Egypt: Running out of gas

Everyone in Egypt has a botagas story. These botagas stories are not the result of just the current shortage of botagas and gasoline that Egypt is currently struggling with. Botagas is a lifeline for many Egyptians. To understand why botagas is so important to the lives of so many, let me begin by providing some context. Botagas is essentially a propane gas tank (probably a mixture of propane and butane), just like what you would purchase for your outdoor grill. Egyptians buy botagas for two reasons, to cook, and to heat up water in a household bathroom. If you don’t have botagas, the stove doesn’t work, and you can’t take a shower, unless you like cold water. Virtually every Egyptian

As Egypt drafts its new Constitution, no room for error

In Egypt, we have a tendency to do things in reverse order. For example, a red traffic light can actually mean go depending on the time of day, or we can chose to elect a Parliament before we have a viable constitution that defines their executive powers. The plebiscite held last fall, for which a majority of Egyptians voted yes, gave the ruling military body (SCAF as they are known) the OK to proceed with Parliamentary elections before the post revolution constitution was rewritten. But, the vote on proceeding with Parliamentary elections before the rewriting of the constitution also had a few hidden clauses. For example, if you voted yes in the plebiscite, you also voted to ban any per

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    © Khaled F. Sherif, 2020

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