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The Bay of Granville, in the former, is immediately opposite to Granville in the latter, at about a similar distance; and a little further to the westward is St. Aubin's Bay, nearer to the capital of the island than either of the former, and without the range of the guns of Elizabeth Castle. Aubin itself has some batteries , and the other bays are more or less protected by martello towers; but none of these are sufficient to repel an invading army, particularly if a landing were effected by night. The Jersey Chronique says: Two engineers, who arrived on Thursday last, are already employed in taking measures for the construction of this port, as well as for the fortifications that will be erected there, and soon we may expect to see fifteen hundred convicts arrive in this part of the island to assist in the works of the naval port.

This British crown dependency and island is the largest and southernmost of the Channel Islands, lying in the Bay of Mont St. Michel south of England s coast and 12 miles 19 km west of the Cotentin peninsula of France. Helier, is miles south of Weymouth, England. Separation from Normandy in made reorganization necessary.

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Jersey kept its Norman law and local customs but, with the other islands, was administered for the king by a warden and sometimes by a lord. By the end of the 15th century, Jersey had its own captain, later called governor, an office abolished in when the duties devolved upon a lieutenant governor, who still performs them. In it was ruled that justice and civil affairs were affairs of the bailiff. Parish deputies were first elected in In the 17th century the Carterets, seigneurs of St.

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Ouen, dominated the island, holding it for the king from to In the 18th and 19th centuries the island was torn by feuds Magots versus Charlots, Laurels versus Roses but it also prospered from the Newfoundland fisheries, privateering, and smuggling and, later, from cattle, and potatoes. It is thought that St. Magloire went to Sark in A. In , French troops seized the uninhabited island and built several forts before seemingly losing interest and eventually departing.

Until was the last truly feudal state in Europe as the laws, particularly relating to inheritance have changed little since The first Seigneur colonized the island in with Queen Elizabeth's blessing and granted 40 islanders tenements. The Seigneur holds the island on lease from the Crown in perpetuity. Even to this day, the island is split up into 40 leaseholds but the population stands at around In the 17th century, Sark accumulated wealth through privateering legalized piracy and in , silver was discovered on the island.

By , the population had grown to However the mine, turned into a financial disaster after becoming flooded and the Seigneur was forced to sell his fief to Mrs T. Collings, a direct ancestor of the present Seigneur. The other day I attended the opening of the, as yet, unreformed Parliament of Sark, says a writer in the London Daily Mail.

There is but one House, and it is called the Chefs Plaids. So far so good, for I believe every sane political refiner agrees that the model state should nave one legislative body only. But, alas, this single House is exclusively a House of landlords, exclusively a House of hereditary legislators.

The people of the island are not allowed to elect their representatives. Land, alone is represented; not wealth, nor intellect, nor the toiling masses, nor the submerged tenth.

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And the land is represented in a peculiar way. Ouen in Jersey, it was stipulated that he should colonize it and should grant parts of it to forty of hls retainers or followers as copyholders or customary tenants under him. It was also stipulated that these tenants, though they might alienate their holdings upon payment to the Lord of a thirteenth of the value, might on no account subdivide them. Thus there are still in the island the original, forty estates, and the holder of each estate occupies with regard to the seigneur, or lord, almost exactly the same position as a "leude" or a baron occupied in the old feudal days of Normandy with regard to the sovereign.

The existing Parliament of Sark is, in effect, the "assemblee des leudes et barons" of the island. The law of strict primogeniture obtains, and there would be today forty hereditary members of the Chefs Plaids but for two circumstances. One is that if a tenant happens to be a woman she does not sit, though she may vote in the House by proxy. The other is that, in the course of years, certain of the members, by inheritance or purchase, have acquired more than one estate.

There are now, therefore, not more than thirty actual sitting members of the Chefs Plaids. They represent if they can be said to represent a population of some souls and an extent of about acres. Lloyds Register of Shipping gives the entire fleet of the world as 28, steamers and sailing vessels, with a total tonnage of 27,,, of which 39 perent are British. The Naval Order of the United States has a history dating from Membership includes a wide range of individuals, many with highly distinguished career paths.

The Dame of Sark: Channel Island of Sark. Over passages and coastal waypoints for the English Channel. Solid Brass Sun Dial. Patterns for Guernseys, Jerseys, and Arans: Fishermen's Sweaters from the British Isles. The Other British Isles: Moore Their names bespeak a rich and varied past, belying their paucity of notice by historians.

