Discontent has been simmering for months in Egypt, but only a few dare show it – like the people who took to the streets of Cairo last August. They were angry about the soaring cost of food.
With a population of 80 million, Egypt is the world’s most populous Arab nation, where 40 percent get by on only two dollars a day. That is the UN’s benchmark for poverty.
Egypt is also struggling with unemployment. Young people are the worst affected, even those with qualifications.
Egypt faces the same problems that led to outright revolt in Tunisia. And, like Tunisia, Egypt has witnessed a recent wave of self-immolation.
Protesters have set fire to themselves in front of official buildings to show their discontent. But the authorities have dismissed the incidents as being due to mental illness.