Tuk-tuk driver bashes economy, now Egypt’s PM is looking for him

Video shows driver slamming Egypt’s president for spending money at recent lavish state ceremonies while the poor continue suffer

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A video of an enraged tuk-tuk driver unloading on the state of Egypt’s flagging economy went viral on Thursday, underlining growing popular discontent in the country over shortages of food staples and broader business malaise.

Filmed in the crowded lanes of a Cairo neighborhood, the video shows the driver, surrounded by crowds, slamming the government and Egypt’s president – all the while without directly naming him – for spending money on at recent state ceremonies while the poor continue suffer.

“You watch Egypt on television and it’s like Vienna, you go out on the street and it’s like Somalia’s cousin,” he says in the clip, originally aired on Wednesday night on the pro-government Al Hayat television channel.

“Over 100 years ago, Japan used to come and study Egypt’s civilization. What happened to us?” he asked.

Al Hayat originally aired it in full as part of a program hosted by Amr El-lissy but the online version on its website was eventually taken down.

The video has garnered more than four million views on social media, with many Egyptian divided over supporting the unnamed man.

El-lissy said on his personal Facebook page that Egypt’s Prime Minister Sherif Ismail had contacted Al Hayat to get further details of the man and requested for a meeting but that the network had failed to document any details as it was a “man on the street” interview.

*A full version of this story was first published on AlArabiya.net.