Guide: The Challenges Egypt and the Morsi Administration Must Face

Bassem Sabry , Thursday 16 Aug 2012

Bassem Sabry provides an overview of the political, economic and social challenges facing Egypt's first post-Mubarak president, with an emphasis on the everyday problems facing average Egyptians

Old Cairo
A general view of mosques is pictured before sunset during the Muslim holy month of Ramadan, in Old Cairo (Photo: Reuters)

Mohamed Morsi, Egypt’s first democratically-elected and civilian president, and his divisive choice for prime minister, former irrigation minister Hisham Qandil, have recently settled on their long-awaited choices for the new cabinet, a sizeable 35-strong council of ministers. This new cabinet faces a list of increasingly daunting challenges that face a country still recovering from tumultuous upheaval.

This special guide presents an overview of some of the most critical of these challenges. The focus, however, is more on the everyday life for Egyptians. The guide will avoid discussion of topics such as foreign policy or the influence of the military over political decisions. Rather, the aim is to highlight issues that have received a relatively smaller share of attention in public discourse due to the predominant focus on the democratic transition process and its exceptional and unique difficulties.

The Economy

Subsidies & the Budget

Food Security

Fuel & Electricity Shortages


Slums & Random Housing

Religious Freedoms, Minorities

Judiciary & Education

The Interior Ministry

Freedom of Speech, Media & the Arts


Women's Rights, Street Children

The Public Sector & Privatisation



Saving Cairo!

Healthcare & Hepatitis

National Reconciliation


A note to readers: While statistics contained in this report have been obtained from reputable and/or specialised sources, other estimates or figures may vary, depending on methods of calculation. Even so, the figures remain within the same pertinent range and indications. Also, the guide is not necessarily meant to be read in one sitting. It is designed in a manner that allows for multiple reading sessions. For currency conversions, assume for simplicity that $1 equals LE6.

Bassem Sabry is a blogger and writer who specializes in Egyptian and Middle Eastern affairs. His work has appeared in Foreign Policy and The Atlantic. He blogs at and can be found on Twitter at @Bassem_Sabry
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