Thursday, May 16, 2013

The Christian Flight From Egypt Continues

CAIRO — Wasfi Amin Wassef used to buy and sell jewelry from his shop in Cairo’s vast Khan al-Khalili bazaar. Now he mostly buys it.

Well into a third year of economic malaise following the overthrow of President Hosni Mubarak, many ordinary Egyptians are selling their most cherished possessions, including heirloom jewelry, to raise cash for a ticket that will let them start a new life abroad. Official figures or estimates are not publicly available, but anecdotal evidence suggests emigration is rising.

“The number of people who sell us their gold since the revolution has increased three times,” Mr. Wassef said during an interview this month.

Some are Muslims but most are Christians, said Mr. Wassef, a member of Egypt’s ancient Coptic Orthodox Christian minority.
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