Buying Back Egypt

Ok ladies and gents who have warmed up to my idea of boycotting the boycotts and going local rather than global.

I’ve gone through my daily routine all weekend and have discovered the following:

1) It is extremely difficult to implement this with regard to hygiene products, if any of you are familiar of any truly local brands for soaps, shampoos, toothpaste or detergents I’d love to get acquainted.

2) With regard to clothing, local options do exist and are quite decent (albeit overpriced) at times. Must just make the conscious decision to tailor more and be less brand oriented. Wearing an Egyptian suit today and perfectly fine with it.

3) With regard to shoes and bags, once again, leather here is quite decent, give the local brands a try.

4) Breakfast options, for those of you who cook their own breakfasts you will find an abundance of local poultry, bean and dairy manufacturers. These really should be the least of our problems. I’ve checked with my mom regarding our cheese buying habits (Denmark and Holland being at the top of the boycotting list) and she said she makes it a point to buy the local brands. So to this end go Masreyeen or Domty or whatever it is you can buy. For processed meats she says some of the Arab brands are quite decent, I’ll settle for Arab.

5) To get to work, unless you are a CCC (and even in that case your bike is probably imported) you are taking a non-local car (even if assembled locally), I strongly doubt this will change in our lifetimes.

6) All the technology items at our office are American, the PCs the phones etc… Only the cables are manufactured locally. If anyone knows of a local manufacturer (not assembler) of PCs and phones kindly bring them to our attention.

7) All the furniture is local (elhamdollelah), basic wood and metal work and a little glass work for the partitions.

8) For delivery options at work you shouldn’t find a problem going local, there is quite a few chains coming out.

9) All our office printed material is being done locally, so stationary is not the issue.

This was a tour through my day, not sure about the rest of yours. Lets focus on the bright spots and lets work on identifying pioneers in the dark ones.

The post title is a working title, I like the innuendo of it. Still working on that logo, trying to avoid going cliche.



26 thoughts on “Buying Back Egypt

  1. I totally agree.
    1. For hygeine products you could go organic at the same time and buy from Nefertiti (I think they’re called that) they make natural soaps from olive and almond oil and the likes. For shampoo you have brands like Sparkle I guess.
    2,3 and 4 are easy.
    5 and 6 are going to take lots of time before things change.
    Supporting our own economy is a duty, it is the only way we can help the economy get better, ensure more jobs for Egyptians and improve the overall quality of life. An imported product might be superior but with our collective support our local products will get better.
    Might I also add that there are many Egyptian alternative medications.

  2. As for 5, we can make it simpler a little bit by dividing it down. There are many local car bi-products, e.g: tires & batteries there’s a brand called Nisr. If I’m not wrong most ( if not all ) pertroleum products are Egyptian yet carrying international brand names.
    The problem is, most of the time you won’t find someone recommending those products for one reason or another.

    Going to my field, most of the surgical instruments are imported from Europe; mostly from Germany. Recently, there has been a competitor in the market that’s Pakistan & India. Their stuff is getting better and better by the day ; the price is almost half the of others. No Egyptian trials in this field what so ever.

    As for dental materials, fillings ……etc. there are some Egyptian products , unfortunately they are of very poor quality. I consider any dentist using them to be risking his reputation.

    But to be fair, there are a lot of reasonably priced and effective Egyptian medications in the market.

  3. See… that’s not pretty bad, we have a handful of local goods that can substitute the global ones. Awaiting the logo so I can put it out to the world.

  4. Jessyz: Yeah, out of fairness our pharma industry isn’t doing too bad, God bless Indian reverse engineering.

    Gjoez: Thanks mate!

    Belya: Good point on the inputs.

    Nerro: Logo giving me a hard time, to go English or Arabic, to not be pharonic or cliche. Opening the door for all logo submissions ๐Ÿ˜‰ Potential slogan ideas include “elma7ally ye7la” ๐Ÿ™‚

  5. Love the idea , you know i am not truly in favour or that would close down my business :))))) ….but still participating in all other things :)))

  6. I love this, it feels right, however, Egypt does need forign investments to keep going, also I have to object with local assembly being not local as there is a value addition to Egypt

    As much as I can I try to buy local ans regional products but diverse is good

    Good luck

  7. I’ve got some slogan ideas, I’m not so impressed with them but these are what I can think of til now.

    ( el-masry ye3ammar beyoot w ye2addem el-balad oddam )
    ( eshtery el-masry )
    ( masane3na awla beena )

  8. I like
    “Masane3na awla bena” deh!..
    I love the initiative by the way.. we might do some banners to increase awareness..

    see ๐Ÿ˜€ I’m waiting for 3 hrs as hungry now to have fool and ta3meya from my favorite shop rather than easy Mc .. hehe..
    that’s simple but effective.. and you are my inspiration ๐Ÿ™‚

    Well done Inji..

