Egypt: Mubarak is Strangling Us, as Banks Remain Closed and Food Runs Out

This post is part of our special coverage of Egypt Protests 2011.

Banks and stock markets remain closed in Egypt today, as Egyptians continue their anti-Mubarak protests for the eighth day in a row. Reports continue to emerge of food and medical shortages, as the cash flow dwindles after ATM machines across the country have stopped working.

Hundreds of thousands of protesters across Egypt are continuing in their call for president Hosni Mubarak, who has been at the helm for 30 years, to leave power. A Million Man March is taking place as I type, with hundreds of thousands of marchers expected to join the growing crowds in their chant for Mubarak to go away.

An archive photo of an Egyptian man carrying bread, from Flickr user Nasser Nouri. (Used under CC BY-NC-SA 2.0)

Banks and markets have been indefinitely closed by the government, citing security concerns. With cash running low, the question which begs itself is how is the average Egyptian faring without a steady cash flow? On Twitter, the notion is that the government is deliberately starving Egyptians to break up their resolve.

Egyptian blogger Alaa Abd El Fattah, who is currently in South Africa and is getting the information directly from Egypt and tweeting it, explains:

note banks can't operate, medicine and food supplies not flowing. yet state tv operational, regime newspapers get distributed #Jan25

He adds:

the shortages just as the lack of security are deliberately planned and implemented by mubarak to strike fear and split the people #Jan25

Meanwhile, tweeting from Egypt, @monasosh writes:

All medicine distributors r closed except one,so when pharmacies run out of them Alexandria will probably face medicine crisis soon #Jan25

Al Shaheeed explains:

@Alshaheeed #Mubarak plan now is to depend on Egyptians getting tired & hungry for food & security. #Jan25 #Egypt Our plan is to survive. We'r younger

Despite the bleakness, there is a flicker of light, as Egyptians come together in their resolve to throw their dictator.

@MoatazMedhat An Egyptian citizen donates 7000 L.E. (A lump sum in Egypt) to buy food for protesters in Tahrir (liberation) Square. #Egypt #jan25

More tweets of shortages continue:

@AlyaaGad People need food, money and medical help! People have no access to basic life needs in #Egypt right now. SOS shituation! #Jan25

@ctrinity Water cut off and food supply in #Egypt running low. The injured can't be properly treated. No comm. #Egypt under siege. Speak now! #Jan25

But the attitude remains upbeat:

@HB_1_2011: people are euphoric in egypt, and willing to sacrifice with food and money so the regime would go #jan25 #egypt

And there is more cooperation:

@BloggerSeif: Roles have switched today, women seem to be stocking up on food, men mostly remain in Tahrir #Jan25

And an out pour of support from the community:

@darbelbahlawan: Food shortage in a few delta cities! I hope local committees will be formed to deal with that too. #jan25 #egypt

Some say the reason is to starve the people:

@2011khankar Egypt gvt applying organized food shortages so tha population's concern is survival only #jan25 #sidibouzid

But the Egyptians are braving the odds:

@basmahamdy: People in Mohnadessin queuing for bread. Basic food hard to find #Egypt #Jan25

@MarcoMago #egypt #jan25 Ppl should start organizing market places for trading food and other stuff. You do not need the gov for that.

Amina ElBehary adds:

I have been on about this for days. Mubarak will fight with economic, political, physical, psychological tactics, and any others he can find.

@MonaElhusseini:: RT @kame11o Update from #Cairo: Hyperone Market still open. They reduced prices dramatically to help citizens cope with cash shortage #egypt #jan25

Moving on the economic woes, netizens are quick to add their two cents. Following are some reactions from Twitter:

summersale7@: RT @Desert_Dals #Egypt's stock market closing again on Tuesday. I hope employees are attending the million-person march! #Jan25

@alaa: stock markets across the region seeing record drops mubarak will sacrifice anything to remain in power #Jan25

@draddee: World stock markets fall and oil prices rise following #Egypt's uprising – Guardian #jan25

@alaa ♻ @avinunu: Al Jazeera: Jordanian stockmarket has lost $850M in value since start of Egypt uprising #jan25

@F_Madadha: #Egypt Stock Market Tumbles Over 5% on Protests. #Jan25 #Market

@ahmedelmasri: Stock market hit is directly linked to the ongoing crisis in #Egypt #Jan25

@minaelia Banks and stock market closed today because of protests. #Egypt #Jan25

@peteskelley Egypt's finances r crashing with no tourist revenues, stock market is dead & Mubarek spends his last 5 EGP on kerosene 4 jet fly bys? #jan25

@anan_ibrahim: Egypt Stock market loses $12bn in three days! #jan25 #egypt

Photo credit: Nasser Nouri

This post is part of our special coverage of Egypt Protests 2011.

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