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Egyptians are Going Local

Categories: Middle East & North Africa, Egypt, Citizen Media, Digital Activism, Economics & Business, Education, Ideas, International Relations

Another campaign is in the works in Egypt. Inji [1], an avid blogger and young economist who is distraught by the numerous emails and SMS [2] messages calling for boycotting products decided to “boycott the boycott” and take it to a positive extent. She is proposing to her readers a national driven project which she simply puts as Buying Egypt Back. In her proposal Juka [3] said:

“Let's buy Egypt! Let's buy Arab products. Even better let's produce Arab products. Walk into your local supermarket and tally up what percentage of the products you’ve bought were manufactured locally. Then think to your purchase decision mechanism, did you automatically dismiss the local substitute for the global brand? I know it’s a lot to ask, and that yes you’ll miss your gourmet coffees, teas and meals. Yet for a change. Let's be proactive. Let's BUY EGYPT!”

Inji’s blog readers were all enthusiastic about the project as apparently young Egyptians are aspiring a change, and they still believe in the prosperity of their country.

Jessy [4]who created the Arabic logo for the campaign said:

“*claps really hard* I hate those boycott messages. First of all because I hate being told what to do and nagged to do it. Second of all most of the boycott emails have no basis that these companies are aiding or not aiding the causes.
As for buying Egyptian, this is exactly what we need. Our economy needs it regardless of what is going on in the rest of the world and once we understand that we need to help ourselves before expecting anyone else to help us we will finally be on the road to some improvement.”

Others, however, were skeptic:

Will E [5] who is heartily for the idea still believes we have some issues to consider:

“The idea in theory is great, and I’ve thought of it many times. It’s appealing and I am personally all for it, and am willing to suffer a bit but let me be the voice of reason. Buy Egypt means supporting all those companies who cheat with materials, quality and components and telling them it’s okay you don’t have to learn how to be efficient, you don’t have to learn how to provide good service, we’ll buy your products anyway and you can make some money.
Why do Egyptians raise prices of everything local and imported even when the cost of making it drops? I wish buy egypt were the answer… I really do.”

Dee [6] adds:

“Easier said than done ya Juka, have you seen the quality of the products in question? I wish it were an option, but its not and that allege is based on trial! Will promise you to try again, but I don’t have my hopes up (and you already know that I’m not spoilt brand brat, right?”

Juka then replied practically to skepticism and went through her daily routine, in which she enlisted and came up with many quality local alternatives [3].

At the end Inji pleaded with her readers to hang on to the positive:

“Let's focus on the bright spots and let's work on identifying pioneers in the dark ones”.

The effort has kicked off [7]and will work as follows, says Juka:

“1) It is an invitation to one and all to start going local (Arab) in all their purchase decisions.
2) On a weekly basis in this outlet I will post either an Egyptian/Arab success story or a customer complaint directed to a local company. Feel free to start e-mailing me those.”