1. A soaring unemployment rate.
The North African country's unemployment rate reached 13.2% in the first quarter of 2013, according to a report by Egypt's Central Agency for Public Mobilization and Statistics. Unemployment was a key motivator in the 2011 revolution, and it hasn’t improved since. The economy has been called a “socioeconomic time bomb” by former Finance Minister Samir Radwan because of the combination of a large jobless youth population and a faltering gross domestic product growth rate.
2. The crime rate has almost tripled since 2010.
The latest bloodshed shocked Egyptians and the world, but it’s only part of a larger increase in crime and violence in Egypt since before the 2011 revolution. According to research by the Wilson Center, in 2010, there were about 200 reported incidents of armed robbery in Egypt; by 2012, that number had risen to 2,807 reported incidents.
3. Fear of sexual violence against women.
At least 91 women were sexually harassed in four days of protests from June 30, according to Human Rights Watch. Amid the current protests, some men have formed protective circles around female protesters so the women won’t fall into what's been called “a circle of hell.” “Circles of hell” have been reported by human rights activists in Cairo's Tahrir Square, where groups of men, sometimes 100 or more, surround a woman, beat her, rip her clothes off and sexually assault her.
4. Egypt endures rolling blackouts.
In the months before the Egyptian protesters took to Tahrir Square, power failures plagued the country. Hospitals were having equipment failures, and many major cities were paralyzed, sometimes for hours at a time. Power outages in the summer heat are not new, but the fuel shortage has exacerbated the problem.
5. Fuel shortages and traffic jams hinder communication.
A diesel and gasoline shortage has caused the price of fuel to rise dramatically. Then-President Mohamed Morsy blamed the fuel shortage on a black market, but some critics alleged that the fuel crisis was a political tactic of the Morsy administration. "I am saddened by the lines, and I wish I could join in and wait in line, too," Morsy said in a speech before the massive demonstrations. Daily Egypt News also recently reported that some experts believe the growing media attention to the June protests caused Egyptians to hoard fuel, magnifying the crisis.
6. Rising cost of food.
After the 2011 revolution, poverty has been slowly rising in Egypt, while worries about food supplies have increased. According to the U.N. World Food Programme, 17% of the country faced a shortage of food in 2011, compared with 14% in 2009. With the economy barely improving, poverty remains a pressing concern for millions.
7. The Muslim Brotherhood stands tall.
- The Muslim Brotherhood is a political Islamic group that came into power after Hosni Mubarak's regime was ousted. The group, which has existed for a long time, was elected democratically after the revolution, holding power for less than a year. Despite their current state of exile, members remain defiant and firm in the belief they have done nothing wrong.
8. Morsy calls his overthrow a "military coup."
Ousted Egyptian President Mohamed Morsy has made the military's support of the protesters an issue. He calls his overthrow a "military coup"; his camp insists he be reinstated in office.