From the Norse Hjaltland comes the modern Shetland: Holy Iona, island center of Celtic Christianity; the Isle of Man, former seat of rule over the Irish Sea; Anglesey and Islay, homes of forgotten Medieval courts at Aberffraw and Loch Finlaggan--these are just a few of the more than 6, islands that form the archipelago known as the British Isles. Inhabited for millennia and today home to half a million people, the offshore islands demonstrate that the British Isles comprise far more than just England, Scotland and Wales. On 23 July , nearly 90 people were killed in bomb attacks in the Red Sea resort of Sharm el-Sheikh.

In Egypt changed its constitution to allow the opposition to contest presidential elections. Potential candidates must meet strict criteria for participation, however, and religious parties remain banned. The Muslim Brotherhood — the only opposition organization with broad popular support — remains outlawed.

In the presidential election held on 7 September , Mubarak gained a fifth consecutive term as president. The election was the first under the new system whereby multiple candidates may stand. In previous elections, Egyptians voted yes or no for a single candidate chosen by parliament. In this election, all candidates were permitted to campaign freely and were given equal time on television. Mubarak faced nine opponents in the September election, although only two — Ayman Nour of the Tomorrow party, and Noaman Gomaa of the Wafd party — had any real following.

Without monitors in place in most of the nearly 10, polling stations, Mubarak supporters engaged in various acts of voter intimidation. Other voting irregularities existed as well. The opposition to Mubarak came largely from a movement called "Kifaya" or "Enough. Different groups affiliated with the Kifaya movement staged demonstrations for several months prior to the election.

In parliamentary elections held in November and December , the Muslim Brotherhood won 34 seats, doubling the number of seats its members held in all of the last parliament, elected in Nevertheless, the Muslim Brotherhood's candidates run as independents, due to the outlaw status of the group. The Muslim Brotherhood solidified its position as the strongest opposition group in Egypt by winning an additional 42 seats in the second round of voting, and 12 in the third, to make a total of 88 seats in the new parliament.

In total, the ruling NDP won seats, noticeably fewer than the it held in the outgoing parliament, but nonetheless still above the two-thirds majority necessary to control legislation. The elections were marred by clashes between voters and security forces, leaving 12 dead. In April the parliament voted to extend the state of emergency, in place since , until On 25 March , President Nasser proclaimed an interim constitution; it remained in effect until a permanent constitution, drafted by the National Assembly, was approved by the electorate in a plebiscite on 11 September The constitution declares Egypt to be a democratic socialist state and an integral part of the Arab nation.

The state of emergency, in effect since the Sadat assassination in , and tough new antiterrorism laws against Islamists have given the government sweeping powers of repression, reminiscent of the Nasser era. The president of the republic is the head of state and supreme commander of the armed forces. He appoints and retires as many vice presidents and cabinet members as he wishes; he also appoints the prime minister. In addition, he appoints and retires civil, military, and diplomatic personnel in accordance with the law.

The president's power to declare war and conclude treaties with foreign countries is subject to the approval of the People's Assembly, a unicameral legislative body consists of elected and 10 appointed members serving five-year terms. A member advisory body, the Shura Council, was formed in Until , the People's Assembly nominated the president, who had to be confirmed by plebiscite for a six-year term. The constitution was amended by popular referendum in to permit Sadat to serve more than two terms.

Vice President Mubarak, who became president upon Sadat's assassination, was confirmed in that office in national referendums in October , , , and An amendment passed by parliament in May and approved in a public referendum provides that the president is to be elected in direct public elections to be contested by more than one candidate. In the presidential election held in September , Mubarak was opposed by nine candidates. Official results had Mubarak winning Ayman Nour of the Tomorrow party, who came in second place, took 7.

Since the founding of the republic in , the president and his army colleagues have dominated Egyptian politics. The Arab Socialist Union ASU; founded by President Nasser as the Egyptian National Union in was the sole legal political party until , when President Sadat allowed three minor parties to participate in parliamentary elections. In , however, Sadat denounced the SLP as the "agent of a foreign power," and 13 of the party's deputies defected either to join the NDP or to become independent members of the legislature, thus reducing the number of SLP seats to The New Wafd Delegation Party, the middle class successor of the dominant party of the pre-Nasser period allied with the Muslim Brotherhood, won In , the opposition contested the elections, but to little effect.

