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You are here:  Home  >  Articles by Iris Boutros
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Whose economic president?

  /  April 1, 2014  /  Opinion  /  118 Comments

Listen The opportunity for presidential hopefuls to announce their intentions is now. So far, two have made themselves known, former Minister of Defence Abdel Fattah Al-Sisi and Nasserist politician Hamdeen Sabahy. Perhaps others will announce read the rest…

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Disappointment, in football and life

  /  March 17, 2014  /  Opinion  /  2 Comments

Listen Sunday was a bad day for Manchester United footballer Wayne Rooney. After his side’s crushing defeat to Liverpool at their stadium Old Trafford, the striker said: “It’s a nightmare. It’s one of the worst read the rest…

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South Africa’s youth employment bill

  /  March 10, 2014  /  Opinion  /  3 Comments

Listen In May of 2012, a violent clash erupted between protesters and the opposition. Although this sounds like a fairly common news report from Egypt these days, the incident in fact took place in South read the rest…

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‘Let them eat cake’, part 2

  /  March 3, 2014  /  Opinion  /  2 Comments

Listen When Gouda Abdel Khalek was Minister of Supply in March of 2012 he made a very “novel” suggestion— not the good kind of novel. At the time, Egypt’s food subsidy programme supplies were woefully read the rest…

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“Let them eat cake”

  /  February 17, 2014  /  Opinion  /  4 Comments

Listen “Qu’ils mangent de la brioche,” or “let them eat cake,” as the traditional translation of this French phrase goes, is a timeless symbol of leaders that are out of touch with the realities and read the rest…

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The difference between Reform and reform

  /  February 10, 2014  /  Opinion  /  1 Comment

Listen “To better serve farmers.” The goals are a more productive agricultural sector and improved food security for Egypt’s population. Key is improving the services of the Principal Bank for Development and Agricultural Credit (PBDAC), read the rest…

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Meet Reem

  /  February 3, 2014  /  Opinion  /  232 Comments

Listen Reem is a cleaning lady and a mother of four. She has been married twice though neither ex-husband supports his children financially or otherwise. Reem is on her own raising her children. Reem is read the rest…

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Benevolent dictator

  /  January 27, 2014  /  Opinion  /  1 Comment

Listen South Korea has quickly become one of the world’s economic powerhouses. Growth of its real gross domestic product (GDP or the most common although imperfect measure of a country’s economic performance) was an average read the rest…

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Englishman in New York

  /  January 6, 2014  /  Opinion  /  No Comments

Listen Would you like this delivered? It was a normal question in Cairo. But in Brooklyn, New York, my friend was a little surprised. New York City residents do boast about being able to have anything delivered. But, if McDonald’s doesn’t have 24-hour delivery, how much can they really boast? After a trip to the read the rest…

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Inclusive entrepreneurship

  /  December 2, 2013  /  Opinion  /  114 Comments

Listen   Gedety was too good to be true. Yasser El Zahhar, its founder, had the idea to start a social business that would employ non-working Egyptian women to make products that working Egyptian women read the rest…

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Will women Rise Up as Egypt’s entrepreneurs?

  /  November 25, 2013  /  Opinion  /  1 Comment

Listen   Rise Up, Egypt’s first major entrepreneurial summit held in Cairo on November 24-25 was a resounding success. It brought together many different and important players from the entrepreneurial ecosystem: investors, accelerators, corporates, civil read the rest…

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The social businesses to turn Egypt’s black skies blue

  /  November 18, 2013  /  Opinion  /  2 Comments

Listen It’s that time of year. Black skies over Cairo and all over Egypt’s Delta mean the rice farmers are burning their straw. They will be burning about four millions tonnes of rice straw these read the rest…

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Egypt’s veil of ignorance and the social contract

  /  November 11, 2013  /  Opinion  /  2 Comments

Listen “[A]pply the following test. Recall the face of the poorest and the weakest man whom you may have seen, and ask yourself, if the step you contemplate is going to be of any use read the rest…

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Powering economic equality: GE, Ashoka Changemakers and social entrepreneurs

  /  November 5, 2013  /  Opinion  /  7 Comments

Listen Three social entrepreneurs will receive cash prizes from GE and Ashoka Changemakers in the Women Powering Work competition for innovations that will advance economic opportunities for women in the MENA region. Better integrating women read the rest…

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Egyptian female youth and their labour market

  /  October 28, 2013  /  Opinion  /  84 Comments

Listen Recently, I was stunned. I had quite a surprising experience while interviewing a young, Egyptian woman for a basic entry-level analyst-type position. From my perspective, the interview was going well. The young woman was read the rest…

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Social enterprises: The missing piece to protecting Egypt’s natural treasures?

