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Social/ Cultural Analysis

Education

Egypt has the largest overall education system in the Middle East and North Africa

(MENA) and it has grown rapidly since the early 1990s.

The Egyptian educational system is highly centralized, and is divided into three stages:

 Basic Education (Arabic: ‫التعليم الساسى‬, transliteration: al-Taʿaleem al-Asassī)

o Primary Stage

o Preparatory Stage

 Secondary Education (Arabic: ‫التعليم الثانوى‬, transliteration: al-Taʿaleem al-

Thanawī)

 Post-Secondary education (Arabic: ‫التعليم الجامعى‬, transliteration: al-Taʿaleem al-

Gammeʿī)

Since Egypt's extension of the free compulsory education law in 1981 ,both Primary and

Preparatory phases (Ages 6 through 14) have been combined together under the label

Basic Education. Education beyond this stage depends on the student's ability.

According to UNESCO estimates, Adult illiteracy (rates for adults above 15 years of age)

reflects both recent levels of educational enrolment and past educational attainment.

Year Total (%) Male (%) Female (%)


1980 60.7 46.3 75.3
1985 56.8 42.8 70.9
1990 52.9 39.6 66.4
1995 48.9 36.5 61.5
2000 44.7 33.4 56.2
2003 42.3 31.7 53.1
2004
2005 71.4 83 59.4
2006 71 78 63

Religion

By far the most popular religion in Egypt is Muslim (mostly Sunni) with about 91% of

the population practicing this religion Islam is practiced by the majority of Egyptians and

governs their personal, political, economic and legal lives. They believe that many

solutions to current problems are to be found in the orthodox practice of an Islamic life.

. The rest of the population practices Coptic Christian and other religions.

* Muslim 91% [6] (Sunni > 99%, Shia < 1%)

* Christianity ~9% [7] (Coptic Christian Other estimates range between 5% and 10%

Christians).

* Bahá'í: less than 2,000 individuals (< 0.003%).

* Judaism: less than 200 individuals.

Also the country has a very small Jewish community.

Language

Verbal (Spoken) Language

National and most spoken language of Egypt:


Egyptian Arabic is the national language of Egypt, spoken by more than 76 million

people. It is also one of the most widely spoken and studied varieties of Arabic.

Arabic is the language of both the Egyptian Christian and Muslim. The written form of

the Arabic language, in grammar and syntax, has remained substantially unchanged since

the 7th century.

In other ways, however, the written language has changed the modern forms of style,

word sequence, and phraseology are simpler and more flexible than in classical Arabic

and are often directly derivative of English or French.

Brief history of Egyptian language:

Egyptian Arabic is part of the Arabic languages of the Semitic branch of the Afro-Asiatic

language family. Descended from the spoken Arabic brought to Egypt during the AD

seventh-century Muslim conquest, its development was influenced mainly by the

indigenous Copto-Egyptian language of pre-Islamic Egypt and later by other languages

such as Turkish. Coptic, a direct descendant of the ancient Egyptian language that was

once written in Egyptian hieroglyphic, hieratic, and demotic scripts, is used by the Coptic

Orthodox Church. The Coptic alphabet is a modified form of the Greek alphabet, with

some letters deriving from demotic.

Other languages:

English and French are also widely spoken and used in business circles.

Business cards should be printed in English on one side and in Arabic on the reverse.
Non-verbal (Unspoken Language)

Egypt is a high context culture which means that a lot what is communicated is

transferred implicitly with body language, silence, eye contact, and oblique words or

phrases.

Yes/ No communication—

In Egypt, it is considered impolite to deny a wish to someone. Instead of saying "no",

other phrases are used to describe an inconvenience, which implies that the answer is no.

When an Egyptian says "yes", he or she may actually mean "possibly". Communication

can include intense eye contact and frequent gestures for emphasis.

Distance maintenance—

Egyptians tend to speak at a much closer distance than Americans. This close contact can

be awkward for Americans, but don't back away. Moving away could make you seem

cold or disinterested.

Attitude in speaking—

Egyptians tend to be emotional and tend to use emphatic language; they also tend to

exaggerate. When making a point they will speak loudly and repeat themselves for

emphasis. They frequently will interrupt each other and will speak over other speakers.

Touching—
Egyptians touch when speaking with good friends and established business associates,

but until they know you well they usually confine physical contact to handshakes.

However, after they trust you, expect close contact including hugging and kissing. It's

good thing. You made the team.

