Protests Leave Egyptian Economy in Shambles

CAIRO, Egypt - Giza -- home to pyramids more than 4,000 years old and, until two weeks ago, visited by thousands of tourists a day, reports CBS News correspondent Terry McCarthy.

But today Giza is empty -- and horse guides like Farag abu Ghanim, who has 25 employees and 35 horses, are in trouble.

"From where we feed our family?" asked Farag. "And from where we feed these horses?"

Each horse costs almost $10 a day to feed -- Farag has already gone into debt to pay for them. Many more are like him -- tourism accounts for one out of every ten jobs in Egypt.

"Everybody like the tourist, everybody like the tourist, because nobody like sleeping, we want work," said camel driver Mustafa Ibrahim.

Complete Coverage: Anger in the Arab World

These pyramids normally attract 12 million tourists a year to Egypt, but since the protests began, they have been deserted -- and with all the attacks on foreigners in the streets, many here fear it may be some time before those tourists come back.

Egypt is a daunting prospect for travelers -- the must-visit Egyptian museum in downtown Cairo is located right in the middle of the demonstrations. And in the Red Sea resort of Sharm al Sheik, American investors are holding up millions of dollars in development projects because of the unrest.

"Five years -- it is going to take us five years to catch up to where we are today," said Stephen Everhart of the American University in Cairo.

In central Cairo, shop owners like Abdul al-Sunni say their business is down 70 percent -- he is not earning enough to feed his family.

Across the street, business in a leather store is even worse.

The last time Raafat Abd el-Wahed sold a jacket was two weeks ago.

All of Egypt is hurting -- one bank estimates the country is losing $310 million a day.

"For the man in the street they can't even get pounds, they can't get Egyptian pounds out of the ATMs, we have been out of work for two weeks," said Stephan.

Many businessmen may not be happy with Mubarak, but they are also losing patience with protestors who are killing their bottom lines.
  • Terry McCarthy

Comments

Follow Us

On Twitter