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Egypt TripFile

Egypt TripFile

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Published by Caroline Pacl
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Published by: Caroline Pacl on Dec 07, 2011
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11/18/2013

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Caroline PaclTrip File- Egypt
Introduction
Egypt is a country of great importance to the world, as a leader in the Arab world and itscentral location at the heart of the Middle East. It has been instrumental in the Israeli-Palestinianpeace process and was the first country to sign a peace treaty with Israel in 1979 following theCamp David Accords. Despite it’s inconsistency as a leader in the Middle East throughout theyears, Egyptians have always felt they will return to the limelight once their constitution isreformed and they have a freely elected government. Egypt is important strategically, in itscontrol of the Suez canal, its trade and oil exports, and its ability to negotitate in the Arab-Israelipeace process.Egypt is a country with a population of 84.5 million people, making it the most populous countryin the Middle East, in front of Iran’s 65 million people.Egypt is roughly the size of Texas andNew Mexico combined, with an area of 1,001,450 square kilometers. The capital city of Cairohas an estimated population of 16 million, roughly 1/5 of the total population of 82.4 million. It isa country facing rapid urbanization and social and political upheaval, with the recent democraticprotests that began in January 2011.
2 pages of single spaced of Background information
President Hosni Mubarak has ruled under emergency rule since 1981 when the former president Anwar Sadat was assassinated by Islamic fundamentalists. Thus, Egypt has beenruled under a military government for 30 years, leaving the people increasingly without a voiceand the government powerful with the backing of the military to do as it pleases. The Mubarakregime changed the constitution at various points, making laws that prohibit religious politicalgroups from serving in Parliament, thus blocking its largest opposition the Muslim Brotherhood,from posing a threat.While the Mubarak regime has not reformed Egyptian politics, the regime has worked toimprove the economic sector. Since 1991, Mubarak has worked to reduce the size of the publicsector and expand the role of the private sector and even allowed press liberalization in theearly 2000s.The 2010 Egyptian elections was a turning point in the Egyptian government's move totighten its grip on Egypt. President Mubarak's National Democratic Party (NDP) won 74 of the88 seats in the Shura Council-- Egypt's upper house parliament. Because of the low voter-turnout state-sponsored intimidation at the polls, many believe they were rigged in the NDP's favor.The election made clear that the President's control of the Shura Council would not allow for anindependent to run against him in the September 2011 elections. Many felt that this independentwould have been Mohammed ElBaradei, a lawyer and Nobel Prize winner with considerablecredibility and international stature. ElBaradei is a chosen leader among the Egyptianprotesters, who will be instrumental in negotiating their demands with the current government.He is also backed by The NDP’s largest opposition the Muslim Brotherhood.Currently,
 
Economy
The Egyptian economy has a GDP of $188 billion per year, Using the Gini coefficient,which measures the extent to which the distribution of income within an economy deviates fromperfectly equal distribution we find that Egypt is 34.4. This is actually lower than the UnitedStates, which place at 45.0 showing that there is more income disparity in a democratic countrythat is a role model for countries like Egypt.Social, Political and Economic HistoryWhat makes it what it is today?Is your own personal history intertwined with the history of your target country?
Current Situation/Analysis-- 3 pages single spaced
How the history manifests in the situation of the country today.The current situation in Egypt is extremely volatile, with protests by the general publicthat have taken over Tahir Square in Cairo.The Egyptian revolution of 2011 was a result of what experts call a “pan-Arab youth movementdedicated to spreading democracy in a region without it.” The protests initially began in Tunisia,after the youth movement there successfully forced the autocratic President
Zine al-AbidineBen Ali to flee last month
. The young Egyptians learned from the Tunisian protesters throughsocial media web sites like Facebook and Twitter, and shared revolutionary ideas on everythingfrom organizing barricades to maintaining their resistance movement without the use of violence. Volunteers were posted at the various entryways of Tahrir Square -- the demonstrationarea that held the most crucial protests in the heart of Cairo’s government district -- checkingeager-to-enter protester’s IDs and ready to apprehend anyone attempting to bring in weaponsor bombs. In the 18 days of protests, there were no reports of sexual assault on women, who for the first time showed up in large numbers to help in the make-shift hospital, bring supplies, andstand as equals among men in the square.At least 5,000 people injured since January 25th and 300 killed, however these numbers areonly estimates, as the government has not yet submitted a report and is in the process of deciding how to undergo an investigation of these deaths. During the first three days of theprotests, police responded with violence using rubber bullets, tear gas, concussion grenadesand water cannons. By February 1st the army took the place of the police and allowed theprotests to continue, and the following day pro-Mubarak supporters began a medieval lookingfight riding into the square on the backs of camels and horses and used violence against thepeaceful protesters. The protesters also worked security at museums and banks, after criminalthugs were released from prisons and told to wreck havoc in the square through looting andviolence.

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