Sevcik's Blog

A year in Cairo Egypt

Wednesday, February 22, 2006

Bird Flu

So the Bird Flu is in Egypt.

Not a surprise.

What is also not a surprise is to hear that rumors are spreading about the bird flu.

Yesterday news spread around work that NO ONE should drink the tap water. Why? Because thousands of birds were apparently killed and thrown into the Nile, contaminating the water. By evening last night almost every store was completely out of bottled water, and prices were doubled. Today we heard it was a big lie. No birds in thrown into the Nile, and the water has just as much chlorine-shocked treatment as ever.

We (Egypt) are in a financial crisis due to this bird issue. The poultry industry provides work for approximately 2.5-3 million people in Egypt. Here people by their meat by going to the souk, picking out a live bird, and having the butcher kill it and sent it off with the buyer. Now, these butchers are without business. Everyone is afraid of birds.

I have noticed the lack of birds lately, in fact. Normally they roam the streets and the souks. Not now. Now they are all dead, or soon to be dead I suppose.

In the meantime people are eating a lot of swarma and minced meat. Even at work today no one wanted the shish tawook (chicken). Is this the new SARS?


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