My days and thoughts....

Blog covering some selected happenings in my life.

Tuesday, February 28, 2006

Egyptian Government and poultry industry in Egypt

Is the government destroying the local poultry industry? Is Egypt going to be a net importer of chicken after exporting what is worth more than 30 million US Dollars last year? What will happen to 2.5 million perons working in this vital industry? I will not be able to answer all these questions but I will just voice my own opinion. The government is fighting the outbreak of bird flu virus by slaughtering all chicken whether they are in the proximity of an infected area or not.

Many people, most of them very poor, grow chicken at their homes and usually the leave them roaming around in the streets or keep them at the roof. The keep them for their own consumption and for a small revenue for the eggs. An egg before the virus outbreak cost 0.30 LE ( $0.05 USD). However, it is well known that poot people live in miserable and unsanitary conditions and this chicken pose some danger to the public's health. I also watched on that Dream 2 "El 3ashera Masa2" that there was a law dating back to 1940 that prohibits growing poultry at homes. The government just remembered more than 65 years later to enact the law?
Anyways, its good that the government cares about the people after 65 years.

However, the real concern is that the government is destroying the local poultry industry that employs more than 2.5 million person. People in Egypt like to eat slaughtered chicken over the frozen which is proven by the United State's' department of Agriculture's report on the poultry industry in Egypt released in March 1997[pdf]. My grandmother is one of those who always buy slaughtered chicken. The government stopped all of that forever. Many enterpreneurs and owners of small and medium sized poultry industries including chicken growers have their businesses closed by the government and millions of healthy chicken were slaughtered. There is that guy living in the states said on the ALU's message board that his family's chicken farm was closed by the government and they lost 100s of thousands of pounds. This is a big catastrophe. All chicken meat producers are losing their jobs and incomes.

What made me suspicious is that the goverment announced that import of frozen chicken from a non infected country will start very soon and it will facilitate the process for importers. On the other hand, china and other asian nations started vaccinating their poultry against the disease 4 monthes ago!!!

By David McAlary
16 November 2005
China is expanding its effort to vaccinate poultry in an effort to stop the
spread of the highly virulent form of bird flu virus known as H5N1. It is one of
four Asian nations that have adopted the inoculation tactic. The United Nations'
top influenza control official says there are drawbacks to the practice,
biological and economic, but emphasizes that it is necessary for reducing the
amount of virus circulating in birds.

Check the the article on the voice of america's archive.
This means the government has some other intention other than limiting the spread of the disease and saving the national industry. Shuting down the industry and resorting to import after the outbreak is so strange. If the government was really keen for the benefit of the people they would have taken precautionary measures long time ago.

However, The government and ruling party were busy forging the parliamentary elections and killing people who went to vote. And now, in my opinion, they are exaggerating the rumors and the outbreak to serve the interests of some importers in the ruling party.

Thursday, February 23, 2006

Its not only Bird Flu in Egypt, dead chicken rumors too

Well, I have something to say on the bird flu. Not defending the government but increasingly more number of people led by Soot Al Omma Newspaper accused the government of hiding the truth of the virus for a month before last Friday's announcement in the favour of major poultry producers.

Well obviously this is not true at all since that once the first case happened others started to be unveiled over the course of the current ending week. If it was really here long before the high number of cases would have been higher long ago and such chaos that we are currently living in would have happened back then. Moreover, the World Health Organization (WHO) and Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) are operating in Egypt and are somehow in charge of the media process because if the government wants to cheat us, the people, it won't cheat the international community and the world is facing increasing dangers and we are in a critical problem that will definitly affect the national economy and give a blast to the 6.1% forecasted growth rate this year (read here).

However, I might agree with the rest of the news that the government is conspiring against the poor people, small sized poultry industries and all these people who raise chicken at their home for the benefit of major big ass bussiness men owning large scale poultry industries. Why? I will leave that for the next post. The government is not doing its best in resisting the outbreak other than playing on people nerves.

But it's not only the governmnet that is playing on people nerves. Its the Mobile phone operators this time Mobinil and Vodafone. On Tuesday, a silly rumor spread in the media, primarly by using mobile phones in the form of an sms (text message). Every 1 of 5 Egyptians has a mobile phone now, almost 15 million users. The 2 mobile phone networks were brought down by heavy traffic during the noon and afternoon hours due to that silly rumor. I will post the whole message later if I edit this post but in brief it warned against drinking tap water and resorting to mineral bottled water because dead chicken is being thrown in the river nile. What the hell is that? I haven't seen any piece of shit even floating over the nile not to say thousands of chicken. Hold on a minute, does shit float? I don't think so. People say that mineral water companies are the ones behind this rumor and a friend of mine told me that a big grocery store in his street in Heliopolis sold the bottled water box (of 12 bottles) for 30LE while the normal price is less than 14 LE. However, I think that mobinil and vodafone are trying to maximize their profits before the 3rd operator starts decreasing their share in the market of mobile phone users. I received this text message alone for 3 times. Few friends received it more than 5 times. In addition to the huge volume of voice calls which is needed to bring the phone network down for 3 hours. Anyways, this country will still survive.

Friday, February 17, 2006


It is official now. Avian FLU reached Egypt. It has been confirmed by the World Health Organization and have just been reported by Reuters just 10 mins ago. Don't believe the government media if they deny it.

CAIRO, Feb 17 (Reuters) - Cases of the deadly H5N1 bird flu virus have been
found in dead birds in three areas of Egypt, a senior official from the
Health Organisation (WHO) told Reuters.
"There is avian flu now in
Hassan el Bushra, regional adviser for emerging diseases the eastern
Mediterranean regional office of WHO said. He did not name the three areas
said birds had died from the deadly H5N1 virus.

Also earlier today at 10 am there was an emergency meeting headed by the prime minister and the defence, Interior, Agriculture and Information ministers according to Reuters too!!!

Egypt ministers meet over dead bird suspicions
17 Feb 2006 13:51:53
GMTSource: ReutersCAIRO, Feb 17 (Reuters) - Egyptian ministers met on Friday to
discuss the possibility that a case of some bird deaths in the Egyptian capital
may have been due to bird flu, a government official said on Friday.
is a case of dead birds in Nasr City (an area of Cairo) ... We received this
news and were invited at 10 a.m. this morning to hold this meeting (of
ministers)," the official, who asked not to be named, told Reuters.
official said the meeting was to discuss the possibility the birds may have died
of the deadly H5N1 virus.
The meeting included Prime Minister Ahmed Nazif
and the agriculture, interior, defence and information ministers. A health
source, who also asked not to be named, said officials were meeting to discuss
possible bird deaths from the virus. But he did not give details.
Egypt has
banned the import of live birds and has tightened quarantine controls at
airports to keep out bird flu. It has also cancelled the annual bird hunting
season to minimise contacts between people and migrant birds.
Nothing was mentioned at all by the official government news agency MENA as expected as they will try to hide the truth from the Egyptian people as usual.

[5.45pm update] Official governement statement was announced on local Television.
They said 7 cases of chicken were tested positive for the H5N1 and results were confirmed at 3am Cairo local time on Friday. They were all home grown.
4 cases in Cairo, 2 in Giza (Greater Cairo) and 1 in Menia (~3oo km south of Cairo).
I will post more info later.

Here are direct link to what Reuters said

here is also the link to the website of the official Egyptian news Agency that should have been the first to post the news

Sunday, February 05, 2006

Attention:BlogSpot virus!!!