State says go home and sleep, 24/7 Egypt resists

Published: Thursday, Nov. 1, 2012 5:30 a.m.CDT

CAIRO –Egypt’s capital prides itself on being a city that never sleeps, with crowds filling cafes and shops open into till the small hours. So, the government is facing a backlash from businesses and the public as it vows to impose new nationwide rules closing stores and restaurants early.

Officials said the step is necessary to conserve electricity in a nation buckling under economic crisis and fuel shortages. But the decision has a strong undercurrent of social control: A desire by secular conservatives and Islamists alike to tame a population they see as too unruly, especially in a post-revolution atmosphere of strikes, protests and relentless demands on a beleaguered government.

Simply put, officials said, Egyptians should stop thinking they can do whatever they want, should go to sleep early and work in the morning.

Copyright 2014 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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