They are nestled in the dirty corners of doorsteps and abandoned alleys, dropped haplessly by the roadside, even hung off of dumpsters. These are bags of uneaten bread, bread on which the government of Jordan will spend a whopping 260-290 million JD ($367-410 million) subsidizing this year alone.
Locals complain about rising prices and hiked taxes, but perhaps bread, at .16 JD ($0.23) per kilo, is the one commodity that is not expensive enough:
This topic deserves far more attention, but I’m saving the context, which is actually quite fascinating, and the numbers, which are staggering, for another time.
*The original title of this post, “Let Them Eat Bread,” was inadvertently borrowed from an excellent article I read months ago in Foreign Affairs on the role of food subsidies in Middle East revolutions. I realized my mistake after going back to search for the article after publishing this post.