Balloting was held on 29 November and the NDP won a huge majority of the body's seats. Although independents won more than seats, they are so closely allied with the NDP that nearly all of them joined the party after the elections. Since the beginning of a campaign of terror against tourists and Egypt's Coptic minority, the government has clamped down on Islamist parties, notably the Muslim Brotherhood, which had always been technically illegal. The Mubarak regime has resorted to strict authoritarian measures and holds thousands of suspected Islamic militants in prison.

Non-Muslim Brotherhood-affiliated parties took 14 seats, including the neo-liberal Wafd Party, traditionally recognized as Egypt's largest opposition party. The rest of the seats were won by independents. Egypt traditionally has been divided into two regions: Under the local government system established in , Egypt is organized into 26 governorates, each headed by an appointed governor.

The governorates are responsible for social, health, welfare, and educational services and for the social and economic development of their region. They are also required to supervise the city and village councils, which are constituted in a similar manner. Real authority resides in Cairo in a highly centralized regime, heavily burdened by bureaucracy. Since , village mayors, who were previously elected, have been appointed by the Ministry of the Interior. The judicial system is based on English common law , Islamic law , and Napoleonic codes subject to judicial review by the Supreme Court and the Council of State, which oversees the validity of administrative decisions.

A tension exists between civil law derived from France and competition from promoters of Islamic law. Islamic activists succeeded in amending the constitution to state that Shariah Islamic law is in principle the sole source of legislation. However, Shariah applies primarily to Muslims with regard to family, personal status, and inheritance matters, and non-Muslims have been allowed to maintain separate legislation in all matters except inheritance. Simple police offenses, misdemeanors, and civil cases involving small amounts are subject to the jurisdiction of single-judge summary tribunals.

The trial courts of the central tribunals, consisting of three justices each, sit in cases exceeding the jurisdiction of summary courts and also consider appeals. Traffic in narcotics and press offenses, considered serious crimes, are tried by the courts of appeals of the central tribunals in the first instance, sitting as assize courts. The highest tribunal is the Court of Cassation, composed of 30 justices, which sits in panels of at least 5 justices.

The constitution declares that the judiciary is independent of other state powers and that judges are independent and not subject to enforced retirement. The Supreme Constitutional Court is responsible for enforcing adherence to laws and regulations and for interpreting legislation and the constitution.

The Office of the Socialist Public Prosecutor is responsible to the People's Assembly for the security of the people's rights, the integrity of the political system, and other matters. The president appoints all civilian judges, from nominations by the Supreme Judicial Council, a body designed to assure the independence of the judiciary and composed of senior judges, lawyers, law professors, and the president of the Court of Cassation. Judges are appointed for life, with mandatory retirement at age The judiciary has demonstrated a good degree of independence from the executive branch.

The state of emergency in place since after the assassination of President Anwar Sadat led to detention without due process for many persons. Emergency security courts try suspected terrorists whose only recourse upon conviction is an appeal for clemency to the president or prime minister. Total active armed forces in Egypt numbered , in There were also , reservists divided among all services.

The Army had , active personnel, equipped with 3, main battle tanks, reconnaissance vehicles, armored infantry fighting vehicles, 4, armored personnel carriers and 4, artillery pieces. The Egyptian Air Force in had 30, active personnel, which were equipped with combat capable aircraft, including fighters, fighter ground attack aircraft and attack helicopters. The Air Defense Command is a separate service. As of , active personnel numbered 80, Equipment included both missile and gun-based air defense batteries.

The Egyptian Navy had an estimated 18, active personnel, including 2, coast guard personnel. Egypt's paramilitary forces were estimated at , active members, including a national guard of 60,, a central security force of ,, and 12, border guards. The country is a member of the WTO. Between and , Egypt made several attempts to establish united or federated states with its Arab neighbors.

Egypt and Syria formed the United Arab Republic from February to September , when Syria broke away; the United Arab States, consisting of Egypt, Syria, and Yemen, survived formally from March through December , although never a political reality; and a federation between Egypt, Syria, and Iraq, officially established in April , was never implemented. A formal merger attempt between Egypt and Libya, nominally consummated on 1 September , dissolved in practice when relations between the two countries soured.

Egypt became the first Arab state to normalize relations with Israel following the conclusion of the peace treaty. As a result of this act, however, Egypt's membership in the League of Arab States was suspended; Egypt did not rejoin the League until Arab League headquarters are in Cairo. Egypt plays a key role in the peace process between Israel and the Palestinian Authority.

