Monday, May 04, 2009

It's his birthday and I'll cry if I want to

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.

I would have posted this earlier but some of his henchmen stole my effin camera and mobile phone while I was covering a demo, and I spent two hours getting them back. Funny thing is, I wasn't even taking any photographs at the time the camera was taken. I was too busy staring open mouthed as a female journalist tumbled down the steps of the State Council while above her about twenty peaceful protestors were set upon by the police.

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

  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.
The President indicating the number of candidates who will be allowed to compete in presidential elections after he steps down in 2050.

The President indicating the number of candidates who will be allowed to compete in presidential elections (without being imprisoned) after he steps down in 2050.


Sara said...

I like the post, but then I don't agree with the Ezz monopoly, if you look at it from a market share point of view, he is officially not a monopolist (or that's what we've been taught)

Melanie Souad said...


en français la:

scribbled said...

at least he's a model for how living in a country where the air, water, food, politics, education, rights and religion have been reduced to shit is no impediment to a long life.

Fesh said...

Long time reader, first-time (or maybe second-time?) commenter. Very interesting post, I knew many of the things on the list, but I have to admit the one point that blew me away is the illiteracy rate (point#23)!

It is surprising because with free education, I always imagined that our issue here in Egypt was the quality of Education. I always knew that school classes were crowded and university auditoriums stuffed, but I never knew that we had such a significant illiteracy rate.

The good news however is that the updated numbers are a tiny bit better. Seems current literacy rate in Egypt is 71.4% and we no longer make the top 10 most illiterate countries any more, we, however, make the top 50 :S

MechanicalCrowds said...

nice post... am sure he's done a lot more though!

James Buck said...

You should really consider a career in the tourism industry.