Figures released yesterday by the Information and Decision Support Center of Egypt's Council of Ministers paint a grim picture of the situation in Egypt. About 21% of work-eligible young Egyptians (29 years old and younger) cannot find a job. To put matters in perspective, the current unemployment rate in the U.S., during one of the country's worst economic recessions, is below 10%.
Hmm. Young population? Check. Young population hooked into the innerwebs? Check. Young population, hooked into the innerwebs, just sitting around with nothing to do but take to the streets given the right excuse? Check.
El-Shimy's conclusion is a little more ominous than mine though:
When 20 of every 100 young Egyptians spend most of their time hanging out at the local coffee shop, smoking shisha financed by the meager allowance their parents give them, they are unlikely to silently accept the probable transfer of power from Mubarak to his son. Additionally, they are likely to fall prey to all sorts of "isms" that tell them why the world is such a nasty and an unjust place.
Let's hope the Iranians of 2009 give them a better blueprint for change than the Iranians of 1979.