The Egyptian economy has been historically agricultural, with cotton as the mainstay. Land prices are extremely high because of the shortage of arable land, and output of food is not sufficient to meet the needs of a 1. Although Egypt has expanded its private sector in recent years, industry remains centrally controlled and for the most part government owned; since the s, the government has developed the petroleum, services, and construction sectors, largely at the expense of agriculture. Revenues for — 86 from petroleum exports, Suez Canal traffic, tourism, and remittances from Egyptians working abroad — all mainstays of the Egyptian economy — were eroded in the wake of sharp declines in international oil prices and developments in the Iran-Iraq war.

In the early s, the collapse of world oil prices and an increasingly heavy debt burden led Egypt into negotiations with the IMF for balance-of-payments support. As a condition of the support, Egypt embarked on a comprehensive economic reform and structural adjustment program, under the aegis of the IMF and the World Bank. Egypt succeeded in stabilizing the macroeconomic fundamentals necessary for sustained economic growth: However, progress toward privatizing and streamlining the public sector and liberalizing trade policy was slow.

Consequently, despite the improvements, the economy has not experienced the economic growth necessary to reduce unemployment around The inflation rate over the — 05 period averaged 5. Remittances from Egyptians working abroad have aided the Egyptian economy. Reform legislation in the areas of intellectual property rights, mortgage laws, and legislation developing banking and capital markets have made the business climate more favorable to investment. A more economically liberal cabinet was appointed in mid, which announced far-reaching plans for economic reform.

In September of that year, Egypt pushed through custom reforms, proposed income and corporate tax reforms, reduced energy subsidies, and privatized several enterprises. The tourism sector feared a downturn in tourist numbers when Islamic terrorists attacked resorts in the Sinai Peninsula in and , but the industry performed better than expected. The development of an export market for natural gas is something for which Egypt strives, but improvement in the capital-intensive hydrocarbons sector does not ameliorate Egypt's chronic unemployment problem.

The CIA defines GDP as the value of all final goods and services produced within a nation in a given year and computed on the basis of purchasing power parity PPP rather than value as measured on the basis of the rate of exchange based on current dollars. The annual growth rate of GDP was estimated at 4. The average inflation rate in was 5. Household consumption includes expenditures of individuals, households, and nongovernmental organizations on goods and services, excluding purchases of dwellings.

It was estimated that for the period to household consumption grew at an average annual rate of 4. It was estimated that in about Egypt's civilian labor force increased from In , agriculture accounted for Egyptian workers obtained the legal right to organize trade unions in However, private sector unions remain the exception, rather than the rule. The ETUF in had four million members. Collective bargaining is permitted, but is handled through a labor consultative council that includes employer, worker and government representatives.

Strikes are prohibited while these procedures are in effect. So-called "wildcat strikes" are prohibited. The government sets wages, benefits and job classifications for government and other public sector employees. In the private sector, employee compensation is set according to the country's laws on minimum wages. For children in the nonagricultural sector, the law sets the minimum working age at 14 or at the age when basic schooling is completed which is 15 , whichever is higher. In addition, minors under the age of 18 are legally limited to the type of work and the conditions under which it is performed.

However, child labor remains a problem. In , an estimated two million children were working. The minimum wage for public-sector employees differed among sectors. The maximum number of hours that can be worked was 48 hours per week. Overtime rates of pay begin at 36 hours, with an extra differential rate for daytime and nighttime hours.

Minimum rates, in conjunction with a series of bonuses and other benefits generally triples the amount, thus offering a worker and a family with a decent living standard. Enforcement of health and safety regulations is sporadic. During the s, despite substantial investment in land reclamation, agriculture lost its position as the dominant economic sector.

Cotton has been the staple crop, but it is no longer important as an export. Production in was , tons.

Egypt is also a substantial producer of wheat, corn, sugarcane, fruit and vegetables, fodder, and rice; substantial quantities of wheat are also imported despite increases in yield since , and significant quantities of rice are exported. Citrus, dates, and grapes are the principal fruits by acreage. Agricultural output in tons in included corn, 5,,; wheat, 7,,; rice, 6,,; potatoes, 1,,; and oranges, 1,, The government exercises a substantial degree of control over agriculture, not only to ensure the best use of irrigation water but also to limit the planting of cotton in favor of food grains.

