Egypt’s awakenings are not all declared by the media. Sometimes positive things are born silently without the TV stations and different media forms getting to it and tainting it with their production of it.

Such a rebirth is happening now with heroin addicts all over Egypt. Somehow it seems that the revolution with its number of arrests and depositions has managed to fundamentally topple the system that networked in selling its heroin on Egypt’s streets.



I remember in an old interview I gave a friend after I was just settling back into life in Cairo, back then she said..

“Egypt has changed tamaman [totally] since the 80s. Cairo more specifically was still a magical place. There was half as many people, the hash market was thriving. Everyone was spying on everyone else. It was delightful.

It was still [partially] isolated from this western culture of time and money, it was still innocent somehow prior to the assassination of Sadat.

Following the assassination of Sadat things started to change really fast. And when I came back in the 90s there was this whole thing with liberalization, “economic reform” business, which opened the flood gates to all sorts of trash basically, or this western style of development, [resulting in] this veneer of wellbeing as everything is getting worse and worse.

The 80s were more honest somehow. Tab3an [of course] there was corruption, of course people didn’t have it all, but it was honest, more upfront. Now of course the government tries to disguise what it’s doing with all this great rhetoric; ..reform and open market, as people are starving to death.

For one thing the very next-day to Sadat’s assassination, there was a tank in the market-place in Batniyya, and a big crackdown on the hash dealers, but at the same time heroin started hitting the streets in a big way which had never happened before and this totally changed the face of the city. Hashish was one little thing that people could allow themselves, a small pleasure, a recreation. When that was substituted by heroin, you started getting more violence. There was this great uncertainty surrounding Mubarak, and then things seemed to spiral from then on. I think the population [increase] had a lot to do with it. At some point things must have become unmanageable.




Well that was Maria Golia and the year was 2006. Now in 2011 we see that with the toppling of Mubarak and his top-tier band of 40 thieves, heroin has managed to dry up on Egypt’s streets. And the addicts- well they now have a real chance to discover who they really are without this destructive substance’s hold on their every effort. Best of luck to those being reborn.. see you on the other side…  : )


Well there’s a number of potential reasons to this:

First with the whole trouble in Egypt, Israeli IDF border patrols have risen in numbers making it harder for smugglers to weave through. One such smuggler in Egypt I heard saying ‘mashyit Mubarak jat 3aleina bkharaab’ meaning Mubarak’s leaving has brought destruction on our heads, in other words, Mubarak’s absence has made it difficult for illegal smugglers to conduct business as normal.


The thing with heroin is that actually Egypt under Mubarak used to produce a lot of the fundamental raw material- opium. At a time when these channels were still functioning, this opium was smuggled to Israel, where their labs convert the opium to diacetylmorphine- or heroin for short. Part of this is then sold back [at a far higher price] to the Bedouin smugglers in the Sinai Peninsula, which then act as middlemen to the big traders in the different cities where demand centralizes.


Another reason that saw the acceleration of the disappearance of the drug was the Walk to Palestine that was declared on the day of the Nakba. The increased border security completely cut-off a tap that was already barely trickling after Mubarak’s ousting. The natural thing to do for the local traders was to first get rid of all the inferior quality merchandise that could not get sold while better heroin was available. But then even that had to come to an end.


The third reason that might explain this tap-effect, that was demonstrated clearly only months earlier when hashish disappeared completely from Cairo at the time Mubarak and Zakaria Azmi left to Germany for the ousted president to undergo medical treatment, is attributed to the sudden disappearance or unavailability of ‘facilitators’. Thus stocked levels dry up and we hit a dry run all of a sudden.


Well one thing is for sure, we the people need to understand more about who holds power over this tap. And what the hell are their reasons for turning it off.. or on?


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