Can Mother’s Day  help recover Egypt’s economy?
A present - Photo courtesy of rickmcnary.me
By AYA IBRAHIM

CAIRO: As Egypt celeberates Mother’s Day on March 21, shops are offering up to 50 percent discount on all commodities, in anticipation of increased customer demand.

The ongoing political instability and a poor exchange rate between the U.S. dollar and Egyptian pound has exacerbated economic challenges facing Egypt’s Mother’s Day for vendors who are hoping this season will compensate for last year’s losses.

Ahmed Abou Jabal, head of the stationary, gifts and toys division at Cairo’s Chamber of Commerce, told The Cairo Post  that the market for Mother’s Day gifts in Egypt witnessed robust growth during the last two days as compared to the prior period, adding that the Mother’s Day gifts could play an important role in fighting the market’s recession and stimulating Egypt’s economy.

“Mother’s Day gifts could effectively contribute to the elimination of the state of recession that dominated the market since the outbreak of the revolution in January 2011,” Abou Jabal noted.

Abou Jabal added that shops are rushing to provide consumers with suitable offers, especially for mother’s day gifts.

“Blenders, kitchenware and washing machines are among the most popular gifts bought on the day,” Abou Jabal added.

He also pointed out that the average expenditure of Egyptians during Mother’s Day is estimated at 250 million EGP.

However, even with these indicators, vendors throughout the capital seem to nonetheless bear the brunt of the economic recession, as has been prevalent in various preceding holidays.

Reda Mohamed, a trader in Cairo’s downtown area, told The Cairo Post that the demand for Mother’s Day gifts has been moderate so far this week, due to the rise in prices, which he stated have doubled this year. He added that young people aged between 17 and 35 are the most inclined to purchase gifts.

“Girls tend to purchase perfumes, bags and shoes, while boys tend to purchase watches and clothes for their mothers,” Mohamed added.

“Until Mother’s Day, we are offering all our goods for 50 percent off, yet despite this,  we have been affected by the ongoing political unrest, as well as the economic situation in Egypt.”

Mohamed Abou Ghali, a florist in the Maadi district of Cairo, told The Cairo Post that despite the stability in the price of roses, turnout was low this year.

“Customers resort to purchasing sweets like cakes and Basbousa (a traditional Arabic dessert) as symbolic gifts to celeberate Mother’s Day,” Mohamed Khaled told The Cairo Post.

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