Egypt to stop issuing commercial permits to 'successful' Syrians

Egypt to stop issuing commercial permits to 'successful' Syrians citing 'Muslim Brotherhood, Qatar' as reason
2 min read
09 September, 2020
Egypt has accused the Syrian refugee community of conspiring with the Muslim Brotherhood and Qatar after their many found successes in business.
The decision was made by direct instruction of President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi [Getty]

Egypt's Minister of Local Development, Mahmoud Sharawi, sent an internal circular to all governors and deputies in the country, demanding a halt to new licenses for shops owned by Syrians, according to The New Arab's Arabic language service.

According to a circular seen by Al-Araby Al-Jadeed, Sharawi urged all governors to stop issuing commercial licenses to Syrians, unless they have direct approval from the interior ministry.

The circular was issued on 11 August, based on direct orders of Egyptian President Abdel Fattah Al-Sisi, which discussed the financial status of Syrian refugees in the country.

The decision was made based on Syrians excelling as entrepreneurs in Egypt "within a short period" of time "despite financially suffering when they first arrived".

The circular went on to accuse the Syrian community in Egypt of conspiring with rival Qatar and the banned Muslim Brotherhood to achieve entrepreneurial success.

"There are some reports indicating that Qatar finances the Syrians residing in Egypt from shopkeepers, through members of the Muslim Brotherhood, with the aim of forming a new economic entity for the group, enabling it to participate in financing its (banned) activities inside and outside the borders. The Egyptian state," the report claimed.

"The presidency's directives will be implemented not to issue new licenses for commercial shops owned by Syrians, or to participate in companies that own them, except after obtaining the approval of the security services, and provide us with a statement of the names of Syrians," the statement added.

The circular included the names of all the Syrians with commercial licenses in Egypt.

Lack of state support for refugees in the Arab world means that the Syrian community often combine resources to find ways to sustain themselves.

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