Global Politics

Cairo taxi drivers

There are at least 80,000 taxi drivers in Cairo. So it's typical to find yourself in a cab exchanging conversation with a driver. This political scientist had so many of those conversations he decided to turn them into a book. He says the high unemployment in the country has led everyone to become a taxi driver and the drivers come from all sorts of backgrounds, and he says they're a barometer of the Egyptian street. This driver thinks they have a pulse on the finger of Egypt. The book is already a success and has been a best seller since it came out in Egypt in 2006, and now it's being released in English. They drivers express a wide range of differing viewpoints. One common thread for the drivers is economic hardship, most are driving for second jobs. Those kinds of economic woes turn into political complaints, the drivers complain consistently about what they see as corruption in politics and make fun of politicians. the author says he's had no problem with government censorship.

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