However, the government's ability to achieve this objective is limited by crop rotational constraints. Egypt's arable area totals about 3. Irrigation plays a major role in a country the very livelihood of which depends upon a single river; Most ambitious of all the irrigation projects is that of the Aswan High Dam, completed in A report published in March by the National Council for Production and Economic Affairs indicated that the dam was successful in controlling floodwaters and ensuring continuous water supplies, but that water consumption had been excessive and would have to be controlled.

Some valuable land was lost below the dam because the flow of Nile silt was stopped, and increased salinity remains a problem. Further, five years of drought in the Ethiopian highlands — the source of the Nile River's water — caused the water level of Lake Nasser, the Aswan High Dam's reservoir, to drop to the lowest level ever in In , however, the level of water behind the High Dam and in Lake Nasser reached the highest level since the completion of the dam.

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Despite this unusual abundance of water supply , Egypt can only utilize Another spectacular project designed to address the water scarcity problem is the New Valley the "second Nile" , aimed at development of the large artesian water supplies underlying the oases of the Western Desert. The agrarian reform law of provided that no one might hold more than feddans for farming and that each landholder must either farm the land himself or rent it under specified conditions. Up to 95 additional feddans might be held if the owner had children, and additional land had to be sold to the government.

Compensation to the former owners was in bonds bearing a low rate of interest, redeemable within 40 years. A law enacted in reduced landholdings by one person to 50 feddans. Since the late s, many reforms attempting to deregulate agriculture by liberalizing input and output prices and by eliminating crop area controls have been initiated. As a result, the gap between world and domestic prices for Egyptian agricultural commodities has been closed.

The government plans massive irrigation and development projects to create new communities to alleviate population intensity in the valley, with the objective of increasing the percentage of populated areas from 5. These projects are centralized in southern Egypt, by the Suez Canal, and Sinai. Because of the very intensive cultivation of the soil, little land is available for animal husbandry , but efforts were made in the s to increase the output of fodder per land unit and the productivity of livestock raising. In , the estimated livestock population included 95,, chickens, 3,, goats, 5,, sheep, 3,, head of buffalo, 4,, head of cattle, and 30, hogs.

Livestock products in that year included 2,, tons of cow milk, 1,, tons of meat, and , tons of eggs. The catch of sea fish amounted to ,, tons in The inland catch was , tons. Mullet and eels are caught in the Delta and sardines in the Mediterranean. Egypt's production from aquaculture amounted to , tons. Total fish production from capture and aquaculture was , tons in There is a small-scale freezing and canning industry. Nevertheless, Egypt has been a net importer of fish. In the early s, new fish-farming facilities were established at Maryut in the Delta.

There are no forests in Egypt. The construction and furniture-making industries rely on wood imports. Furniture production engages about 40, persons and is concentrated in the Damietta Governorate in the northern part of the Nile Delta. Softwood products come mostly from Russia , Sweden , and Finland ; hardwood products from Romania , Croatia , and Bosnia. In recent decades, crude oil, natural gas , and petroleum products have dominated Egypt's mineral industry.

However Egypt is also a producer of ferroalloys, gold, iron ore, primary aluminum, steel, secondary copper, lead and zinc, and construction materials such as clay, gypsum, gemstones, dimension stone and raw materials to make glass. Among nonfuel minerals, phosphate rock around the Red Sea, along the Nile, and in the Western Desert and iron ore were the most important in terms of value and ore grade. In Egypt also produced manganese ore, titanium, ilmenite, asbestos, barite, cement, bentonite, fire clay, kaolin, crude feldspar, fluorspar, gypsum and anhydrite, lime, nitrogen, salt, soda ash, sodium sulfate , basalt, dolomite, granite, dimension stone, gravel, limestone, marble blocks including alabaster , glass sand, construction sand, talc, soapstone, pyrophyllite, and vermiculite, and there were occurrences of gold, ocher, sulfate of magnesia, and nitrate of soda.

The government was engaged in efforts to partially privatize mining and metal assets. Although mineral resources have been exploited in Egypt since antiquity, including gemstones and zinc, some regions of the country remained geologically unexplored. Extraction of limestone, clay, and gypsum during World War II rose in response to the Allied armies' urgent demand.

In , Egypt produced 1. Output of iron ore and concentrate was 2. Development of an iron ore mine and steel plant near Aswan ceased in when the government charged the promoters with misappropriating public funds. Higher-quality deposits were being exploited in the Western Desert. Gold and copper deposits were not of sufficient grade to justify profitable extraction.

