Monday, October 30, 2006

Truthdig: Chris Hedges—Inside Egypt

Truthdig Editor’s note: In this article, the former New York Times Middle East bureau chief spends 10 days living with a lower-middle-class Egyptian family to expose the side of Egypt off-limits to most tourists—one made desperate by poverty and kept fearful by the omnipresent threat of state security officials.

Excerpt from Christopher Hedges below:

There are two Egypts. One is crushed by poverty and groaning under the weight of an autocratic regime that has been in place for nearly three decades. This Egypt is increasingly desperate, as the country’s population growth soars, and its economy, burdened by corruption and a stifling state bureaucracy, stagnates. Out of the bowels of this Egypt have come mounting anti-government street demonstrations, anger, frustration and renewed acts of terrorist violence by Islamic militants. The second Egypt, the one on view to foreign visitors, bears little in common with the first Egypt. It is a manicured and heavily guarded Egypt of air-conditioned hotels, Nile cruises, majestic archeological sites, afternoons by swimming pools, evenings in disco clubs, posh restaurants and shops crammed with copies of statues of Horus and Nefertiti and glass jewelry cases filled with silver and gold hieroglyphic pendants.

Read the complete article at:
Truthdig - Reports - Chris Hedges—Inside Egypt

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