“People are now standing in long lines just to get basic goods”
I haven’t been able to buy a chicken for over a month. Chicken is part of our traditional diet; we use it in many of our meals. Since I work from 8am to 6pm, I am unable to go to the government-sponsored centres that offer reduced-price chickens, but I heard they’re frozen and of low quality. My neighbour went and stood in line for five whole hours to buy a chicken for 47,000 Rial (about 3,20 euros) per kilo. During the Persian New Year, we bought regular chicken for about 40,000 Rial (about 2,70 euros) per kilo; now, regular chicken – which only the rich can still afford – costs about 85,000 Rial (about 5,80 euros). So it’s more than doubled!People are upset; I hear lots of co-workers in my office complaining not just about the cost of chicken but also meat, eggs, bread and milk. The prices are rising so quickly, we can’t keep up. Many are now standing in long lines just to get these basic goods. As a single mother, I work full-time in a government office and work an additional job part-time. Altogether I make about 8,000,000 Rials (about 540 euros) per month. With this salary, today, I can only buy basic necessities for myself and my little girl. The situation is getting worse and worse for all of us. And now it’s Ramadan - religious people who usually spend a lot during this time are getting really angry. [During the holy Islamic month or Ramadan, fasts are usually broken with elaborate dinners.] It seems that the whole population is fasting now, day and night!
“With the presidential election just around the corner, this could turn into an explosive situation”
In factories, offices, and universities, not only is there no more chicken in meals, but the price of meals has increased. In universities subsidized meals have nearly doubled from last year. This is unheard of.And food isn’t the only problem. We’re now hearing news that there will soon be big hikes in the prices of medicine, gas, and electricity, which is making the population very worried. Add this to social issues, like the crackdown on women not wearing hijabs in the hot summer weather, and it’s no surprise people are protesting more and more. Life is simply becoming intolerable. And with the presidential election just around the corner, this could turn into an explosive situation. [The election is set to take place in 2013.]