the list

May 24, 2009 § 4 Comments

from Inanities

Today is Mubarak’s 81st birthday. To mark this, and to mark the fact that he’s been in power for 28 years – 1/3rd of his lifetime – here’s a list of 28 of the wonderful things which have happened under his beneficent and wise reign rule.

The list

  1. Seventy killed in the Moqattam Hill rockslide in 1993.
  2. 37% of Egypt’s urban population live in informal housing
  3. Three years imprisonment for Kareem Amer
  4. Four years imprisonment for Ayman Nour
  5. A five-year battle by Bahais for the right not to have to lie about their faith.
  6. April 6th 2008: the death of three people in Mahalla killed by the police has not been investigated.
  7. 85% of rural female household heads are illiterate
  8. 8.7% unemployment rate
  9. Laila Haddad and her two kids detained in Cairo Airport for around 30 hours. Because Laila is Palestinian
  10. Egypt has the highest prevalence of Hepatitis C in the world (roughly 11% of the population)
  11. 12 – 15 million people live in slum housing
  12. 45% of Egypt’s female population over 15 can not read
  13. $50 billion in US aid received since 1979
  14. 60% of steel market share owned by Ahmed Ezz with government support.
  15. Between 16,000 – 20,000 people in administrative detention
  16. Seventeen people die after being tortured in 2005 (The Egyptian Organization for Human Rights http://www.eohr.org)
  17. Activists detained for 45 days after 2006 peaceful protests against constitutional amendments.
  18. A 19th century palace, house of the upper house of parliament catches fire on August 18th 2008. A month later on September 27th, a downtown theatre catches fire, the same month as the Beni Suef theatre fire which killed 45 people in 2005.
  19. February 20th 2002: 370 die in train blaze.
  20. 20% of population below poverty line
  21. Twenty-two people convicted in the widely-criticised Mahalla trial. Sentenced to between 3 and 5 years imprisonment.
  22. Thirty Sudanese asylum-seekers and refugees killed when police violently break up the Mostafa Mahmoud sit-in.
  23. 35% illiteracy rates
  24. 12,000 people live in graveyards in Egypt
  25. 2,000,000 cars on the streets of Cairo. 60% over ten years old.
  26. Seventy-nine cars in Mubarak’s flotilla
  27. Twenty eight years of emergency rule.
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§ 4 Responses to the list

  • Derek says:

    I’m always amazed by how much I take for granted living in the U.S. The poverty in so much of the third world is insane. The crazy thing is that Egypt is one of the better off third world nations.

    Sadat was hardly an ideal President, but I wonder how things would have turned out if he hadn’t been assassinated.

    In this day and age, there’s simply no excuse for any human being on this planet to live their life illiterate and in a slum.

    “If you can find a solution where the bankers and business swine could steal a couple million dollars by eliminating homelessness, you would see the streets clear up pretty damn fast, I will guarentee you that.” – George Carlin

  • ieishah says:

    there’s also simply no excuse for any one man to wield power for 28 years either. jeez. i’ll never forget being in my dorm room in london, hearing him give commentary on cnn in the wake of 9/11. he was like, ‘america should not think that this is the worst thing that can happen to her…’ spooky, spooky man.

    • Derek says:

      I agree. There’s no excuse for anyone to be in power for 28 years, unless, of course, if they are legitimately elected by the people, which in a fair election is doubtful such a thing would ever happen.

      I didn’t hear what he said after 9/11, but it does raise an interesting (albeit freightening and depressing) point. Worse things can happen than 9-11, and is often common place in parts of the 3rd world.

      For instance, in the years before the Iraq war started, it was estimated that as many as 2 million Iraqis died because of the sanctions on that country, including as many as 600,000 children.

      Imagine living with a 9/11 type event once every week for 12 years.

  • ieishah says:

    no doubt worse things happen, yo. i’ve lived and worked in the ‘3rd world’, límon costa rica, for example, where the entire population of the city is cut off from the education and health services of the mainstream population (first, by big azz mountain, then by the gov’s refusal to build proper roads), little girls used mango seeds as dolls, and the summer’s biggest event was the opening of a TCBY. i understood his point and yours, all too well. i was talking about his face, and how i felt hearing him say it… SPOOKED!!

    which brings me to another point: to say that 9/11 type events happen once a week every twelve years anywhere us acontextual. i don’t think my kids in límon felt their isolation in the same way i did. different perspectives and all. one of the reasons that 9/11 was felt so keenly was because we had never experienced anything similar. that is to say, 9/11 was 9/11 because of our reaction to it, which would not be the same in another context.

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