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Whatever Happened to the Egyptians? Changes in Egyptian Society from 1950 to the Present [Paperback]

By Galal A. Amin & Golo (Illustrator)
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Item description for Whatever Happened to the Egyptians? Changes in Egyptian Society from 1950 to the Present by Galal A. Amin & Golo ...

Based on both academic research and the author's own personal experiences and impressions, this delightful and informative book examines the underlying causes of some of the more disturbing social, political, economic, and cultural phenomena that characterize Egyptian society in the 1990s.
Egypt's crisis of culture and other woes are often attributed to the 'open door policy' (Infitah) initiated under President Sadat in the mid-1970s, and to the large-scale migration of Egyptian workers to the oil-rich states of the Gulf that began around the same time. Galal Amin contends, however, that these factors alone are insufficient to explain the fundamental changes in behavior and attitudes that characterize modern Egyptian life. The 'missing link,' Amin argues, lies in the social mobility unleashed by the July Revolution of 1952, which was later accelerated by Infitah and workers' migration. The sudden upward mobility and attendant prestige, self-confidence, and purchasing power of a large segment of Egyptian society--and the desire to display this new-found social position as conspicuously as possible--have had an enormous effect on the attitudes and allegiances of these groups.
Through a fascinating and often highly entertaining examination of issues ranging from the middle class, religious fanaticism, and attitudes to the West and Western culture, to the Egyptian institution of the summer holiday by the sea and the performing arts and entertainment, Amin posits that social mobility has changed the customs and habits, moral and material values, and patterns of consumption and investment of the aspiring classes, and has, furthermore, induced the Egyptian people to ignore national and ideological issues of grave importance.
This insightful book will prove a thought-provoking read for those concerned with emerging economies, international development, and privatization, and will intrigue anyone with an interest in the social history of Egypt.
The Arabic edition of this book was awarded the Cairo International Book Fair Prize for the best book in Social Studies in 1998.

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Item Specifications...

Studio: American University in Cairo Press
Pages   224
Est. Packaging Dimensions:   Length: 0.5" Width: 5" Height: 7.75"
Weight:   0.5 lbs.
Binding  Softcover
Release Date   Mar 1, 2001
Publisher   American University in Cairo Press
ISBN  9774245598  
ISBN13  9789774245596  

Availability  0 units.

More About Galal A. Amin & Golo

Register your artisan biography and upload your photo! GALAL AMIN is a professor of economics at the American University in Cairo. He is the author of Whatever Happened to the Egyptians? (AUC Press, 2000), Whatever Else Happened to the Egyptians? (AUC Press, 2004) and The Illusion of Progress in the Arab World (AUC Press, 2006).

Galal Amin has an academic affiliation as follows - The American University in Cairo American University in Cairo The Amer.

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Product Categories

1Books > Subjects > History > Africa > Egypt > General
2Books > Subjects > History > Africa > Egypt
3Books > Subjects > History > Africa > General
4Books > Subjects > History > Middle East > Egypt
5Books > Subjects > Nonfiction > Current Events > Poverty > Social Services & Welfare
6Books > Subjects > Nonfiction > Government > Social Policy
7Books > Subjects > Nonfiction > Politics > General
8Books > Subjects > Nonfiction > Politics > History & Theory
9Books > Subjects > Nonfiction > Social Sciences > Sociology > Social Theory

Reviews - What do customers think about Whatever Happened to the Egyptians? Changes in Egyptian Society from 1950 to the Present?

Joyful to read for Amin  Jan 23, 2007
This book, as well as "Whatever Else Happened to the Egyptians" inform, very entertainingly, about the dramatic Social and Economical changes that has taken place in Egypt since Nasser's era. They also show how in some situations the Egyptian society has been blindly moving in the direction of westernization. The book is divided into different articles, addressing different aspects of the society, eg. income, marriage, etc..., which makes it very easy and more interesting to read.
I was one of Galal Amin's students in the American University in Cairo, and his very charming personality that always made his classes a joy to learn, vividly appears in his writings.
Not quite modern day Maqrizi but nice effort  Oct 11, 2006
The social history of Egypt in the Middle Ages was well documented by the legendary historian Al Maqrizi who wrote volumes of fascinating history of Egyptians, their rulers, classes and habits. In the last few hundred years starting with Edward Lane writing the social history of Egypt became dominated by the Orientalists who brought their own baggage and prejudices and often supremacist attitudes to the task. Few rare exceptions such as Cairo City Victorious defy the traditional orientalist narratives. (This can be observed from the review of the former colleague of Amin who essentially says this is just good enough for the natives if not in so many words.)

Galal Amin wrote a light hearted, mostly easy to read book about the massive changes that occurred in the Egyptian society since the 1952 military coup aka The Revolution. Amin attributes much of the change in Egypt's society to a massive expansion of the middle class started under Nasser but accelerated under Sadat with the Open Door policy and the massive demand for Egyptian workers (including unskilled and semiskilled) in the oil rich Arab countries.

Amin used a number of personal but very interesting yard sticks to track the changes in the society. He contrasted his university professor salary with that of the house servant. The gap narrowed significantly after 1952 and much more so after 1972 and started to widen again in recent years. Amin also addressed the role of women in the society and contrasted the changes from his mothers, to his sisters to his daughter. Remarkable change has occurred and Amin's admittedly non scientific findings correlate closely with those of Leila Ahmed (Women & Gender in Islam). For many women in Egypt the headscarf serves a tool of liberation not oppression, a point almost always lost on many. Also interesting is Amin's demonstration of the reduced dependence on the state comparing the days of his father (the famous Egyptian Writer & Professor Ahmad Amin) to the generations of his kids and nephews and nieces.

Overall it is a really nice easy to read book, it is a compilation of different articles and research papers that mostly mesh in nicely to form a reasonably coherent whole

Unbiased no, entertaining and insighful yes.  Jun 29, 2004
I personally and professionally know Galal Amin. I was his colleague at the American University in Cairo for several years and have had the pleasure of socializing with him on many occasions. Though I disagree with him about 99 percent of the time, especially on his views of the West and of the economics profession (he seems to have contempt for both), I find him to be one of the most entertaining, charming, and articulate individuals I have ever met. This comes across very clearly in his work. His book is very readable and does indeed offer insights into Egyptian society, much the way Andy Rooney does of American society, and the rapid changes it has gone through. In a way this book, and the man himself, epitomize Egypt. To the Westerner, Egypt is a charming place full of contradictions which both seduces and exhausts the outsider. If one takes it too much to heart, the same can be said of Amin's work. It is best to keep in mind that this book is based on a series of articles that were written for an Egyptian audience. With that in mind, I highly recommend it.
A Helpful Introduction to Modern Egypt  Nov 27, 2002
This unbiased work provides a good overview of the societal changes that have occurred in Egypt during the last 50 years and the challenges that remain. It will prove particularly helpful for people who are planning to go to Egypt and/or deal with Egyptians on more than a superficial level, as well as for those who want to add some depth to their understanding of the Middle East generally. A good overview of a fascinating country.

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