Nationalism is a broad term used to describe the justification of the actions of one particular nation or state. It is the pride one has for their own country. This often gets confused with patriotism, which is more the loyalty to one’s nation state, rather than pride and justification. In the middle east, not just Egypt alone, nationalism has been the cause of conflict, or been used as justification for negative actions, claiming pride in one’s state. Fareed Zakaria, writer of the book “The Post-Modern World”, believes that regions are relying less on the United States for goods and services, and are instead, becoming more powerful, not just globally, but also locally and within each country. He calls this sub-nationalism. This sounds good, on an individual, state to state, level, but looking at it from a more broad perspective, it could create many more problems than the world currently has. For example, individual countries becoming more powerful would lead to more struggle for power, as many different regions want to be the superpower of the world. If everyone begins gaining power, the world is going to be full of power struggles, more than it already has, that is. An example of this nationalism issue within Egypt is the struggle for decision rights between the Copts, which are members of a largely Christian dominated religious group in the middle east and Egypt, and the nation state. This is similar to the issues the United States has with the separation of church and state. The Copts living in Egypt talk about their struggle to remain faithful and loyal to their beliefs within their sects of Christianity, but also trying to support their country and its decisions and culture. Sometimes these beliefs intersect with one another and it is hard to decide between the two, when the loyalty is to both your religion, and your country.
As far as inequality goes, Egypt struggles with all types of inequality, from class and race inequality, to gender and religious inequalities. A big problem Egypt has right now is their 12.8% unemployment rate. This is significantly higher than many countries, globally, more than twice that of the United States. Currently, Egyptian youth make up 23.6% of their total population, while 26.3% of the youth are unemployed. Along with these statistics, 24.1% of youth in Egypt are living below the poverty line. In Steger’s book on globalization, he discusses how the overall rates of individuals living in poverty have dropped 6%, Egypt still has issues with this. The youth are making up a large portion of the industry in Egypt, but they are still living in poverty. This represents the class inequalities within the country. In order to begin to remedy this problem, Egypt implemented a training program in May 2015, which aims to provide up to two million individuals with jobs, or skills to get a job, to fight this high unemployment rate. Among these opportunities are over 1,000 different projects that will give lower class people jobs. While Egypt still has a ways to go when it comes to unemployment inequalities, they have begun to take necessary steps to remedy their problems.
Steger, Manfred B. “Chapter 3.” Globalization: A Very Short Introduction. 3rd ed. N.p.: Oxford UP, 2013. 42. Print.
Zakaria, Fareed. “Chapter 2.” The Post-American World. New York: W.W. Norton, 2012. 34-42. Print.