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Egyptians use humour to vent frustrations as currency tumbles

While many Egyptians struggle to make ends meet, social media is awash with memes attempting to make light of a harrowing situation
Egypt's economic struggle has ignited anger in poor and middle-class Egyptians who are urging authorities to cap prices (AFP/ Khaled Desouki)

Egyptians on social media have attempted to lighten the mood in the face of a grave financial situation in their country.

The Egyptian pound has depreciated in value by almost 14 percent since Russia's invasion of Ukraine prompting foreign investors to pull billions of dollars out of Egyptian treasury markets.

The invasion of Ukraine has also put a strain on Egypt’s food imports. Almost 80 percent of the country’s wheat imports came from Russia and Ukraine last year.

Many Egyptians are now struggling to put food on the table, sparking anger from poor and middle-class Egyptians who are urging authorities to cap prices.

Online, people shared their woes, using comedy and memes to vent their frustrations.

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Translation: "Seriously, I'm scared that if I refresh the price of the dollar again, they’ll take more money from me."

Translation: “Me watching the rise of the dollar while I don't have a dollar or an Egyptian pound.”

Many appeared to relate to the above caption, with TikTok users also adopting it in their own content.

Another TikTok user mimes the song, addressing the viewer saying “you are going to beg on the street. You especially will be begging on the street.”

While most used humour to make light of the country’s economic woes, others were not able to share the sentiment, finding the issue too serious to be made light of.

Translation: “The issue of the rise of the dollar is not a subject for comedy. This is the ruin of homes and no one will feel that prices are expensive like each man that is responsible for a house.”

Another Twitter user writes, “the subject of the dollar rising is making my blood boil,” comparing the struggle of making a living to “a donkey chasing a carrot”.

The devaluation of the national currency is catastrophic for the millions of Egyptians depositing money in banks, who have now lost 15 percent of their savings.

The Central Bank of Egypt (CBE) also raised the key interest rate by 100 basis points on Monday, citing the invasion of Ukraine and the Covid-19 pandemic. 

"The rise in commodity prices around the world caused by supply-chain disruptions are adding to domestic inflationary pressures and external imbalances," the bank said in a statement.

In February, Egypt’s inflation rate rose to its highest level in nearly three years, reaching 8.8 percent, up from 7.3 percent the previous month.

Meanwhile, the past month has seen a drastic rise in commodity prices, which forced the state to intervene and dictate the price of bread produced by private bakeries for the first time in years.

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