Egypt is an important non-OPEC energy producer. Commercial quantities of oil were first found in , and more petroleum was found in the late s along the Gulf of Suez. The Abu Rudeis and Ra's Sudr oil fields in the Sinai, captured by Israel in , were returned to Egyptian control in November , and the remaining Sinai oil fields reverted to Egyptian control by the end of April Egypt's proven crude oil reserves were estimated at 3. Oil production in was estimated at , barrels per day, down from , barrels per day in , of which crude oil accounted for , barrels per day.

Domestic consumption was estimated at , barrels per day in Net oil exports in that same year were estimated at , barrels per day. The Suez Canal and the km mi Sumed Pipeline from the Gulf of Suez to the Mediterranean Sea are two routes for oil from the Persian Gulf , which makes Egypt a strategic point of interest in world energy markets. Although the Suez Canal Authority SCA has deepened the canal so that it can accommodate the largest bulk freight carriers, the canal was scheduled to be deepened a further 20 m 66 ft by the end of to accommodate very large crude carriers VLCCs.

Egypt operates nine refineries that are capable of processing crude oil at an estimated rate of , barrels per day, as of 1 January The largest refinery is the El-Nasr facility located at Suez. It is able to process , barrels per day. Major discoveries in the s have given natural gas increasing importance as an energy source. According to data from Egypt's Ministry of Petroleum, the country's reserves of natural gas are estimated at 66 trillion cu ft, as of 1 January , but probable reserves have been placed at or more than trillion cu ft.

Since the early s, significant deposits of natural gas have been found in the Western Desert, in the Nile Delta and offshore from the Nile Delta. Domestic consumption of natural gas has also risen as a result of thermal power plants converting from oil to natural gas. As of , Egypt's production and consumption of natural gas are each estimated at billion cu ft. The Egyptian electric power system is almost entirely integrated, with thermal stations in Cairo and Alexandria and generators at Aswan. In , output was estimated at In the same year, consumption of electricity totaled Total installed capacity was estimated at In late Egypt announced that it would coordinate a regional energy distribution center to coordinate energy distribution among the nations of the region, including Egypt, Jordan, Syria, Lebanon, Iraq, Libya, Tunisia , Algeria , and Morocco.

Egypt at the time of the revolution was much further advanced industrially than any other Arab country or indeed any country in Africa except South Africa. Under the socialist Nasser administration, the government coordinated industrial expansion and the establishment of an industrial base. As a result, bureaucracy and a dependence on political directives from the government became common to Egyptian industry. Since the early s the government has promoted privatization as a way to eventually increase industrial output.

The industrial production growth rate in was 2. Major industrial products included textiles, chemicals including fertilizers, polymers, and petrochemicals , pharmaceuticals, food processing, petroleum, construction, cement, metals, and light consumer goods. The clothing and textiles sector is the largest industrial employer. Greater Cairo, Alexandria, and Helwan are Egypt's main industrial centers, producing iron and steel, textiles, refined petroleum products, plastics, building materials, electronics, paper, trucks and automobiles, and chemicals.

The Helwan iron and steel plant, 29 km 18 mi south of Cairo, using imported coke, processes iron ore mined near Aswan into sheets, bars, billets, plates, and blooms.

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Egypt is encouraging oil exploration, but natural gas is becoming the focus of the country's oil and gas industries. In , the country's first liquefied gas export terminal began operations. A large natural gas field off the Mediterranean coast of the Egyptian city of Damietta was discovered in Natural gas reserves in the country were estimated at 66 trillion cubic feet Tcf in , based on new finds. Egypt's industrial sector has undergone major reforms since World Bank adjustment programs went into effect during , privatizing and restructuring state owned enterprises.

Some of the companies in important non-oil industries are technically in the private sector, but control still remains with the government. Founded in , the Academy of Scientific Research and Technology in Cairo is the national body responsible for science and technology. Egypt also has 12 specialized learned societies in the fields of agriculture, medicine, science, and technology. The National Research Center, also in Cairo, carries out research in pure and applied sciences.

The Ministry of Agriculture has 20 attached research institutes in Cairo and Giza. Twenty other institutes conduct research in medicine, science, and technology. Located in Cairo are museums devoted to agriculture, geology, railways, and marine technology.

