It may be a stupid question, but you can’t help wondering as you wander through the Egyptian museum looking at the remnants from what was one of the world’s greatest ever civilisations: Where did it all go wrong?
How come thousands of years ago they were so rich and so talented and intelligent that they were able to bury people with more riches than it would take several families a lifetime to make in modern Egypt, where people earn around $160 a month if they’re lucky?
I am shocked at how poor this country is, and so is Nawal, the writer and activist I interviewed last night. She of course blames it on economic colonialism. As well as non-secular government and a patriarchal society. “We are forced to eat imported food,” she told me last night. “We are perfectly capable of growing our own, but now our agriculture is non-existent.”
The answer is clearly to put the women in charge and make the men grow the vegetables. Then they can go back to the good old days.
PS In response to Dom’s comment below (as my own website seems to think that my comments are spam and will not let me post any) my point is this: In England today the majority of people do not live below the poverty line. We have a working and a middle class that is prosperous. Here there seems to be no middle class, 99.9% are poor and the others are rich. Of course peasants in Medieval England were badly off, but the fact is they don’t live in the gutter today or have to send their children out to work.
Copyright: Helena Frith Powell 2009