long overdue - a new eatery that you have to try. While also located in the Nile Mall on the Maadi Corniche, a new branch has made its way to Maadi's uber expat friendly Road 9. The service is excellent, ambiance is definitely great for a date or just to have a casual lunch. Three flat screen tvs are on display running the Discovery Channel and the music is a good mix of jazzy yet relaxing. It is a lot bigger inside than it seems and the food - well, if you can eat a whole plate you must be in training for a food contest or sumo wrestler. 

I had the Garlic Mushrooms, panseared garlic in a soy mustard cream sauce. Delish! Then I had the Auckland Salad with chunks of grilled chicken breast and mushrooms, lettuce, tomatoes, cucumber, colored peppers (could've done without personally), olives and corn. My friend had the Italian Sausage sandwich which comes with a small salad served in a taco shell and french fries. If you haven't tried it yet and are looking for something while doing the typical Road 9 shopping, I suggest walking in. it's across from Massoud's grocery and beside Alef bookstore and Abu Zekry's.

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Letters from Egypt: Freedom Unless You’re Female

Taken on my walk through Tahrir on February 11, the day Mubarak resigned
When I walked through Tahrir Square on February 11, I watched the various women joining in the protests calling for Hosni Mubarak’s resignation. The women came from different backgrounds; some simply wore the hijab (head scarf), others the niqab (revealing only the eyes) and some wore nothing covering their heads.

I passed through and thought to myself, “I wonder if they’ll fight this hard for women’s rights?” I asked my male friend who was with me in Tahrir if he, too, would join in on a later fight for women. He laughed.

After Mubarak resigned, parties erupted throughout the country and I joined some Egyptian friends at their home. At the end of the night, there was a group of about 10 and I posed this question. Two Egyptian females in their early- to mid-20s laughed and said, “What are you talking about? We have all the rights we want.” I looked at them puzzled as did others and my Egyptian friend Yasmine said, “What rights are you talking about?” Even the male Egyptians were laughing at these two females (kindly note, I was one of two foreigners present for this debate so it wasn’t fueled by Westerners).

Yasmine later told me that there was a group of men that have been protesting against women working in Egypt, claiming that the women are taking their jobs and money (called el Salfyean). The Egyptian Ministry of Labor and Immigration noted that the participation of women in Egypt’s workforce had risen from 15.4% in 2001 to 23% in 2006. Reda Marzouk Hussein Abu Ali said, "In the past, women were limited to jobs in the field of medicine and teaching. Nowadays they work as ambassadors and ministers." However, having an 8% increase in female workers are not the only rights that women want.

There was a movie released in January called 6,7,8 that detailed a woman being fed up with the harassment she faces on a regular basis and begins stabbing men in the groin who touch her inappropriately. Do you know that the Egyptian government was worried this was going to create a craze? Well, they should have been. And now with the crime rate heightening, I’m even on the lookout for a pocket knife (speaking of, let me know if you know where I can get a nifty one to keep either on my keychain or in my pocket still being able to inflict enough damage to an aggressor).

And yesterday, there was a call for a march for women’s rights in Tahrir (what else is new, there’s a call for a march to Tahrir everyday) to mark International Woman’s Day. Naturally, it resulted in a violent confrontation. Men began groping and harassing women, pulling at their clothes and shouting vulgar offenses. Al-Ahram Online quoted Mahmoud Ahmed as saying, "Egyptian women are too emotional. They are different from Western ladies.”

And just as I assumed, everyone is already saying that there are larger things that trump women’s rights. What you might find shocking is that I’m not in total disagreement. I was fearful that the January 25 protests were going to lead to new marches on Tahrir every time Egyptians were disgruntled and it has. Already I saw on someone’s Facebook yesterday calling for a protest to descend on Tahrir over the German University in Cairo. This person also doesn’t have a job – shocking – and has nothing better to do with his time.

I am not naïve to think that women’s rights are going to come to Egypt overnight, but as I’ve pointed out in previous blogs – Egyptian women in the 1930s had more rights than they do now.

Some say that women are too emotional. Dare you to tell that to a woman while she’s PMSing. True, some women are too emotional for politics, but it doesn’t mean that all women should be prohibited from partaking. And for those of you that believe this, have you ever cheated on an ex-girlfriend? How did she react? I bet she got you back in one way or another and you’ve been paying for it ever since.