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In addition to polytechnic institutes in Cairo and Mansoura, Egypt in had 13 universities offering courses in basic and applied sciences. Cairo and Alexandria are the most important commercial centers. Virtually all importers, exporters, and wholesalers have offices in one or both of these cities. Egypt's retail trade is dominated by a large number of small privately-owned shops and vendors. Government cooperatives with hundreds of outlets also combine wholesale and retail activities.

The principal retail centers have general and specialized stores as well as large bazaars. Smaller bazaars and open markets are found in the towns and villages. There are large wholesaling markets for meat and produce in Cairo, Alexandria, and Mansoura. The franchising of fast food restaurants and retail chains continues to grow quickly, with both American- and Egyptian-based companies holding franchises. Though most farms are privately owned, manufacturing is largely controlled by the public sector.

Domestic industries include textiles especially in cotton , food processing, and vehicle assembly. Government hours are 8 am to 2 pm, Saturday to Wednesday. Business hours vary widely. Typically, a business schedule in summer would be 8 am to 2 pm; in the winter, from 9 am to 1 pm and from 5 to 7 pm, Saturday through Wednesday. Friday is the Muslim holy day, and most people do not work on Thursdays. While the official language is Arabic, commercial firms frequently employ English or French for business correspondence.

Haggling or in Arabic, momarsa auction , is a standard business process for determining a fair price for goods and services in Egypt. The Cairo International Trade Fair, held every spring, has been an important promotional event for a number of years. Trade with Libya and Saudi Arabia has increased in recent years.

Petroleum replaced cotton and cotton products as Egypt's principal export in In , Egypt's major exports were: Major imports were intermediate goods Egypt's leading markets in were: Leading suppliers that year were: Structural reforms instituted in the early s have helped Egypt to slowly try to take care of its debt.

However, Egypt's annual trade deficit has increased steadily during the late s and early s. The wider trade deficit was offset by a considerable strengthening of the services fueled by tourism and Suez Canal revenues and current transfers surpluses, leaving the current-account surplus little changed at 4. The current-account surplus averaged 2. The government has attempted in recent years to improve the balance of payments situation through monetary and foreign exchange.

These policies, while improving the balance of payments situation, have had an overall negative impact on economic growth and the country's ability to encourage foreign investment. The National Bank of Egypt, founded in , had as a private institution the exclusive right to issue currency and act as the government's banker. In January , although permitted to retain its commercial banking business, it was divested of its central banking function, which was given to the newly established Central Bank of Egypt.

In , when foreign banks refused to finance Egypt's cotton crop after the Suez Canal was nationalized, the government took over foreign banks and insurance companies. By the end of , all banks had been nationalized. The number of registered banks dwindled to only four by As of , there were 69 banks operating in Egypt: In , the public sector was allowed to perform transactions freely with all banks, which became largely free to exercise all banking functions.

The government's "open door" policy toward banking permitted international banks of good standing to establish branches in Egypt and exempted those banks from regulations governing the control of foreign exchange. In , foreign exchange rates were liberalized. In and , laws were passed allowing foreign bank branches to deal in Egyptian currency.

In order to bring the Egyptian banking sector into line with international banking norms, banking law of established a legal basis for the privatization of the four public-sector banks, but by this process was just getting started. Egyptians habitually have invested their funds in real estate, in foreign countries, or in gold. In June , a comprehensive Capital Markets Law was passed, sparking a revival of the Cairo and Alexandria exchanges that had been dormant since nationalization. In , Egypt had one of the world's best-performing stock markets, but the primary stock market remained thin.

Most investors preferred to establish closed companies and to resort to bank loans. Stock trading in the secondary market was also limited. Nevertheless, Egypt's first corporate bond since , issued by the German-Egyptian Hoechst Orient in May , was almost three times oversubscribed. In that same year, a combined total of companies where listed on the Cairo and Alexandria Stock Exchanges. Until the s, insurance companies operating in Egypt were mostly branches of foreign institutions.

In July , Egypt promulgated laws nationalizing all insurance companies. From , the insurance market was dominated by four public-sector insurance companies one of which was a re-insurance company , although three private-sector companies existed. Two joint ventures with foreign firms operated in the free zones. The domestic insurance market was closed to foreign companies, although they were able to operate as minority partners in Egypt's eight free zones. As part of its IMF agreement, the government pushed a new, if still restrictive, insurance law through the People's Assembly in early May Public debt in amounted to Government outlays by function were as follows: Branches of foreign companies are treated the same as domestic companies.

