Fireworks exploded over Alexandria, Egypt, earlier this month in a celebration so large I couldn’t help but wonder how a country recovering from two revolutions could possibly afford it. Many Egyptians are wondering, too.
The display celebrated the debut of the expanded Suez Canal, a massive project Egypt paid for with $8.4 billion in publically raised funds. It finally opened Aug. 6. President Abdel Fatah Al-Sisi said the effort could generate the country an extra $7 billion annually, but with issues like unemployment, education, and homeland security on the minds of every Egyptian, many wonder if their money could have been spent on less flashy, more pressing needs.
So amid the celebrations, we asked local Alexandrian merchants on how they think their money could have been more wisely spent to get the country back on track. In the video above, they had many ideas.