Behaviors towards gifts and formal offerings—

In Egypt, relationships are very important and gifts are often given. When a gift is needed

one might want to consider an exquisitely made compass; this enables a devout Muslim

to always know where Mecca is (even when traveling). When offered coffee always

accept it, since it is considered very rude to do otherwise.

Formalities in Business—

Business meetings tend to be very formal affairs. They usually begin with coffee and

conversation even in situations when the issues are important or time is limited. The

business day is similar to American business, but with longer lunches and frequent breaks

for coffee. The pace of business is much slower in Egypt than it is in the West, so you

will need to be very patient.

Non-verbal communication is huge in Egypt. Someone should never point since it is

rude. A "thumbs up" gesture is very insulting similar to our middle finger salute. They

remove their shoes often in meetings, but never show the bottoms of their feet.

Time maintenance—
Time is relative in the Egyptian culture and punctuality is not important, although they

expect you to be on time. It is common for visitors to be kept waiting; for example, if

your meeting is scheduled at 10 am it may not start until 11 am. Once started, expect

interruptions such as phone calls, memo signings, and, yes, blackberry messages. There is

no need to rush in Egypt.

Decision making—

Decisions will seem to take forever and will almost never happen in the meeting. They

also don't understand the American need to close the deal on the spot and will resist it.

When negotiating, one can expect raised voices and arm waiving; this is normal even

when they agree with him/ her. Egyptians negotiate as teams and it may not be clear in

the meeting who is in charge. Often the most powerful Egyptian in the meeting will just

listen. They like to stall and tease the other side; since time is on their side, they figure

that they can wear you down and get what they want. They often do.

Importance of relationships—

Relationships are more important than contracts or signed documents. In Egyptian

culture, "Kalima", the verbal pledge to carry out what has been agreed upon, is more

binding than a contract; this commitment is a matter of honor. Yet, it remains very

important to agree on the next steps, along with the time table to meet again.

Some more important factors—


• Business cards should be printed in English on one side and in Arabic on the

reverse. When presented a card, pause and reflect upon it.

• Orthodox Muslims won't drink alcohol or eat pork.

• Adding salt to your food is rude.

• Most eating is done without utensils. Get used to it.

• When in meetings, sit with both feet on the floor; don't cross your legs.

• Expect heavy and prolonged eye contact. This can feel a little creepy by American

standards, but this is the behavior of an honest man in Egypt.

• Avoid eye contact, speaking with, or touching Egyptian women at all costs. One

will find few women in positions of authority in Egypt. The Islamic culture has

very strict rules about women and morality. Avoidance is a key factor.

• Dress formally in western attire at all times; don't even try to look like a local.

Social Strata

Social Class

Social class is very apparent in Egypt since it determines access to power and position.
Status is defined more by family background than by absolute wealth.

Egypt’s social stratification breaks down as follows:

• Uber-elite: These comprise the wealthiest and most influential Egyptians

spanning the military and ministry as well as the entertainment and private
industry sectors. It’s a <.01% club where police escorts and multi-million dollar

villas are the norm.

• Upper middle class: These households contain at least one spouse that pulls in a

decent wage by Western standards. As a result, they can afford to live in a fairly

upscale apartment building in Egypt’s traditionally posh neighborhoods or in one

of the numerous suburban compounds popping up on the outskirts of Cairo and

Alexandria.

• Lower middle class: This segment of society has a decent job by Egyptian

standards, which allows them to own a home in one of the more established (and

more crowded) neighborhoods in Egypt’s handful of metropolises. Amenities

such as private schools and private transportation are within reach, but just barely.

• Working poor: Although employed, these individuals struggle to support a

family. Their extending relatives likely have a hand in the house they own

(whether through inheritance or gifting) or they’re lucky enough to live in one of

Egypt’s rent controlled apartments. The part-time or government wages they earn

are barely enough to maintain a household, let alone move beyond public

education and transport. I suspect, though admittedly without recourse to official

stats (which I doubt would be all that accurate anyway), that a plurality of

Egyptians fall into this category.

• Straight-up poor: Forget supporting a household, these individuals can barely

eek out a meager living through odd jobs to support themselves. Increasingly, too,

this demographic is skewing toward young men.

Family Values
The family is the most significant unit of Egyptian society. Kinship (Relationship) plays

an important role in all social relations. The individual is always subordinate to the

family, tribe or group. Nepotism (Biasness) is viewed positively, since it is patronage of

one's family.

The family consists of both the nuclear and the extended family.

