The head of the family, the co-owner of the restaurant, appears at home only once every few months, this is the only way to survive. In the immediate plans of the al-Kafuri family, reunification does not appear.
He is a co-owner of a fish restaurant in Dahab, a resort town near Sharm el-Sheikh. Hiiri's business is making good money, but it requires constant attention. But the amount that our hero sends monthly to his family in Cairo is five times the average salary in Egypt.
There is never a lot of money in an Egyptian family: as a rule, for one man with a salary, there are several non-working relatives who need to be supported. Hayri al-Kafuri is no exception: in addition to his wife and children, his mother and sister of marriageable age live on his dependents. A few years ago, Khairi was a typical Cairo resident: during the day he worked in an office - engaged in commercial real estate, and in the evening he went to the embankment to invite clients to take a boat trip on the Nile. I earned no more than $ 250, which was barely enough for a living. But every young Egyptian of his circle needs to save up for marriage. The estimate includes: a mandatory gift for the bride - gold ($ 2000), apartment renovation ($ 3000), the wedding itself (from $ 800). As a result, Khairi took out a bank loan ($ 5,000 for 4 years at 12% per annum), got married and immediately after sabaheya - something like a "honey week" - went to the tourist Dahab to work as a waiter. Two years ago, he decided to open his own restaurant - on a par with colleagues, equally ambitious waiters. Hayri finished paying the bank last year (last annual payment was $ 1400). The family's financial situation has improved markedly - but the costs have also increased.
Hayri and his partners are not the real owners of the restaurant: they rent the restaurant for $ 1000 a month. The contract was signed for 5 years: when it expires, the owner of the restaurant will offer to renew it, but for a large amount. The partners had to put a deposit of $ 36,000 into the landlord's account: the owner of the establishment can use this money at his discretion, but after 5 years he will be obliged to return it. Hayri and its partners did not have to invest money in the restaurant itself: the institution has been popular and successful for many years. In addition to Hayri, 4 more people are co-owners of the business: each of them paid $ 7,200 (Hayri borrowed money from his brother Abdullah, who works in Saudi Arabia). The profit, of course, is also divisible by five. The amount strongly depends on the influx of customers: in January it reaches $ 7000, in the "off season" - July, August - the institution brings in only $ 2500. On average, Hiree makes about $ 1,000 a month. When our hero worked as a department head in a large commercial real estate agency, his salary did not exceed $ 200.
Life as a bachelor
Part of the money goes to "bachelor" life in Dahab. Hiiri rents an apartment in half with his buddy, which costs him $ 80 a month. Hayri dines at his restaurant, thus saving money for lunch. A traditional Egyptian breakfast at a diner near the house - ful (stewed beans), falafel, pickled cheese with tomatoes, and tortillas - costs $ 1 (respectively, $ 30 a month). Hiree smokes a pack of Marlboro Light cigarettes a day: another $ 45 a month turns into smoke. Hayri regularly hands over bed linen and clothes to the laundry - that's another $ 12-15 per month. An atypical expense item for an Egyptian in the Hayri budget - a gym membership - costs $ 20 a month. Khairi sends another $ 100 every month to his brother in Saudi Arabia as a debt. It turns out that the Hayri family gets only $ 700 a month: but this is three times more than what the head of the family earned in Cairo.
The Hayri family - wife, three-year-old daughter, mother and sister - lives in the Ein Shams district of Cairo. Twenty years ago, Hiree's parents rented an apartment for a lot of money at that time - $ 10 a month. The contract, as it was then established in Egypt, was signed for 99 years. As a result, Hayri and his entire family received a huge four-room apartment practically free of charge: under the terms of the contract, the landlord cannot raise the rent.
