Aish - Life and Bread -, Egypt / 2013
Egypt, the world's biggest wheat importer, is suffering to buy this commodity on the international market. With more than forty percent of Egyptians living below the poverty line, subsidized bread has been an important part of the government's strategy for maintaining social peace. But a currency crisis is hitting its ability to import wheat and is threatening the government's supply of subsidized flour, presenting a severe test to the president and his allies, Muslim Brotherhood. Bread is heavily subsidized, selling for less than 1 cent a loaf. If the subsidy is reduced, the social discontent would be potentially disastrous in the current unrest. Subsidized bread is currently rationed at twenty loaves per family per day at a cost of one Egyptian pound ( $0.14), whereas the same number sells for four pounds at non-subsidized bakeries. Everyday, many Egyptian wait in long lines for subsidized bread early in the morning. An elder egyptian man, who holds twenty loaves in his arms, had waited since 4 am, and he got subsidized breads after more than 3 hours. " If we are late getting in line, we might miss out on getting. it is a matter of life and death not only for our family but also many people like me." In addition, Farmers in Egypt are facing with soaring fuel prices and a heavy fuel shortage. "Wheat has been basically less profit crops to us. Soaring fuel prices can be a matter of life and death for us," said Amgat, who is a 45 year-old small landowner in Mansoura. "I recognize Morsi as our president. Actually it doesn't matter who is ruling the country, the Muslim Brotherhood or not, but it is certain that our nation and revolution are facing a critical crisis." he said. For bakers as well, a heavy fuel shortage is causing serious problems. Bread for Egypt's middle classes it is breakfast, lunch and dinner. Egyptian consume more bread per person than do people in any other nation. It is known as "Aish" in Egyptian Arabic, which means both bread and life. It is the basic component of their life.