Wednesday, December 04, 2002

Research in Egypt - On Counting Chicken

in my line of work we have to do alot of research, especially
about the market and industries and the economy, etc.
now if I want reliable information I would NEVER consider an
Egyptian source,
and when I do have to, I end up going to wezaret el zera3a
masalan to get info about poultry production in Egypt.
I have to get a very strong wasta... to tell me WHO to go to,
that person sends me from person to person, to person to
person, until I finally find a woman who lets go of her fool
and ta3meyya sandwich and leafs through her drawer for a
piece of wrinkled paper that I've been slaving after for at
least a month..
the piece of wrinkled, paper is battered and bruised and
outdated by at least two years.. it is also handwritten, and
I'm not allowed to photocopy it.(as ofcourse it's highly
confidential top secret information, god forbid you find out
the rate at which hens reproduce in Egypt)
so instead she lets me copy it. is that not duplication?
'no, no,' she explains, smiling at my naivety..
'you're not allowed to p-h-o-t-o-c-p-y' she elaborates as she
pats me on the back..
so I sit, and copy number by number down.. much to her
annoyance as she always wants to leave by one..
I win the lady over using my charm and she agrees to give me
the figures for at least another two years, so i can try to
come up with any kind of coherent trend or projection using
the figures.
now ofcourse if I look hard enough I can find some
information in the American chamber of commerce, or the US
agricultural development fund, or the FAO or other UN
but ofcourse, the figures never match..
so I try to get the updated figures from the foreign sources, and try
to fix my local sources, using interviews performed with
business men in the field.. so that they tie well with the
updated figures I got from the other sources.

Other industries involve trips to CAPMAS, maktab el ma3loomat
we da3m etekhaz el qarar, and kazza other wezara and institute
with very outdated mashkuk fee information, that for some
reason they assume is very confidential, when they don't EVEN
KNOW what it is :)

Otherwise, when it comes to information about the economy,
I'm lucky enough to have the EIU (Economist Intelligence
Unit) to refer to.. much more reliable.

The most disappointing realization, is not that we don’t seem to have any respectably credible or updated information anywhere, bas hte
implication behind that, and that's that we don't even
respect our resources , be they human, industrial, or
natural, enough to keep track of what we do and don't have...
it's not only disgraceful, it's very sad. it's like being
very ungrateful for what you have... we run after so much,
becuase more than anything we've no appreciation or
realization of what we do have.

1 comment:

Patriot said...

u r too harsh on the wezaret el zera3a lady