Also, don’t get entirely disgruntled with someone saying that they’re ruled by the Qaran and the Qaran doesn’t allow women to rule over men. Southern Baptists also believe that a woman shouldn’t hold a position higher than a man. Hey boys, it’s not my fault that my pinky just so happens to have more intelligence than most men I come into contact with. That’s a matter that I guess you’ll just have to take up with God, Allah, Jehovah or whatever else you may call Him.

One of the best accounts I found of yesterday’s events is from The Guardian, “Egypt’s Revolution Means Nothing if its Women Aren’t Free.”

Tuesday, March 8, 2011

Letters from Egypt: Cries from a Hurghada Evacuee

The private jet taken while refusing to pay employee salaries. What wasn't private? The Facebook page and album where this was posted
A previous blog featured Revolutionary Deals and Steals, highlighting a Hurghada club owner’s evacuation via a private lear jet while refusing to pay employee salaries in their entirety.

The owner’s significant other posted on her Facebook on February 8 a photo album titled “Private Jet to Sharm.” So when my blog surfaced yesterday, her Facebook begin echoing sentiments like, “Certain people should make absolutely sure of the facts before going to print!!!”

I agree.

So to the particular person – and you know you’re reading this – you may click the link located at the side of my blog and personally email me the facts as you see them. I’m all for equal representation and I would personally love to hear your side of the story as I’m sure all your fiancé’s poor employees would too. However, be warned that should you decide to take me up on this phenomenal offer, the privacy that you recently had with names being withheld will be made for public record (almost like your Facebook – you should probably change those privacy settings).

Even if friends of the jet owner and the ride was free (all the way to the UK? Really? Why stop in Sharm first? So many questions, so little time), did you ever think about the slight that album was to your fiance’s employees? What other shady business practices go on? From what I’ve heard – a great deal. Something should also be said when former employees have reposted this blog.

How about that time when a new bar was being built in El Gouna (near to Hurghada also located on the Red Sea) and staff salaries were cut as well because there wasn’t enough funding? I’m under the impression as far as business matters are concerned that if you can’t afford the first place (or three), then you don’t try to build another one because it will take even longer to reap a RoI – in case you don’t know, that’s the abbreviation for return on investment. If you’re unfamiliar with financier terms, you may sign up for a financial word-a-day from – I know the owners and they do actually treat their employees with respect while paying ENTIRE salaries on time.

Would UK labor laws allow this? Why do you think it justified to conduct yourself here in such a way? This was a main focal point to the revolution and people like this Hurghada business owner should be reprimanded. Have fun getting away with that in the UK, US or any other industrialized country. You wouldn’t even be able to afford an economy ticket on the cheapest airline after the many lawsuits you would surely incur.

Furthermore, let’s discuss the affects the revolution had on Hurghada. Tourism went down, understandably, but during the protests – did you feel your life was in danger? Not only did I receive word from friends residing in the resort town, here is something from ExpatForum posted by j4hurghada:

“With living in Hurghada through all the disturbances in Cairo, Alex and other places in Egypt, Hurghada is calm and has been through the protests. All flights were cancelled except UK airlines and Moscow. Hurghada now is like a ghost town with tourists leaving. ”

Here’s another summation of events (or lack thereof):

A resident of Hurghada for six years, Andree de Jong recounts that there were no tanks but a number of armored military vehicles. He said, “There is nothing wrong so far. Cairo is 500 km away. I see on television what the rest of the world [sees], a far-from-my-bed-show almost.”

However, there were tanks in Sharm el-Sheikh as well as former President Hosni Mubarak. And yet you feared so much for your life in Hurghada that you had a pit-stop in Sharm, again, on that FREE private lear jet?

Please remember, the more you complain about my blog, the more exposure it gets and so too your story. Sometimes it is best to just let things be.

And one final note, as more protests and strikes are getting underway demanding equality in the workforce, it might be best to keep a low profile in such uncertain times. I’m sure the Ministry of Labor might not be so favorable upon their next visits to your establishment(s).

Treat others as you would have them treat you. Karma can be a very unpleasant thing.

Sunday, March 6, 2011

Letters from Egypt: Revolutionary Deals and Steals

Taken Thursday on my way to Nasr City

A revolution is like Black Friday, known as the Friday after Thanksgiving that is a US retailer’s biggest dream. On that day, American shops extend opening hours (often opening around 4 am) and see the largest figures produced for the entire year based on customers coming out en masse to kick off the holiday season.

