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Egypt’s forgotten heartland

Rural Egypt has provided crucial support for Morsi and the Muslim Brotherhood. Will rising poverty lead to disillusionment?

By Rachel Aspden  

In rural Egyptian areas like el-Minya, poverty is widespread and on the rise (photo: Oxfam Novib)

150 miles south of Cairo’s burger bars and imported car dealerships, 15-year-old Sara sits mending clothes in her family’s tiny breeze-block house. In the main room, wooden couches double as the seven family members’ beds. There are posters of Mecca and Medina on the wall and a faded Mohamed Morsi campaign sticker by the door. Behind the house, a tethered water buffalo noses in a trough while two men slowly break the soil…

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