Egypt's New Leader Struggles To Fulfill Big Promises The list of Egyptian grievances is long, and President Mohammed Morsi has promised to deliver results in his first 100 days. As one poor family is discovering, it will take longer than that.
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Egypt's New Leader Struggles To Fulfill Big Promises

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Egypt's New Leader Struggles To Fulfill Big Promises

Egypt's New Leader Struggles To Fulfill Big Promises

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SCOTT SIMON, HOST:

The new president of Egypt, Mohammed Morsi, is firmly in the spotlight. Egyptians have high expectations for their first post-revolution president. Mr. Morsi's made sweeping promises to the Egyptian people, saying that he'll improve the quality of their lives, address crimes, sanitation and the high price of bread. Leila Fadel followed one working-class family in a poor district of Cairo to find out if things have changed for them in the short time that President Morsi has been in office.

PRESIDENT MOHAMMED MORSI: (Foreign language spoken)

LEILA FADEL, BYLINE: Morsi's promises have come in nightly radio broadcasts like this one during the holy month of Ramadan. The loaf of bread in Egypt is a demand for us all, he declared in one of those broadcasts, promising that subsidized bread will be more widely available and of better quality. But in Sayed Abdel Moneim's one-room ramshackle home in the working class district of Shubra el Kheima, bread, he says, is the smallest problem.

(SOUNDBITE OF CONVERSATION IN FOREIGN LANGUAGE)

(SOUNDBITE OF WATER RUNNING)

FADEL: But on this evening, after the day-long Ramadan fast, the family will feast. Maha fries up five fish in the dingy hallway. The family sits on the floor to break their fast together. They spent the equivalent of $3 on this supper.

I asked if they usually eat like this.

: (Speaking foreign language)

FADEL: Maha laughs. Tonight is special, she says, because there are guests. It's usually a little fruit, bread, beans and maybe cheese. Never meat. The family picks at the meal, leaving most of the food for the pregnant Maha. Whether things will get better, they say, is up to God. Leila Fadel, NPR News, Cairo.

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