Cultural Analysis Of Egypt

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Cultural Analysis of Egypt

Historical Background

Egypt is the home to one of the world's oldest ongoing civilizations, Egypt lies along the shores of both the Mediterranean and Red seas in northeast Africa. The Nile River continues to be of utmost importance to the Egyptian economy. Almost a third of the workforce is employed in the agricultural sector, but 43 percent of Egyptians now live in urban areas. Egypt's resources are overtaxed by having the largest population in the Arab world, and global economic woes have affected the economy, resulting in a per capita income of $6,000 and an unemployment rate of 9.7 percent. A fifth of the population now lives in poverty. Culturally and religiously, Egypt has more in common with the Middle East than with Africa. More than 99 percent of the population is Egyptian, and 90 percent are Muslim. The majority of Egyptians are Sunni, but there is also a Coptic Christian minority. The mores that govern women's lives are heavily dependent on geographical location, social class, religious background, and political orientation. Although women have legal rights to equality, in practice they are discriminated against in both the public and private spheres. Violence against women and the virtually universal practice of female genital mutilation are major concerns. Although the National Council for Women was established in 2000, nongovernmental organizations bear the brunt of promoting and protecting women's rights.


Egypt is located in northern Africa on the Mediterranean Sea. It is bordered by Libya to the west, Sudan to the south, and the Red Sea to the east. It also includes the Sinai Peninsula. With a population of nearly 80 million, it is the 16th most populated nation in the world. Drug use is widespread in Egypt, with official estimates placing it at nearly 8.5 percent of the general population, while other estimates suggest that over 12 percent of high school students have used drugs. Common drugs on the Egyptian market include opiates, cannabis (known as bango), prescription drugs (e.g., Tramadol), and cocaine. Egypt is not considered a major producer or supplier of illicit narcotics, although cannabis is cultivated in parts of Egypt, as is opium poppy in parts of the Sinai Peninsula. Egypt serves as a transshipment point for opiates from southwest Asia bound for consumption in Europe and, to a lesser extent, North America. Egypt's porous borders facilitate the introduction of illicit substances, and swathes of the country are remote and difficult to police. The government has elaborated a comprehensive drug strategy, focusing heavily on law enforcement approaches, though attention is increasingly paid to demand reduction strategies. Drugs are thought to cost the economy over $800 million annually, including drug sales and government anti-narcotics efforts (Miller, Vandome & McBrewster, pp, 15-25).

Society and Culture

Egyptian society was divided into social classes, each of them having distinct roles and responsibilities. The pharaoh was the head of the social hierarchy and was surrounded by nobles and priests who owned almost all the usable land. Scribes also represented an important and respected upper ...
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