Hayri's wife Taysir is a certified mathematics teacher, but she cannot find a job in her specialty, like hundreds of thousands of her Egyptian colleagues. As a result, she works in the Vodafone network communications store - sells mobile phones and payment cards to the phone. She earns $ 80 a month. She does not spend this money, but contributes to the game. Gameya is a typically Egyptian invention, a kind of replacement for interest-free lending. The system works as follows: 10 women - colleagues and friends of Taysir - contribute $ 2 to the "common pot" every day. Every 10 days, one of the participants takes the entire cashier, after which she continues to pay contributions. The queue is determined by lot. It turns out that once every 10 days one of the women ends up in the hands of $ 200 - a significant amount that can be spent on a large purchase. Taysir, for example, is saving up for a new TV with a large screen, and six months ago, having taken the cash register, she bought a DVD player. But all the daily expenses she pays from the money that Hiiri sends.
Utility bills have long exceeded the cost of renting an apartment: a month for water costs $ 6, for electricity - $ 8, the gas cylinder has to be changed every 3 months, which costs $ 3. On food for the whole family (Hiree's mother and sister also feed on money), they spend about $ 100 a month. Little Amira needs fresh milk ($ 1 per liter), and the whole family needs about 20 kilograms of rice a month, lots of vegetables and fruits. Meat is cooked on Fridays: a kilogram costs about $ 10. An indicator of a family's wealth is the bread that it eats. If earlier Taysir stood in line for hours for cheap wholemeal bread (5 cents apiece), now that Hiree's business has gone uphill, she herself bakes real rich country cakes (the cost of each is about 40 cents).
You also have to spend money on clothes: Taysir, as a working woman, wears "tayir", European clothes: skirts, tunics, turtlenecks. And although they are bought in inexpensive shops on Qasr al-Nil Street, Taysir spends at least $ 40 a month. Each set of clothes needs a headscarf "matching" - and our heroine already has more than a hundred of them. Each handkerchief is $ 6-8, so the Taysir collection is worth a lot. About $ 30 monthly - clothes for the child. The al-Kafuri family hardly buys toys - this is not customary in Egypt. But before her husband's arrival, Madame al-Kafuri goes to a beauty salon: there she makes a mask on her hair, plucking out her eyebrows and removes all vegetation from her body - using a sticky substance called halava. All these procedures cost $ 8-10. Another $ 10 - a whitening face cream, garlic oil to help comb your hair and kohl - eyeliner in the form of a dry powder. Finally, a lot of money goes to a mobile phone: Taysir calls back every day with her husband and with her relatives in the town of Tanta. That's another $ 10 a month. It turns out that from the money sent by Hiree, about $ 200 is spent on daily expenses.
After the death of Hiree's father, his mother and sister receive a small pension - about $ 80 a month. With this money, Amir's sister buys a train ticket (the girl goes to the university in Tanta) - about $ 10. She spends about $ 2 a day ($ 40 a month) on lunch - sandwiches and Coca-Cola. The remaining $ 30 is spent on trifles: hairpins, scarves and, of course, mobile communications (like any Egyptian girl, Amira sends dozens of SMS messages a day).
The rest of the expenses are paid by Hiree - from the $ 700, which brings him a share in the restaurant. And there are a lot of these costs. A year later, Amira gets married, and the brothers will have to provide her with dowries. The family of Amira's groom is much richer, so she put forward rather tough conditions: for example, a girl must bring three washing machines to the family - an automatic and two semi-automatic (which will cost at least $ 1000). In addition, the bride must furnish the kitchen (from the refrigerator and cupboards to glasses and sockets for jelly), buy a TV (certainly Toshiba - another $ 600), as well as a supply of linen and clothes for several years in advance. According to preliminary estimates, all this stuff will cost at least $ 8000. Part of the money is sent from Saudi Arabia by Abdullah, and Hayri gives his sister $ 200 a month.
