Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Informal Egypt

In the ten months since the January street demonstrations that led to the overthrow of the Mubarak regime in Egypt, System D--a.k.a. the informal economy--has grown by 20 percent, Daily News Egypt reports. Acccording to researchers at the American University in Cairo, 3/4 of the young people in Egypt are now working in System D. Amina Shafik, a consultant for workers’ organizations and columnist for Al-Ahram newspaper, said that workers in the informal sector are being treated just like the freedom demonstrators were: "They are treated like criminals," she told the newspaper. "They are always chased by the police."

Indeed, the right to make your living on the street should be a fundamental freedom in the region. As Ibrahim Awad, director of AUC’s Center for Migration and Refugee Studies, put it, "After all, what triggered the first revolution in Tunisia was an attack on a street vendor.”

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