CAIRO: With the holy month of Ramadan fast approaching, the majority of the nation is preparing for the daily feasts that go along with breaking the fast at sunset. Although the fanoos (Ramadan lanterns) are perhaps the most recognizable aspect of the month, food plays just as large a role.
The most controversial issues every year are food prices, quality and availability. The Daily Star Egypt took to the streets to gauge peoples reactions regarding the upcoming holy month.
All Ramadan stuff is in the market; there is no problem in that aspect. The problem is in the prices of the nuts and dried fruits. Merchants take advantage of the customers because they are sure that customers will buy their goods regardless of the prices. Najlaa, physician.
Ramadan habits are linked with certain foods. Merchants know that they will sell what they have with the price they determine; there is no supervision at all. There should be some campaigns to monitor the prices and the quality of the items. We pay more than usual for the items so they should at least be edible.Tahany, housewife.
It is an injustice. They call us greedy but what can we do? They limited the imported Ramadan goods, and the quantity in the market isn’t the same. It is expensive for us as merchants so it has to also be expensive for the customers. It is trade and we have limits on our profits. Mahmoud, merchant
I buy some items but not in such a large quantity that it affects my budget. Most of the nuts are imported. I think it would be better if we use the money spent on nuts on other more important goods, like wheat.Nasry, accountant
Nuts and related products are not as important as other things, which are now exceedingly expensive. Sugar, rice and oil all are expensive. We use them everyday so we don’t notice that the yearly raise in the prices is large. I think the percentage of the raise of Ramadan products is the same as other goods but we notice it because we experience it once a year.Mahmoud, civil servant
We direct our anger at merchants, although we know that they have nothing to do with it. There is a very tight margin between prices. It is not logical that all the merchants are greedy. Fareeda, housewife
Nuts and dried fruits are the main customs during Ramadan. I don’t feel that as though the month has arrived without (Yameesh). We buy them whether they are expensive or not. There is actually a slight raise this year but it is reasonable, according to the raise we experienced in every thing. At least it is less than the raise in oil.Mohammed, pharmacist
I can’t understand the huge difference in prices between this year and the last. The last year prices were high; this year they are even higher. Also, the quality is not the same. Another thing is there are some places that deal with elites and sell these goods at unbelievable prices. This gives the excuse for other merchants to raise their prices.Sameera, sales woman
The views expressed in Word on the Street do not necessarily reflect the views of The Daily Star Egypt.