Egyptian Aak: Week 21

ethipia(President Morsi in Ethiopia was welcomed by the Mining Minister. Photo via Almogaz)

Main Headline








A Few Thoughts

 Egypt’s water Crisis 

 The visit of president Morsi to Ethiopia has finally shifted the focus to the much-neglected topic of water resources in Egypt. Although many Egyptians have started to come to terms with the prospect that a water shortage could become a reality in the near future, the extent of the problem, and the impact of African projects, such as Ethiopia’s Renaissance Dam, has yet to sink-in.

1)   The issue is not just shortage; but water poverty. Each Egyptian citizen’s quota of water has fallen to 730 cubic liters per annum, far below the standard global quota of 1,000 cubic liters.

2)   Despite 95% of Egypt’s water supply coming from the Nile river, Egyptian abuse of the river on daily basis is astounding. For example, all sorts of garbage is dumped into the river, and Egyptians have a breathtaking lack of respect to their eternal river.

3)   Despite this poverty, water waste is a national life style. Most Egyptians take water for granted. Household and domestic leakage is very common, with little effort put into repair. In fact, leakage within public facilities is even worse.

4)   Previous Egyptian governments have consistently failed to invest in water conservation projects or in any reliable rationalization program for Nile water.

5)   The current government seems to have conflicting priorities. For example, there is a desire to expand agricultural land that directly conflicts with water rationing programs. This conflict will remain unless a complete strategy is formulated, but thus far, none has been articulated.

6)   The current relationship between Egypt and its African neighbors and in the past was notbuilt in a strategic way. Each subsequent Egyptian government failed to invest in building solid strategic alliances with countries of the Nile basin. Ironically, Egypt backed a butcher like Bashir, but not South Sudan or Ethiopia. This is precisely why the cold reception of president Morsi; welcomed by the mining minister instead of the president at the airport, and the turn of the microphone off during his speech in Addis Ababa should not come as any surprise.

7)   There are reports that Israel is encouraging Ethiopia to build the Renaissance Dam. Even if this is true, does it really matter? This is a geopolitical framework that strengthens Ethiopia’s position.

8)   A military solution is not an option. It would be counter-productive and would only drag the region into a deeper conflict

 It will take a lot more than just a visit to Ethiopia to fix this critical crisis. There are still no details about his agreement with the Ethiopian government, but any deal will not be enough to solve a very complex problem. Water poverty is a national security issue that Egypt’s Morsi cannot afford to ignore. Surely, ruling a thirsty, hungry Egypt is not the victory that Islamists have aspired to achieve.

 Power Outages

 Egypt’s increasing number of blackouts reminds me of my own childhood. Frankly, at the time they were fun; a good excuse to stop studying and listen to the radio. The current impact, however, is not good fun, as it now affects airports, hospitals, and factories.

 The attitude of the Egyptian government towards its electricity problem is again irresponsible. It is a silly mix of denial, blame the public, and accusations toward the opposition to spin the problem for political gain. Even when suggesting solutions, it comes up with some classic Islamist thinking, “the nation’s Imams and preachers need to help influence citizens to change their consumption patterns.” I doubt the government appreciates the depth of anger of the customers and how the campaign to stop paying electricity bills is gaining momentum. Well, good luck with preaching!


Sinai deserve a separate piece, but here another example of the preaching as the answer for all the problems: President Morsi sends religious leaders to Sinai to combat radicalism. again, good luck!

A Final Gem

 Talking about preachers, Dr. Abdel Rahman el-Ber, the Muslim Brotherhood’s Mufti has “allegedly” said that a Jewish psychic in the 60s has predicted that three presidents named Mohamed would rule Egypt, and the third Mohamed will liberate Jerusalem.  Translation: Nasser, Sadat, and Morsi, all share a first name of Mohamed, which mean that Morsi is the “third Mohamed.”

 The Mufti and his alleged Jewish psychic have failed, however, to count the first president of Egypt, Naguib. As the Egyptian writer Saad Hagras rightly noted, his first name was also Mohamed. Dr. el-Ber needs to re-study history before he preaches to Egypt’s biggest Islamist party. I’m quite sure a prompt denial will soon follow; “el-Bar never said any anything about Morsi III , and the Jewish psychic is a liar and a Zionist.” Meanwhile, here is an interesting Arabic piece about it by Abdelallah Kamal

Good Read

Interesting Reports

Finally, here are Jayson Casper’s prayers for Egypt

About nervana111

Doctor, blogger and Commentator on Middle East issues. The only practising doctor who write in Middle Eastern politics in UK.
This entry was posted in Diary of Aak, Egypt and tagged , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

3 Responses to Egyptian Aak: Week 21

  1. nedhamson says:

    Reblogged this on Ned Hamson Second Line View of the News and commented:
    As per usual, she is right on the mark on many things. I do wish that the government stops making excuses and finds people who can make things work!


  2. harleymc says:

    I’m not sure where the statistic about water use per head of population comes from but I would check it again. Other sources report similar number of cubic meters per person as you report liters per person. As a cubic meter contains a thousand liters this is a thousand-fold difference.

    Otherwise a great article.


    • nervana111 says:

      Thank you. Please cluck on the first link, in the first paragraph, i quoted the Egyptian Gazette, however, others dispute the numbers, so i will update in week 22.


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