Egypt: Politics intrudes on daily life in an unexpected way

Source: Middle East Institute

Author(s): Mirette F. Mabrouk

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Last month’s referendum on constitutional amendments in Egypt passed with a huge majority (almost 90%) and little fanfare. Despite the far-reaching ramifications of the amendments and their direct implications for the country’s democratic development, there was never really any doubt that they would pass. There were myriad reasons for this, among them the fact that the primary concerns of the majority of Egyptians are the economy and security, the fact that the current government has managed to pull enough economic and social support rabbits out of the hat to retain its popularity among a diminished but still solid base, and the fact that many people were unclear about how the amendments, and a new status quo, would relate to their daily lives.

The start of Ramadan provided an oblique but illustrative example.

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