Tuesday, February 22, 2011

No. 0974 Resourcefulness

A Protestor protects his Noggin
in the Egyptian Revolution
Photograph: Miguel Medina/AFP/Getty Images
Egypt is a country of fabulous resourcefulness, finding uses for things which most people in other places would just throw away.

I remember once, when my Egyptian husband was still doing his PhD in Europe, he had a Japanese co-worker who he found not working. When he asked his colleage why, his response was that he was missing a part of the machine needed to hold up the equipment for scanning (they work in nanotechnology, it was a million dollar piece of equipment for scanning tunneling microscopy). My husband, in typical Egyptian fashion, went out, got a piece of duct tape, stuck the two pieces together with it, and said "Ok, you can start work". And... it worked.

I have seen amazing resourcefulness from Egyptians:  everything from from fixing toilets, getting cars to start, gift bags turned upside down to become kleenex box holders, and even fixing million dollar lab equipment through simple solutions which are obvious to Egyptians, but not so obvious to everyone else.

(Note: Canadians also have an affinity for infinite uses for duct tape.)

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