Egypt 2011


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Egypt 2011

  1. 1. Some thoughts on Egypt Sameh Galal 3/3/2011
  2. 2. Main points• Political History of Modern Egypt• Economic and social conditions• The genie in the bottle: Muslim Brotherhood• The Army: what does it want?
  3. 3. Founding of Modern State (1798-1850)• Napoleon Expedition to Egypt 1798-1801 sent a wakeup call through all of Egypt• Mohamed Ali undertook enormous economic development creating european style state school system and sending many Egyptians to Europe for education and training
  4. 4. Paris Along the Nile (1860’s-1882)• Comprehensive western influence especially from France on Architecture, legal code and culture – Opening of Suez Canal – Opera Aida – Building of modern Cairo – First Egyptian Parliament in 1866! – So much debt created, resulting ultimately in British Occupation
  5. 5. Golden Liberal Age(1923-1952)• After world war 1, a new revolution in 1919 against british occupation resulted in Egypt independence from Britain in 1922 and 1923 constitution which was a liberal and democratic one• This period was very rich especially culturally and economically but was full of turbulant times of world war, depression etc. Lots of political parties but also frustration
  6. 6. Unstabilizing Arab Nationalism (1952- 1970)• 1952 Coup by Nasser and co• A new socialist autocratic state suspending constitution and political party and very oppressive police state but still hugely popular at the beginning• Government nationalizes all economy and get involved in 5 wars in 25 years!
  7. 7. Moderation and Economic Opening (Sadat 1970-1981)• A much more pragmatic and open to world leader, Sadat took a great length and effort to open Egypt again to the world and achieve peace.• Egyptian intellectuals and islamist groups were fiercely against him and dismayed by his shock therapy policy of rapid change costing him his life ultimately
  8. 8. Mubarak (1980-2011) - The age of cautiousness• Sitting next to the assasinated president of Egypt taught Mubarak a valuable lesson: stability• Adopted cold peace with Israel and avoided taking any controversial policies or unpredicted turns. For example: Lifting subsidies of food was a red line for him because of riots that happened because of that in 1977• He had a strong crackdown on islamic terrorism in the 1990s that resulted in a much bigger police apparatus• Last 5 years however, he delegated bold economic reforms to government while still running the security portion of the state in the same way.
  9. 9. Pre Revolution Egyptian Economy
  10. 10. Economy - Egyptian GDP – Good!
  11. 11. GDP growth rates
  12. 12. Exports – Very good too
  13. 13. Public finances improving too
  14. 14. But Inflation.. Really bad
  15. 15. Unemployment.. Ok..
  16. 16. However population is very young (Median age – 24!)
  17. 17. And highly unemployed
  18. 18. Muslim Brotherhood history• Founded in 1928 by a school teacher to promote social renewal based on islamic faith and sharia as a rejection to the prevalent liberalism and westernization of Egypt at the time• Was influenced by the prevalent fascist and nazi parties at the time and quickly created a military wing
  19. 19. Early violence (before 1952)• In the 1940’s, the secret military part was involved in some explosions in cinemas and shopping centers• Many members of the secret organization were sentenced jail terms• They then assasinated the judge that gave them the sentenced• Prime minister dissolved group and declared it illegal• They assasinated the prime minister• The King of Egypt gave orders for the leader of the group to be assasinated as well
  20. 20. Muslim Brotherhood and Nasser• At the beginning, they shared their hatred of the existing conditions in Egypt• Nasser however believed that Egypt should be secular• Assassination attempt on Nasser in 1954• Again most members in jail and persecuted
  21. 21. Muslim Brotherhood and Sadat• Sadat was much more friendly to MB than Nasser• Released them from prison• Tried to overthrow government in 1974 but failed• Quickly took a strong hold creating many islamist groups in Egypt• Sadat was assasinated in 1981 by groups branching from MB!
  22. 22. Mubarak: persecution again• Ruthless persecution for political role and violent groups• However the group had much more freedom to organize and communicate• Currently the best organized group in Egypt and has influenced Egyptian society greatly in last 10 years making Egypt much more religious than it ever was.
  23. 23. Army• Traditional stances – Hates Muslim Brotherhood – Hates Businessmen – Hates police• Now though the situation is so unstable it is not clear who is really in control or is there any leadership at all in the country