Technological Analysis

Technology in Modern Egypt

The information technology (IT) market has grown rapidly in the last few years. The

formation of a dynamic and ambitious Ministry of Communications and Information

Technology (MCIT) in 1999 gave this sector a visible and much-needed boost. The IT

sector is growing at more than 10% annually. MCIT continues to implement its

ambitious plans to increase software exports, which reached $150 million in 2003

compared to $50 million in 2000. Other national objectives: train more skilled engineers,

support E-government and E-commerce, and increase IT awareness among the

population.

Egypt's Smart Village (ESV)

The construction of the Egypt's Smart Village is an initiative designed to provide a high

tech environment necessary to attract IT companies to set up offices in Egypt. The Smart

Village provides a state-of-the-art infrastructure catering to every company's business

needs.
Upon completion of all the phases there will be 58 office plots, accommodating

approximately 30,000 employees within a total office area of 1,336,000 square meters.

Any company in the IT and Telecommunications sector can rent office spare or buy land

and build their own offices in the Smart Village.

Science and technology Academy:-

Founded in 1971, the Academy of Scientific Research and Technology in Cairo is the

national body responsible for science and technology. Egypt also has 12 specialized

learned societies in the fields of agriculture, medicine, science, and technology. The

National Research Center, also in Cairo, carries out research in pure and applied sciences.

The Ministry of Agriculture has 20 attached research institutes in Cairo and Giza. Twenty

other institutes conduct research in medicine, science, and technology. In 1987–97,

research and development expenditures totaled0.2% of GNP; 341 technicians and 459

scientists and engineers per million people engaged in research and development.

Located in Cairo are museums devoted to agriculture, geology, railways, and marine

technology. In addition to polytechnic institutes in Cairo and Mansoura, Egypt in 1996

had 13 universities offering courses in basic and applied sciences. In 1987–97, science

and engineering students accounted for 12% of college and university enrollments.

Academy of Scientific Research and Technology of Egypt (ASRT)

Egyptian academy offers trainings, projects and seminars about scientific research and

technology.
The main functions of ASRT, which was founded in 1948, are to support research

directed towards solving critical national issues; encourage application of modern

technology; formulate policies to strengthen linkages between science and technology

organizations; foster basic research and support research institutions; and advance

international relations in science and technology. Since 1986, the Academy has been with

the Minister of State for Scientific Research, the official spokesman for ASRT activities

before the political and legislative authorities

Technology for Agriculture (TECA) FAO

TECA is an FAO (Food and Agricultural Organization) initiative that aims at improving

access to information and knowledge about available proven technologies in order to

enhance their adoption in agriculture, livestock, fisheries and forestry thus contributing to

food security, poverty alleviation and sustainable development.

Human Resource in Egypt

Labor Force: Egypt’s labor force has grown steadily in recent years, with upwards of

650,000 new entrants into the labor market each year. As of June 2006, official statistics

put the labor force at 21.8 million, dividing the labor force between the public and the

private sector (as shown in figure 2). Whereas nearly one third of the labor force 31% is

employed by the public sector, 69% is working for the private sector, including the

informal sector, which absorbs on its own around 6.7 million workers according to
independent sources. Among the 13.3 million who work for the private sector 51% work

in the service industry, 32% work in agriculture and only 17% are employed by the

industrial sector. The service sector absorbs most of the new entrants to the labor force

because it requires very little if any start up capital, while the agricultural sector is mainly

small holdings of family farms (subsistence farming as opposed to cash crops and large

scale production) so they absorb the extra labor with little if any value added

Technological factors in case of Tea Industry of Egypt

As Egyptian agriculture was transformed over the last century in large measure as a result

of technological change, it have contribution to the tea industry as well because if tea

being an agricultural product. Technological changes included the switch from basin to

perennial irrigation, mechanization, application of pesticides and chemical fertilizers,

breeding new seed varieties, and, in the 1980s, the beginning of the use of drip irrigation

and plastic greenhouses. In the 1980s, the main agricultural tasks to undergo

mechanization were plowing, threshing, and water-pumping.

Export: Germany is a market where Egyptian food exports had reached EUR $66

million, with additional tea exports of EUR 23 million, in 2005.

So, Egypt has a pretty well advanced infrastructure available in its agricultural sector

which is needed for a tea industry. In case of human resources, it can be said that Egypt

has more than enough labor force who can be employed in the tea industry.
References:

* http://www.youssefchouhoud.com/2010/07/social-stratification-and-the-price-of-
revolution-in-egypt/

* Science and technology - Egypt - located


http://www.nationsencyclopedia.com/Africa/Egypt-SCIENCE-AND-
TECHNOLOGY.html#ixzz0xKNOazOp

* http://www.photius.com/countries/egypt/economy/egypt_economy_technology.html