The Muslim Brotherhood Has Turned Cairo Into A Dystopia [PHOTOS]

Muslim Brotherhood Headquarters Cairo

When Egyptians took to the streets to overthrow an oppressive government in 2011, the world was on their side.

But in the two years that followed, as Arab Spring turned to Arab Winter, and Egyptians fell under the rule of the oppressive new government of Mohammed Morsi and the Muslim Brotherhood, the world has looked away.

This is what Egyptians told us when we visited Cairo at the end of March 2013.

Many disillusioned Egyptians say things are worse than ever. Thugs often run the streets, crime rates have skyrocketed, and police feel they’re outgunned faced with the flood of weapons filling Cairo’s streets.

Making matters worse, everything from utilities to gasoline is both more expensive and more difficult to acquire than it was before the Muslim Brotherhood.

This is the headquarters for the Muslim Brotherhood in Cairo, the new ruling party responsible for law and order throughout Egypt.

Crime in Egypt has reached unprecedented highs following the uprising that toppled former president Mubarak from power.

Homicide rates have tripled since 2011.

The number of armed robberies rose from 233 in 2010 to 2,807 in 2012.

Police officers are sleep inside of a large transport truck near the Brotherhood's headquarters. Many Egyptians believe if they call the police, there will be no response or help.

Though Egypt's interior ministry promised Cairo's low-ranking policemen it would purchase 100,000 new 9mm pistols in February, none have so far reached the ranks.

Many 'beat cops' still carry outdated weapons like this 1958 Hungarian pistol, lack adequate ammunition, and refuse to carry issued sidearms on patrol for fear of being robbed.

The Muslim Brotherhood's handpicked officers get new weapons, radios, and nearly twice the pay.

This former Cairo policeman left the force after getting shot in the street by a criminal wielding a homemade gun.

Crudely fashioned firearms are often cobbled together by metal workers, like this man, who earn extra income selling guns on the black market.

The Brotherhood permits illegal gun sales to thrive, and this gun market is home to Cairo's largest selection of black market firearms.

Outside of the gun market, fake guns can be bought by those who can't afford the real thing.

This man could do nothing when gangs came and broke the massive custom window in his family's Cairo shop window. Replacing it would cost more than he can afford.

This elderly man lies alone in a pile of trash. Social services have completely broken down.

Blackouts are common in Cairo, despite rising electricity rates. This one hit during my dinner with a family in Dar al-Salam outside Cairo.

During the blackout, our host showed us a newspaper article discussing the sale of electricity by Egypt to Gaza.

There are those who don't even enjoy basic electricity, like this woman who lives in the dark in Dar al-Salaam.

Employment and tourism have all but disappeared. This shop owner tells us he sells nothing and only dusts all day.

These three men all hold college degrees but are unable to find jobs in their field. Having a family remains a distant, impossible dream.

Many Egyptians can't afford to buy factory-made clothes and purchase fabric to make their own.

This woman collects trash to take to a recycling centre for a living. People get by however they can.

Cairo's notorious traffic has reached new heights and gridlock is common. The World Bank estimates traffic jams cost the country $8 billion a year, or about 4% of its GDP.

The Cairo subway skips stops, suffers from power outages, and is bogged down with protesters and thugs.

Public services like road maintenance are often non-existent. This mound of dirt and rock blocked an entire lane of a major thoroughfare for days.

Cairo faces frequent gasoline shortages and long lines at filling stations when gas is available.

Garbage collection in some areas is sporadic at best.

There are up to 50,000 homeless youths still roaming Cairo. Forced to steal and beg to survive, they significantly add to the crime problem.

Without identification the unwanted kids cannot enroll in school, receive medical care, or work. The police can arrest them at any time, and they often do.

The World Health organisation estimates there are 1 million homeless Egyptian children.

Drug use has reached epidemic proportions. Tramadol, an opiate allegedly cut with amphetamines, is popular and easily found. We bought this strip from a Cairo police officer.

Hash is also big business for crime families here. Prices are low, demand is high and the cash it brings in funds crime throughout Cairo.

Just outside of the Supreme Courthouse, Egyptians protest the presidential appointment of a Muslim Brotherhood member as the country's top prosecutor.

Protesters are also outraged that Brotherhood president Morsi declared no court is authorised to overturn the president's decisions.

But outrage over political decisions are a luxury many Egyptians still can't afford ...

They're too occupied with meeting basic survival needs on a day-to-day basis...

...than to face off with the rich and powerful who see little need to change the status quo.

In the meantime a black market dealing in everything from Chinese cell phones ...

... to cheap t-shirts made from a mixture of low quality cloth and plastic.

And everything in between are sold on the street, undercutting local retailers, and poor residents inevitably choose the cheaper option.

The lack of government oversight also shows up in Cairo's dangerous disregard for building codes and construction permits.

It's been just over two decades a major earthquake In Egypt killed more than 500 people, injured more than 6,500, and destroyed more than 8,300 buildings in Cairo.

A major study by Potsdam University predicts Cairo can expect a major quake every 21 years. Yet flimsy structures like these have been built in the last couple of years.

Another major earthquake would be devastating.

The drive to start a family and have children is pervasive in Egyptian society, but young men cannot afford to marry, let alone raise children.

The Brotherhood has proposed laws reducing Egypt's legal age of marriage to 13-years-old. Some party officials indicate marriage at nine years of age is perfectly acceptable.

Temporary marriages between young women and foreigners lasting often just days have become increasingly common. Desperate parents sell daughters for as little as $450.

And the women available are no longer just eastern Europeans. Escorts visit Egypt from across the globe offering their services and may end up at hotels like the Marriot.

Egyptian women are often the only affordable choice for local men, and without wives or girlfriends who typically do not practice sex out of marriage, the demand only grows.

It's hard to believe the courage that drove Egyptians to Tahrir Square and brought down a regime produced such unthinkable results.

The square today is somewhat like Cairo itself: The strong rule and police rarely, if ever, get involved.

The protesters are long gone and it's hard to imagine any of them have the energy to do it all again.

Not when groups of thugs like these, who tried to mug us in broad daylight, rule Cairo's streets.

This group of men thought we were alone in Dar a-Salaam and tried to steal our camera gear. Only when the local crime family we were with stepped in, did they get back on their motorcycle and move on.

As tourism dries up, few foreigners will appreciate the beauty of Egypt.

Few will experience of standing in the awesome Al-Rifa'i Mosque,

The history here belongs to everyone and we're losing the chance to experience it ourselves.

It will take massive outrage against the Muslim Brotherhood by the Egyptian people to reverse the damage. Public beatings and stabbings like this are unfortunately not enough to incite action for change. Egyptians are just too busy trying to survive.

Visiting Egypt is not like it used to be

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