As a result, of the money sent by Hiree, about $ 300 remains. Taysir puts this money into his bank account - at 7.5% per annum. Now the al-Kafuri family has about $ 3,200 in their account, which means that this year they will receive $ 240 from the bank. However, sometimes you have to withdraw $ 10 or $ 20 from the account: Hayri and Taysir still owe their neighbors and friends about $ 400. No, they didn't get into debt. The fact is that in Egypt all those invited to a wedding give the newlyweds a "note" - a certain amount of money, usually not exceeding $ 20. This is not a gift, but something like a loan, so data on who gave and how much is scrupulously recorded in a special notebook. The note will need to be returned when the lender, in turn, marries. Six months ago, four friends of Hiree played at once - $ 100 had to be paid almost simultaneously.
Twice a year, Taysir withdraws a certain amount from her account to buy gold jewelry (this year she got a ring - $ 120 and earrings - $ 215). This is not a whim: in Egypt, gold is an indicator of a woman's social status. As the wife of a businessman, Taysir is obliged to have an appropriate number of trinkets, otherwise gossip will begin among neighbors.
On a rest
Once a year - usually in August or September - Hayri takes the family to Alexandria for a vacation. The vacation lasts a week. Al-Kafuri rent an apartment on the waterfront for $ 25 per day. Hayri does not like to go to restaurants: once or twice he can take the family to feast on stuffed pigeons and shish-kebab, but mostly women cook in a rented apartment. Groceries for a week cost them $ 80 - on vacation, you can boo. Taysir and Amira each time buy new bathing suits (which meet Sharia law and therefore consist of wide trousers, turtlenecks, tunics and hats): $ 40 apiece. In the evenings, the whole family goes to one of the cafes on the shore: no one knows them in Alexandria, and therefore even women can afford such entertainments as playing backgammon with coffee and a hookah. One trip to the cafe is about $ 6 for all.
Last year for Eid al-Fitr (a holiday at the end of Ramadan) Hayri brought his wife and daughter to his place in Dahab - also for a week. They decided not to repeat the experience. The hotel was cheap: Hairy got a triple room from an acquaintance for only $ 30 a day, but for daily trips to restaurants, gatherings in cafes by the sea and souvenirs, the father of the family had to pay another $ 150.
What was, what will be, how the heart will calm down
In the immediate plans of the al-Kafuri family, reunification does not appear. Separate existence - Hayri in Dahab, Taysir in Cairo - was conceived as a temporary measure, but turned into a lifestyle. Hayri cannot transfer his family to himself: all his income will be spent on renting decent housing and expensive (thanks to foreigners) food. The only option is to buy your own apartment. But even in the unpresentable Dahab district of Mubarak, "treshka" now costs from $ 20,000. Considering that so far the family is saving no more than $ 300, and the money on the Taysir account is an untouchable fund for the education of children, reunification will take place, according to the most optimistic forecasts, not earlier. than in 5 years.
Income per month ($)
Teacher $ 100
Doctor $ 150
Shoe shiner $ 250
Taxi driver $ 150-300
Shop assistant $ 100
Realtor $ 250-300
Pharmacist $ 100-150
Veterinarian $ 150-200
Lawyer $ 150-250
Jeweler $ 150-300
Guide $ 500-700
Waiter $ 300-600
Bartender $ 500-800
Lawyer $ 500-700
Hotel manager $ 700-900
Doctor (in a resort town) $ 600-1000
Taxi driver $ 300-600
Dive instructor $ 500-800
Surf club cleaner $ 200-400
The cost of some products (Cairo, Alexandria)
Rice (kg) $ 1, 5
Meat (kg) $ 10
Sunflower oil (bottle) $ 8-12
Potatoes $ 0, 2
Carrots $ 0, 1
Tomatoes $ 0, 1-0, 2
Cucumbers $ 0, 2
Apples $ 1
Baladi chicken $ 4
Kaiser bread $ 0, 2
Butter (kilo) $ 5
Milk (liter) $ 1
Eastern sweets, 0.5 kg) $ 2
Sugar (kg) $ 0.75
Shawarma (portion in a restaurant) $ 1