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Egyptians Find Optimism In Wake Of Uprisings

Filed by KOSU News in World News.
June 7, 2011

As Egypt continues adjusting to its life in the four months since President Hosni Mubarak stepped down, the Gallup polling organization has captured locals’ thoughts, concerns and aspirations.

Gallup is releasing a new report today called “Egypt from Tahrir to Transition.” It is one of the first comprehensive assessments of Egyptian public opinion in the wake of the revolution.

The recently established Abu Dhabi Gallup Center published the report. Mohamed Younis is its analyst. He is also the senior analyst at the Gallup Center for Muslim Studies in Washington DC.

According to Younis, the Gallup report shows concerning downward trends, such as:

– 53% of Egyptians believe economic conditions in their city are worsening.

– 83% say the current climate is bad for job hunting.

– 39% feel unsafe about walking alone at night in the city – compared to 17% in 2010.

Regardless, the report still shows incredible optimism among Egyptians. Many are expecting better lives in the next five years.

Take the case of Yassmine ElSayed Hani. She is a 26-year-old graduate student at Cairo University. Tell Me More first spoke with her after Mubarak stepped down, and caught up with her for this conversation. She went to Tahrir Square nearly every day during the uprising. She adds that it was beyond Egyptians’ imaginations that the dictatorship ended, and that they understand optimism is in the air.

The optimism seems to extend to the country’s political structure. When Gallup asked eligible voters if they planned to participate in the upcoming election, roughly 90% of them responded affirmatively. Ninety-one percent said they expected the election to be fair and honest – compared to 2010, when less than 30% said “yes.”

In terms of U.S. aid to Egypt, Younis says it raises the notion that U.S. policy dictates what Egypt does as a country. Yassmine ElSayed Hani comments that America’s “intrusion” into Egyptian domestic politics will be unwelcomed and the time of conditional aid has ended.

Overall, Yosni says the Gallup numbers show Egypt as a country that — for once — can determine its own actions, and it is searching for partners to interact with on equal bases. [Copyright 2011 National Public Radio]

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