  9. Nawawy: Perhaps you could introduce some local variety to your product offering.

    Ahmed El Sharawy: We will keep these investments going, I’m talking about the sheer volume of imports. I’m willing to call “manufactured on Egyptian soil” local. Thanks!

    Belya: I’m liking Masna3na Awla Beena! My designer is working on the logo, will share soon.

    Lasto Adri: I’m all for banners! I have personally never been into McDonald’s I hate their burgers, it’s giving up Burger King that’s difficult, but Moamen and Spectra are offering great alternatives!
    You flatter me!

  10. Pingback: Global Voices Online » Egyptians are Going Local

  11. For hygiene products how about making your own cosmetics, going back to our grand-ma’s recipes ? It’s becoming very trendy here in France – especially since we are warned off paraben – and I hear it’s not that difficult and also cheaper. You probably have more raw material than we do like aloe vera for instance – then again, I guess you would have to be sure the plants aren’t stuffed with pesticides. This said, I haven’t given it a shot so who am I to talk…

  12. Pingback: Global Voices Online » Egypt: Local Reflections on “Going Local”

  13. oh.. although we’ve already discussed this back and forth, i couldn’t help but eread this post for further comments…

    i mostly agree although when it comes to textiles, i’d go for the international brand any time of the day because being a local brand of good quality does not by any means grant the brand owner to overcharge me, as discussed over and over ๐Ÿ™‚

    and i disagree with jessy, supporting our economy should not be our duty when our economy (our governmental system in that case) does not support a decent life style for most of us… i think in a fair economic system, the customer should always be self serving because it’s what protect the economy at the end of the day!

  14. Insomniac: Great! With regard to textiles I have high hopes for those obscure factories that cater only to big brands abroad. Hoping to talk them into producing under their own name. Started talking to one in Shubra El Kheirma who manufactures shirts for Zara.

    As for where you disagree with Jessyz; think of it this way, if we don’t initiate a positive change and give our products a chance, who will?

  15. you know, i just remembered a local brand for children’s cotton wear, it’s called El Sayad (feel free to delete this comment if you find it inappropriate that i mentioned the brand name)… i remember how i actually liked their products very much and got tons of body suits for my boys for a price MUCH less than what Gerber had to offer online (which is weird, trust me) and of course MUCH MUCH cheaper than mothercare…. almost two years ago, i specifically asked for that brand to buy my younger boy his body suits stock and i was told “la ya fandem battalo yebee3o fe masr, beysaddaro bas” i was so angry i almost cried!!!! if i had the brand owner or the relevant decision maker in front of me i probably would have punched him in the face… ya3ne lama 7ad ye3mel 7aga 3edla, yestakhsarha felly fel balad!!!!!

    which brings me to the next point… that brand owner (as well as others who do the same) has more social responsibility than any of us does, and he denies the Egyptian market the support it needs, why should I care any more than he does!!

    and here is another thing ya Juka, the analogy was well said by Mohamed Sob7y when asked about moshkelet el entema2 fel geel el gedeed or whatever…. egypt is like a mother and we are its kids… the mother is the one who initiates the giving, if she fails, the kids can’t be expected to belong or to give back what they never received… i am sorry it’s the way it is, but masr never gave me anything, everything i had growing up was only provided by my parents’ hard work, and looking around, i realize that if my parents couldn’t afford any of it, masr wouldn’t have given me a fraction of it… so no, my duty is to support my country when it’s convenient and not go the extra mile to compromise… i know it sounds ungrateful, but i don’t see anything that would make me reconsider my stance given how things are

  16. Juka

    We have to unite. I mean if you remember the nice advertising of mobinil which says if “20 million egyptians would buy local products then egypt would be a developed country”
    Now we have to be more active. its nice that we discuss but we now have to create like a lobby. !

  17. Seg: It is an alternative, not necessarily the most practical one. Yet we do have a local brand offering organic hygiene products.

    Insomniac: Do you have the details of the brand? Could you possibly e-mail me them.

    Ahmose: There is a facebook group. I’m not sure what else you had in mind.

  18. Juka.. do u think its enough to make a facebook group?
    i mean u know how we Egyptians are. We are interested in everything new but it never turns into something serious.. we have to go a step further!

  19. but also promise to keep secret ok.. i mean dont share the idea for now ok… bec i have seen this email at not that the other admins can also enter it

  20. Well, I am not interested to share my businss plan with the comlete initiative. I read several of your writings last night and i thought you would be the ideal person to share my thoughts.. Anyways thanks for your time..

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