In today's Egypt, incompetent middle-aged employees hold onto jobs until death, while qualified young people languish — and drift toward deadly rioting.(...)
Running street battles between angry youth on one side and police on the other have become disturbingly commonplace across Egypt. These days, such clashes rarely attract the attention of the international media. Among Egyptians, they have simply become an excuse to skip work or a source of cheap entertainment for those who enjoy watching teenage boys get their bodies torn up by police birdshot.
Almost anything can set these clashes off. Both hardline Islamists and their enemies on the left have been able to count on the same army of bored youth and homeless children to take up arms whenever they have any confrontation with the police.
This latest violence was set off by hardcore football fans, known as Ultras. The multitude of Ultra groups here blur the line between rowdy fan clubs and criminal gangs, and are characterized by a violent antipathy towards the interior ministry, police, and army. They are well known for joining in fights against security forces regardless of the cause.(...)
This violence is not incidental. Egypt's youth, faced with bleak economic prospects and a lack of political representation, are lashing out at all symbols of the state.