Egypt

Pyramids in the Middle East

Pyramids in the Middle East

Much has been made of the fact that the the crowds protesting in Egypt against former President Hosni Mubarak consisted mainly of young people. This should not, however, be surprising. Any crowd picked randomly from the Egyptian population would consist mainly of young people. 61 percent of Egyptians are under 30 years old, and more than half of the population is under 25. Barely 10 percent of the country’s population is over 50, and fewer than one in 200 is over 80. Hosni Mubarak is 82, and much of the military leadership that replaced him is not far behind. Many young Egyptians, particularly in the cities, are relatively well educated but unable to find employment, and they like people in the rest of the...

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Change in Egypt, and why it matters

Change in Egypt, and why it matters

Every semester, when I begin the section of my World Regional Geography course dealing with the Middle East, I start by saying: “This is a good time to be studying the Middle East, because it’s in the news so much right now.” This is an opening line that has served me reliably for the past two decades, and I am confident that it will continue to do so for the rest of my teaching career. It would also have worked 30 years ago, or 50, or a hundred or a thousand years or two or three thousand years ago. And, with Egypt so much in the news right now, the line will certainly work this semester. Geographers don’t believe in coincidence; we don’t think...

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