Welcome to the Middle East Today

The Middle East has traditionally been important for the world economy. The Middle East situation today has an impact on all aspects of life in America and much of the world.

Only by understanding the motivations of the various factions in the Middle East can we hope to understand how to promote peace and national security for Middle Eastern nations, Europe, and the United States.

Jan 20, 2016

Egyptian Pressing Need

During the third week of January (1/18/2016), several Egyptian newspapers reported that the minister of ‘al awqaf’ is supporting the building of 10 new mosques in 10 governorates.
Is this a priority and a pressing national need? Top government officials are still not aware what are the real needs of the country.
I would like to stress that there are already ten of thousands mosques all over Egypt, hence efforts should be directed to the real pressing need in Egypt, SHORTAGE OF SCHOOLS, especially in rural Egypt. This is, of course, reflected in the high level of illiteracy.
Aren’t those officials, who advocate the building of more mosques, aware of the famous Quaranic imperative verb “iqra’”?
The Quran advocates learning and the pursuit of knowledge. How can this be achieved with the lack of education in many parts of Egypt? Actually, the pursuit of learning is the best method that can be used to fight false interpretations of Islam, as well as to fight terrorism. Hence, education and the advancement of learning should be the first priority of the Egyptian government.
The following statistics was recently published by the Egyptian Census Department.
1: there are 4655 villages in Egypt.
2: there are elementary schools in 95.3% of Egyptian villages, but there no secondary schools (high schools) in82% of those villages. Hence, 60% of the villages need the construction of more schools. It was also reported that some schools operate on two shifts basis. Furthermore, the census data reveals that only 3.8% of Egyptian villages have public libraries.
There are more than 47,000 schools in Egypt. More than 40% of those schools are quite old and not fit for the advancement of learning.
The Egyptian educational system, especially at the lower level, is definitely not meeting the challenges of the 21-century.
The lack of resources, and of qualified teachers is mentioned as being the major reasons for the lack of a good educational system.
However, there are different ways of rectifying the educational system and ensure its future success. The simplest one is to divert the subsidies of oil to education.
During the early 1960s the educational system of Egypt was more advanced than that of South Korea. But, there was an awakening in South Korea and the government started to allocate 20% of its budget to education and research.
The result of such measure placed South Korea among the most advanced nations.
Let us hope Egyptian officials use this example to further the development of the educational system in Egypt.