So maybe Egypt’s revolution isn’t just like Black Friday. Hours have decreased because of curfew (the end of life as we know it – who knew I was still a teenager living under my parents’ roof) and the shelves are less packed; nonetheless, there are some deals and steals going on (more steals than deals though as the population continues to spin out of control).

One of my favorite restaurants, Fuego’s Sushi Bar & Grill, has introduced a 20% discount as a revolutionary congratulations. Unfortunately, their clientele was mostly foreign and in case you haven’t heard the news, many were evacuated and have yet to return – in addition to those that will never return per company relocation. I wonder how difficult it will be for local international schools to recruit teachers for the next school year, but I digress. According to a GM at the restaurant, revenue has decreased substantially. Although there has been an uptick recently after this offer, the restaurant is still down approximately 35% in sales compared to pre-revolution days. However, who can beat 20% off on an already SLAMMIN all you can eat sushi dinner on Sundays?

Today I got a text message that said:

“Due to the incredible success of the Revolution Burger Meal Promotion, The Burger Kitchen now offers a brand new Revolution Chicken Meal for only 10LE.”

A boutique near my apartment has a sign in the window for 70% off. I think it’s safe to say that store isn’t going to be around much longer (not to mention all the tops were already 350LE and ugly – I think 70% off on most of the items still doesn’t cut it).


And what’s even better is that employers are now using the revolution as an excuse to only pay their staff half a month’s wages.

So, put your big girl panties on and prepare for this whopper:

It’s understandable if your staff didn’t work for two weeks to deduct that time from the salary. Moving out of Cairo and let’s look at Hurghada, a resort city on the Red Sea that depends heavily on tourism. One of the major clubs there denied payment to all of its employees – foreign and Egyptian. A friend living in the area said, “You let them use that as an excuse one month without complaining, [then] there’s no reason for them to change!” In a separate industry not related to tourism, my friend is also facing a boss that wants to only pay his staff half a month’s wages.

The club (sorry, can’t release the name) paid its employees only half their salaries for two months in a row simply saying they couldn’t afford it because of the catastrophic decline in tourism. The owner said, “No tourists so no money to pay.” Then the club owner’s wife posted on her Facebook details about their evacuation to neighboring Sharm el-Sheikh via a PRIVATE LEAR JET. Since she was obviously dumb enough to post that on her Facebook, I’m assuming that she’s dumb enough to have employees of the club on her friend list.

That is a bonefied steal my friends. As in get out while you can because they’re going to rob you blind.

Another steal was seen today by a friend driving down Zahraa road:

A group of six men were stopping cars attempting to get the driver to smell their “perfume.” As crime rate has increased, alerts are high. I think it’s also safe to assume that might be another steal in the making and perfume isn’t necessarily what you’re going to smell, but some weird Egyptian homemade remedy of Knock You Out and Jack Your Car.

Taken in Metro market today AND it's real...REAL SCARY

Wednesday, March 2, 2011

Letters from Egypt: The Meaning of Change

Gamal Nasser, Corbis Images
The majority of Egypt celebrated when Hosni Mubarak relinquished his leadership position, and everyone supported the military. And then I’m reminded of a point I’ve made in previous blogs: do Egyptians know their own history? So proud to be called Egyptian, but ask many the simplest things about their own history and they’re unable to answer.

If they knew their own history or at least used history as a point of reference, then perhaps Mubarak’s concession not to run in the next election would have been enough. Celebrating military rule, or like many have said: “Anything is better than Mubarak,” is a little hasty especially if taking into account the country’s previous rulers.

Anwar Sadat, AFP/Getty
Gamal Nasser and Anwar Sadat met in military school during British colonial rule. They helped rid colonialism in the country and King Farouk’s thrown with Nasser becoming the first president of Egypt. Under Nasser, the Egyptian economy remained poor as a result of continuous wars and literacy was less than 50%. Sadat became the Public Relations Minister and succeeded Nasser after he died in 1970 and prior to 1981, the literacy rate remained at less than 50%. Hosni Mubarak was a lieutenant in the Royal Egyptian Air Force and was Sadat’s Vice President. When the Nobel Peace Prize winner for brokering the peace treaty with Israel was assassinated in 1981, Mubarak stepped into power and enacted Emergency Law.

