Skip to main content

Full text of "The Egyptian Problem"

See other formats

172                    THE EGYPTIAN PROBLEM
it has been able to do so mainly thanks to an artxrual subvention of £2,000 from the very Ministry of Educa/tion to which is imputed a desire to strangle it.
One looks in vain for a single hospital endowed, or maintained by Egyptians. Perhaps the most popular medical institutions in Egypt are the travelling hospitals for ophthalmia maintained by Sir Ernest Cassel's generosity. One wealthy Egyptian was fired to em.'ul^te his example a few years ago by starting a travelling hospital for another disease almost as widespread as ophthalmia. The opening ceremony was attended by the ex-Khedive and Lord Kitchener. But little has been heard of it since then. The war is said to have served as an excuse for closing it down. The Ministry of Wa^kf, which administers Mahomedan trusts, has, it is -feme, a medical service of its own, and provides out of its budget for the Abbas General Hospital and an Hospital in Cairo, as well as for several clinics. But as the Department of Public Health has no rights of inspection over these institutions, one can only infer from the meagre pittances allowed to them that they form no exception to the general rule of inefficiency and worse for which the Wakf administration is notorious amongst Egyptians themselves.
Or take again the Egyptian representative bodies. Their usefulness need not be denied, but they have not enhanced their credit by constantly clamouring for la^rger powers. For they never learnt to use even the opportunities they had for pertinent criticism, and too often preferred to raise intemperate discussions on questions which were not constitutionally within their purview. Compare, for instance, the industry and ability with which the late Mr. Gokhale and other Indians used their equally limited opportunities to bring trenchant but practical criticism to bear upon the Government of India in the Viceroy's Legislative Council. It is the same with the Egyptian Press. How few native papers conducted by Egyptians condescend to honest argument or commontill survives.ditions in which the fellaheen live aters, and the woman's holdhave gone far to remove the sense of bitterness. After all the Syrian expedition would have been scarcely feasible without Egyptian labour and Egyptian supplies, and some expression of gratitude would not have marred its glory. But the saving word was never spoken ; and the payments due from the military authorities continued to lag for months behind, and the ugly past                    towns, the Central Government merely making certain