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Forget the sphinx figurine. Egypt's souvenir peddlers have more revolutionary swag.

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Peter Andrews/Reuters

(Read caption) A mock license plate shows the date of Egypt’s revolution.

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• A local, slice-of-life story from a Monitor correspondent.

Under an enormous statue of a lion at the eastern end of Cairo’s Tahrir Bridge, Mohammad Hassan paused to consider how business has improved since the revolution.

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Mr. Hassan has been peddling cheap tourist trinkets from his pushcart by the Nile for the past five years. But since the Jan. 25 uprising, he and hundreds of others have been hawking an altogether more revolutionary line.

In a show of the Arab entrepreneurial spirit, factories are churning out everything from bumper stickers and key rings to T-shirts, mugs, and pins – all stamped with their own twist on the Egyptian Revolution brand.

The products are being sold by street vendors in every district in Cairo, while online stores such as souq.com are also generating sales over the Web.

Hassan’s own little business sells badges and bumper stickers – one of them featuring Hosni Mubarak as a Sphinx with ear plugs.

Squinting in the late afternoon sun, he said the stickers, which sell for about 35 cents, are the most popular. “I’ve sold about 2,000 in a month. Everybody buys them.”

He added: “My life is better now. But it is not because I have more money. It is because the situation in Egypt is better for everyone.”


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