Michael Tanner provides a bleak but accurate picture of the economic situation in Egypt and how both candidates: Shafik and Morsi could make things worse for Egyptians. Excerpts from Tanner's National Review article below:
"Bread is essential to our lives just like a penis is essential for humanity and reproduction. The ad is almost saying the penis and bread are essential to life but no reference to the importance of women."
Since the realignment of Egypt with the United States and the fall of the Soviet Union, with which many of these states were allied, the sense that these regimes were nationalist declined. But it never evaporated. Certainly they were never seen as regimes imposed by foreign armies, as was the case in Eastern Europe. And their credentials as secularists remained credible. What they were not were liberal democracies, but they weren't founded as such. From the Western point of view, that delegitimized everything else.
What the Westerners forgot was that these regimes arose as expressions of nationalism against Western imperialism. The more that Westerners intervened against them, as in Iraq, the more support at least the principle of the regime would evince. But most important, Westerners did not always recognize that the demand for democratic elections would emerge as a battleground between secular and religious tendencies, and not as the crucible from which Western-style liberal democracies would emerge. Nor did Westerners appreciate the degree to which these regimes defended religious minorities from hostile majorities precisely because they weren't democratic. The Copts in Egypt cling to the old regime as their protector. The Alawites see the Syrian conflict as a struggle for their own survival.
The outcome of the Egyptian election, which now pits a former general and prime minister of the Mubarak regime against the Muslim Brotherhood candidate, demonstrates this dilemma perfectly. This is the regime that Nasser founded. It is the protector of secularism and minority rights against those who it is feared will impose religious law. The regime may have grown corrupt under Mubarak, but it still represents a powerful tendency among the Egyptians.
Other things I cannot remember, even when told of them, but I know they haunt my sleep; I tore my left shoulder right out of its socket during a dream one Friday night; awakened by the hellish sound of someone screaming before realizing it was me. So, yes, I still see things. Mired in a falsehood of self-medication, I applied blizzards of booze and drugs to buy me time. To get me from one dawn to another sleep. To give me the time to reconcile my decision to live. All stealing for me just one more day, one more day. Though in a perverted way it helped save me, it didn’t immunize me against the price for it all.
"on the consumption side, it seems likely that Asia and the Middle East and Africa will continue to require increased imports to satisfy growing populations. To feed itself for the next half century, the world needs an agricultural revolution in Africa."
The above video shows the similarities between some religious organizations regardless of religion and country. This reminded me of a great quotation by Thomas Jefferson:
“Religious institutions that use government power in support of themselves and force their views on persons of other faiths, or of no faith, undermine all our civil rights. Moreover, state support of an established religion tends to make the clergy unresponsive to their own people, and leads to corruption within religion itself. Erecting the 'wall of separation between church and state,' therefore, is absolutely essential in a free society.”