Gun Running and Cairo

Nour Youssef has posted a blog on The Arabist entitled “A Day at the Gun Market,” which discusses her experience with the illegal arms trade taking form in Cairo since the revolution. The video below was included in the blog, and shows the discussion between an arms dealer and a gun runner about the way business works today with the use of social media.


Gun running is a dangerous enough concept to begin with, as the black market is inherently risky, but the fact that much of Egypt is now being armed because of a lack of police efficiency could make the situation more volatile. While the same can be said for other countries around the world, including the United States, the difference in those states is that the police are willing and able to take action against crime, whereas the it would appear the police in Cairo are unable to monitor the city efficiently. However, the concept of everyone being armed as a security measure cannot be discounted – Reba, Nour’s taxi driver who brought her to the gun market, speaks to this point with the statement that “the point is everyone here is armed (or in the process of getting armed), if someone is provoked enough to shoot; everyone will start shooting.” The idea of mutually assured destruction worked on the large scale during the Cold War, apparently it can work on the small scale today as well. 


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