  /  October 21, 2013  /  Opinion  /  No Comments

Listen Last week I was in paradise, a total state of calm and peace unknown to me since the dispersal of the sit-ins on 14 August. Rather than focus on conflict, clashes and blood, I read the rest…

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Getting in the way: politics and doing business in Egypt

  /  October 7, 2013  /  Opinion  /  No Comments

Listen “If it bleeds, it leads.” That news industry fundamental is Minister of Tourism Hisham Zaazou’s October 7 morning business challenge. The leading stories by news agencies all over the world about the clashes that read the rest…

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The Egyptian and Californian tomato farmers and the galabaya mafia

  /  September 30, 2013  /  Opinion  /  No Comments

Listen “I am a farmer. My father was a farmer. My grandfather was a farmer. But I only now learned how to farm.” These are the proud words of an Egyptian small farmer whose tomato read the rest…

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The ‘minimum wage’ defeat for ten million

  /  September 23, 2013  /  Opinion  /  2 Comments

Listen There have been mixed reactions to this week’s announcement of a new public sector minimum total income of EGP1,200 per month to come into effect in January of 2014. Many are unsatisfied – unsatisfied read the rest…

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Education, a waste of money?

  /  September 16, 2013  /  Opinion  /  1 Comment

Listen “Zahma moot, (it is very crowded) and it’s not yet 9 AM.” The taxi driver is complaining. Traffic is already gridlocked early in the morning (yes, Egyptians consider 9 AM early). And then he read the rest…

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Stop the battle cries, people need hope

  /  September 9, 2013  /  Opinion  /  26 Comments

Listen The gas bill collector cried at my door. He is not a young man but an Egyptian man in his mid-forties, who is a husband and a father. Culturally, men are not supposed to read the rest…

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More than 700 million worth of positive signals in Egypt

  /  September 2, 2013  /  Opinion  /  No Comments

Listen The ‘Egypt Support’ Fund, the 306306 account, has exceeded EGP 700m according to Ashraf El-Araby, Minister of Planning and International Cooperation, in the less than two months since its creation. Two other similar funds read the rest…

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Egyptian opinion on sit-in dispersals: Finding truth in reported facts

  /  August 26, 2013  /  Opinion  /  3 Comments

Listen A recent poll suggests that 67% of Egyptians are “satisfied with the manner” in which security forces dispersed the sit-ins at Rabaa Al-Adaweya and Nahda Square. Meanwhile a different poll suggests that 79% of read the rest…

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#Egypt needs more #facts

  /  August 19, 2013  /  Opinion  /  8 Comments

Egypt needs fewer rumours and more facts, writes Iris Boutros

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30 June and rights in Egypt

  /  August 12, 2013  /  Opinion  /  2 Comments

What do Egyptians mean when they say they want their rights, Iris Boutros asks?

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Avoiding austerity, Ahmed Galal is betting on Egypt’s economy

  /  July 29, 2013  /  Opinion  /  No Comments

Listen Egypt’s new Minister of Finance, Ahmed Galal, has chosen. He prefers a strategy of stimulating the economy over a focus on austerity. This is bold. It may not seem like it, especially in the read the rest…

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Opportunity as social justice

  /  July 23, 2013  /  Opinion  /  1 Comment

Listen Interim president Adly Mansour gave an excellent interview on state TV Saturday. He was very frank and clear about major challenges Egypt faces. A high priority for him is the implementation of the law read the rest…

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First the push, then the pull

  /  July 16, 2013  /  Opinion  /  No Comments

Listen Economies, like relationships, require a good feeling. The best relationships draw you in, and you really enjoy the happiness and value  you get from them. Less good ones can drive you away, and while read the rest…

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Information, not democracy, is necessary for a strong economy

  /  July 9, 2013  /  Opinion  /  105 Comments

Listen How democratic last week’s events in Egypt were will continue to be debated. Democratic or not, this is an excellent opportunity to set the economy in a better direction. Information will be critical for read the rest…

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Police uniforms and accountability

  /  July 2, 2013  /  Opinion  /  149 Comments

Listen People are angry and protesting in Egypt, Turkey, Brazil, South Africa, Greece, Spain, and many other places. But it was the protests in Berlin, Germany a short time back that caught my attention. It read the rest…

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