Friday, January 05, 2007

Egypt - Day 14 - Corrupt kids

Balloon trip for Gil,, Ken, Jackie, Sarah and Danny. They took off and landed 30 minutes later on a road having travelled a short distance. Not enough wind, apparently.

I avoided lunch as three full meals a day were getting a bit much. The rest of us lazed around the pool, read, played table tennis, tennis then ate in La Fleur. Fixed menu at 135 was excellent.

Corruption and rich Egyptian kids
It was 2,500 years after the Pharaohs that
Egypt eventually got an Egyptian leader in Abdul Nasser (1952. He was a pan-Arab socialist and reformed the country after the lazy monarch King Farouk squandered his time on the French Riviera. He dies in 1971 when Sadat came to power. Assassinated in 1981 and succeeded by Mabourak who remains in power to this day. You don’t have to enquire much to see how hated Mabourak is among the ordinary people. They are certain that his son will be the next leader. Corruption is the main complaint. You can get anything for enough money and baksheesh is as common as ordinary fair payment.We had a taste of this corruption at the hotel when a bunch of teenagers turned up from the International School in Cairo. They were the sons and daughters of prominent Egyptians, and were not shy in telling people this. The staff were abused as were other tourists (rude calls made at random to rooms). Ignoring safety advice at the pool – generally causing mayhem. They were arrogant and aggressive, God help Egypt if this lot are its future. I caught them making the calls when they called my room then the kid’s room next door. They forgot that we had adjoining rooms, so we got reception to trace the call – J02. I went round to the teacher and told him to get them under control as well as reception. The guys on reception were at their wits end, dealing with this mob.The Muslim Brotherhood seem to be in the ascendant. They offer a corrupt-free countersociety based on Islamic law and one can see how they may well succeed on the back of a government that has hung around too long and let things rot. It’s all nepotism.

The mayor of Luxor, a Mabourak crony, repeatedly built expensive fountains in front of Luxor station, creaming off money on every build. The new mayor is better, apparently, and the town is getting a EG 700 million facelift. There’s building everywhere.

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