What could possibly annoy Egyptian elites?

Over the past few months, the most heated topic of discussion among Egyptian elites has been the growing number of street cats in their exclusive social clubs. Many of our elites are engaged in a lively debate about whether it is better to get rid of these cats (and risk increasing the number of mice) or to keep the cats that annoy a large number of club members. Having too much spare time is a challenge to many elites; they work on “killing time” instead of making the best use of it.

Elites in Egypt live and work in isolated and well-secured areas. They inhabit gated compounds located at a comfortable distance from the crowded capital and spend their spare time in their exclusive social sports clubs that offer a combination of excellent sports facilities and expansive green leisure areas for socializing. Additionally, they often design their own spacious offices, with private lavatories, that are much more upscale than their colleagues’ offices.

“The life of a member of the elite in a developing nation is significantly better than that of an ordinary citizen in an advanced nation,” is a fundamental point that many Egyptian elites make when expressing their gratitude for the privileged life they lead! In fact, Egyptian elites are able, through their extensive network, to fulfill all their desires; government personnel tend to treat them with great admiration, which may even entail some bending of the law – they know that they could be maltreated by those who enjoy elite social status.

Social media has led many Egyptian elites to expose their lifestyle to the vast majority of Egyptians and group chatting has opened a wide window through which to learn more about their everyday concerns. Personal interest is what drives elites’ affairs; they see world dynamics from their narrow perspective; their quarrels are founded based on their belief that what is good for them serves the entire world perfectly (they are not even aware of the defectiveness of this argument).

The elite adhere completely to the Egyptian State’s political stance concerning the importance of stability. Living a privileged, comfortable life prompts them to defend State stability at any cost – it never crosses their minds that any civil disturbance would be driven by the less fortunate who are not well served by the State. For the elites, politics is a risky and unpleasant field, which they only practice when exchanging views during political debates at private gatherings; actual political engagement might expose them to the public, something they try to avoid.

At the beginning of each summer, the elites leave Cairo to spend the entire summer at their beach houses on the north east coast. The whole family operates from the summerhouse, with the exception of the husband who divides his time between his work in Cairo and long weekends on the beach. Many important business decisions are made on those beaches where people can meet in a relaxing atmosphere to discuss business opportunities.

The most valuable feature of Egyptian elites is their generous money donations to the poor that enable millions of families to survive. Many of our elites tend to pledge large amounts (that they manage to recover in few days) to charity funds, yet they are not much concerned with policies designed to alleviate poverty in Egypt; on the contrary, they want to continue enjoying the exclusiveness of belonging to the wealthy minority.

The elites are forced to confront the reality of Egypt when they are hospitalized. The best hospitals in Egypt still offer reckless medical and nursing care. Egyptian elites have managed to develop an extraordinary social and entertainment life, but they have completely failed to provide hospitals that are quite up to advanced international standards. Some elites manage to obtain treatment abroad, however, in urgent cases they still need to be hospitalized in Egypt. If Egyptian elites could bring themselves to anticipate the future more clearly, they might live their lives differently.

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