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In this study, the term “diaspora” is used to refer to Egyptians abroad in general, regardless of their countries of destination (Arab countries or the West), their duration of stay, and their legal status during their time abroad.
In the traditional Egyptian migration literature, migration to Arab countries is generally referred to as temporary migration (due to the nature of their movement as labour migrants) while migration to the West is referred to as permanent migration (as there is major potential for long term stay and the possibility of naturalization), This classification is also adopted by Egypt’s Central Agency for Public Mobilization and Statistics (CAPMAS).
The term Egyptian Diaspora is the equivalent of the officially adopted “Egyptian Expatriate” concept.
a) secondary data which includes a desk study and review of existing literature on Egyptian communities abroad, and
b) primary data which includes fieldwork in the three selected countries.
A quantitative study was carried out using a structured questionnaire administered via the internet as well as personally with 323 respondents in Kuwait (Arab region), US and the UK (West).
In addition, 49 in-depth interviews were conducted with Egyptian member of the diaspora, whose contact details were procured through their friends and colleagues in Egypt and from the diaspora communities in these three countries.
One may justifiably ask the rationale behind selecting Kuwait, UK and US as research locations to conduct this study.
There are two crucial reasons behind the selection. First, the selected countries represent the two main migration streams from Egypt– migration to the Arab countries and migration to the West. Among the Gulf countries, Kuwait is one of the major destination countries for Egyptians in the Gulf (second to only Kingdom of Saudi Arabia (KSA)).
Although it is not possible to extrapolate the findings from Kuwait to all other Gulf countries, however, given certain similarities among the Gulf countries, some of the findings from Kuwait can be cautiously extended to other Gulf countries.
The decision to select US was because outside the Arab world, one of the major destinations for the Egyptians is the US. The UK was selected to represent some dynamics of the Egyptian diaspora living in the Western European
The main limitation of the study and data analysis relates to the lack of a sampling frame for Egyptians in the countries of destination. This meant that the study relied on a purposive sample1 and snowball technique rather than a random probability sample.
The questionnaire and the interviews were completed by those who selected themselves to be part of the study. Hence, it is not possible to generalize the findings and draw large typologies regarding the characteristics and opinions of the entire Egyptian diaspora populations living in these three selected countries.
Nevertheless, the wide range of groups and individuals that was surveyed helped ensure as wide and diverse a sample as possible.