Egypt's elites have long been totally unconcerned with the rights of Egyptians, and constantly sell them out to other Arabs; in this regard, Egyptians are the Mexicans of the Middle East. There are thousands of stories about Egyptians being cheated, robbed, killed, raped, etc in Saudi Arabia and the Gulf, their government never raising even the mildest protest. There are also scores of stories about rich Saudis killing Egyptians in Egypt
and running away before they can be tried, with the eager assistance of Egyptian authorities. Now, 70 million people are liable to become involuntary organ donors for rich Arabs;
you can expect Mubarak to pursue his people's interest in this matter as energetically as he always does. Oh, but it's the Jews
who steal Arab organs, right, Ishmael?
CAIRO (AFP) - On the back of dire poverty, legal shortcomings and religious conservatism, a new mafia is prospering in Egypt and turning the country into the regional hub for the human organs trade, experts say.
There are no official statistics but in a country where social inequality is high and a quarter of the population is believed to live under the poverty line, more and more destitute Egyptians are falling prey to the phenomenon.
The large scars slicing the sides of many Egyptians in impoverished Cairo neighborhoods most probably testify to an illegal kidney sale to a rich fellow countryman or a Gulf Arab who could not find a donor.
"A Saudi patient can pay up to 80,000 dollars split between the doctor, the donor and the go-between," says Hamdi al-Sayyed, the head of Egypt's doctors' union.
"For example, a Jordanian or a Saudi who needs a transplant comes to Egypt accompanied by a relative as an official cover and then looks for an Egyptian or a Sudanese who is ready to sell his organ," he explains.
While most donors are poor and hoping for a better life, not all are volunteers, with grisly accounts of forced organ 'donations' earning Egypt the sinister reputation of 'Brazil of the Middle East.'
Like millions of Egyptians, Abdelhamid AbdelHamid, Ahmed Ibrahim and Ashraf Zakaria were seeking better paid jobs in the Gulf but their quest cost them a kidney.
In a recent interview to the independent Al-Masri Al-Yom daily, they explained how they had been promised jobs but were requested to undergo a medical examination beforehand.
The doctor "discovered" they were all suffering from a kidney infection requiring immediate surgery. They woke up later in hospital with a missing kidney. The go-between had vanished but they feared to speak out.