Hosni Mubarak, AFP/Getty
And that law has been in place since Mubarak stepped into power, granting the government the right to charge, detain prisoners indefinitely, limit freedom of expression and assembly, and maintain a special security court. In 2010, the government – led by Mubarak’s NDC party – opted to extend the law for two more years, but would only enforce it to stop terrorism and drug trafficking. Since the government had the right to make any accusation against any opposition leader, every offense could be considered (or at least doctored to appear as such) an act of terrorism and/or drug trafficking.

On February 11, it was reported that the military said the law would be lifted as soon as “current circumstances end.” Right.

The law remains in effect with the Supreme Council of the Armed Forces indicating that it needs six months to find a balance – using the 2010 reasoning of fighting drugs and terrorism as the reason for its continuation. Around 23,000 people have been arrested under the law since 1981, according to the Human Rights Organization for the Assistance of Prisoners – estimating that 5,000 are still being held.

I make no qualms about how change doesn’t happen overnight, but I still have to wonder if change is really going to happen at all. Think about it – the ONLY presidents this country has EVER seen were from the military. People rejoice over military rule now (despite the unclear picture as to whom is actually in control), but if the military rule was so great – wouldn’t the past three leaders have offered something more?

Brief Recap:
  • Every Egyptian President has originated from the military
  • Nasser – great military leader, but caused Egypt’s economy to plummet with a number of military wars (as well as countless war casualties)
  • Sadat – economy and literacy levels remained stagnant, but peace and other important bilateral relations were achieved which offered stability
  • Mubarak – economy flourished from approximately $40 billion in 1981 to $145 billion currently; literacy levels have reached over 60%; large division between the rich and poor continued with the corruption running rampant
I guess we’ll have to wait and see, but the likelihood of another military ruler is a great one. In the meantime, here’s to the military’s attempt to organize a referendum on the constitutional reforms before the end of March followed by parliamentary elections in June and a presidential election six weeks later.

Until then, can someone please tell me who’s in control? Anyone?

Letters from Egypt: Message from the Army

With no one in control, civilians have taken to the streets even directing traffic
The first text message went out under the guise of Vodafone on February 2 at 11 am. It said: “The Army says to all people in Egypt to please save us, our relatives and our love for Egypt.” I remember when these messages, written in Arabic, first appeared on my mobile. I also remember the news headline, “Egypt Hijacked Mobile Phone Networks.”

And just like the numerous misleading or one-sided news reports (only showcasing Tahrir Square and certain aspects), that title is also misleading. It’s all subjective really. There is one point I will make though: the messages under the ruse of “Vodafone” have a different tone than after Mubarak resigned and the messages from the Armed Forces.

Sure to others that very first message could have signified a call for protesting to stop. And in part it was. However, that was also the height of the looting when all men and boys were out in the streets trying to restore order. Some people in Egypt took it as referral to the looting that had begun taking place on Saturday, January 29 and others felt it was a call to stop protesting.

Later that same day (February 2) at 8:33 pm another message came through saying, “For young men, be care about any talking and listen to the voice of reason. Egypt is above all. Take care.” Followed by another message three hours later at 11:25 pm that said, “For all mothers, fathers, sisters and brothers, for all the good people: save Egypt so that it will be forever.” Four minutes later (11:29 pm): “The Armed Forces is scared about our peace. We won’t use any fire on the great people.”

Then on February 14, messages began coming in from the Armed Forces, no longer under the name of Vodafone. At 11:17 pm, the message read: “The Armed Forces has dissolved the constitution, the People’s Assembly and the Shoura Council.”

February 16 at 11:17 pm another message came in saying, “The Armed Forces calls citizens to create the appropriate atmosphere to run the country in preparation for delivery to civilian authority, elected by the people.”

February 27 at 1:58 am: “We waited 30 years so there’s no problem to wait a little longer. The future is better.” This is a direct call for the protests and strikes to stop in order to restore stability. This is a very rational statement as each Friday a new protest starts either for the week/two week/longer week anniversary of Mubarak’s resignation, protests for wage increases, protests for job creation (to be created overnight I suppose) and the list goes on…and on… and on.

The Armed Forces created its Facebook page understanding the need to utilize social media to its advantage. However, who is in control? There are growing fears about the sudden increase in crime rate (a recent shooting between a microbus driver and a policeman occurred in Maadi on February 24) and just the overall government proceedings.

So the main message that I would like to receive from the Armed Forces is telling me the man in control because as it appears now, there's no one.

Even when the cops were out, they rarely directed traffic. Good job boys