Oil production and prospecting companies are subject to a Customs duties in Egypt serve not merely for protection but also for revenue. In September , Egypt's president issued a decree that reduced administrative fees and tariffs on imported goods. In addition, customs fees and tariffs on information technology machines, spare parts and equipment have been. However, items such as alcoholic beverages, tobacco and automobiles with engines larger than cc are subject to higher rates.

Egypt has declared that foreign private capital is both desired and welcome and that foreign capital investment has a place in the country's economic development. Investors in approved enterprises are assured of facilities for transfer of profits, withdrawal of capital, and employment of necessary foreign personnel. In , Egypt sought specifically to encourage capital investments from multinational corporations in the West, so new projects financed with foreign capital were protected, capital was freed for reexport within five years of its investment in Egypt, and investment profits earned within Egypt were allowed transfer abroad.

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In , all foreign exchange transfer restrictions were lifted. The main laws governing foreign investment are the Capital Market Law of , as amended to increase stock market regulation in ; the Investment Incentives and Guarantees Law of , establishing the regime for free trade zones FTZs ; and a series of laws in setting conditions for private including foreign participation in public banks, insurance, maritime transport, electricity distribution, and telecommunications.

Depending on their size, location, and other characteristics, new projects financed with foreign capital are exempt from taxation for five to ten years; in addition, payments of interest on foreign loans are not taxable and investors are exempt from certain customs duties. There is one basic condition for approval: Applications must be made to the General Authority for Arab Investment and the Free Zones, which consists of the minister of state for Arab and foreign economic cooperation and seven other members.

Since , Egypt has liberalized its foreign trade by reducing the number of items on its list of banned imports. The use of other nontariff barriers on imports and export restrictions has also been reduced. Bureaucratic barriers, however, still hamper investment. FTZs offer exemption from import duties, sales taxes, and taxes and fees on capital goods. A new Ministry of Investment was created in July to oversee investment policy, coordinating among the various ministries with investment-related areas of responsibility. The United Kingdom is Egypt's largest foreign investor, followed by the United States; both countries are very active in investing in the oil and gas sector.

Other major investing countries are France, Italy, and Arab countries. At the time of the revolution, Egypt presented the familiar picture of a dual economy, having a small modern sector developed within a tradition-bound society. A rapidly expanding population was pressing hard on limited agricultural resources; there were severe problems of poverty, unemployment, unequal distribution of income and wealth, disease, political corruption, and illiteracy.

Rapid industrialization was viewed as essential to economic improvement. The revolution was both a national revolution, Egyptianizing the economy by ridding it of foreign influence, and a social revolution, developing a "democratic, cooperative, socialist" society. The promised "socialism" was not at that time doctrinaire; it was pragmatically selective in its application. A major objective was the diversion of private investment from land into industry. In this earlier period, industrialization also was fostered through government creation and expansion of industrial firms.

In July , in a major policy shift, socialist decrees brought virtually all economic activity under government ownership or control. It is clear that the Egyptian government had decided that industrialization and improvement of living standards could come only through central planning and direct government ownership and control of virtually the entire system of production and foreign trade.

Egypt inaugurated its first five-year development program in By the end of , national income had increased in the five-year period by A second five-year development plan — 70 was canceled in because of the Arab-Israeli war, and annual plans were instituted. Shortly after the war, President Sadat introduced an "open door" economic development program that confirmed Egypt's socialist policy but decentralized decision making in the public sector, removed government constraints on the private sector, and attracted foreign private capital by liberalizing financial and trade regulations.

As a result, most public-sector industries developed rapidly during the — 79 period. A five-year development plan — 84 was replaced in by the new plan for — 87, of which the public sector was allocated It aimed at the privatization of several sectors by encouraging the private sector to invest more capital. Egypt at the end of the s was able to attract more foreign investment, cut the inflation rate, and decrease budget deficits.

As of the early s, the state still controlled virtually all heavy industry, although agriculture was in private hands, and has been deregulated, with the exception of the cotton and sugar sectors. This and other efforts at privatization have increased the growth of the economy. At the end of , total public debt amounted to A general sales tax was extended to the wholesale and retail levels of business in Increased spending on infrastructure projects in the early s widened budget deficits once more.

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In , after a series of currency devaluations, Egypt adopted a floating exchange rate mechanism — the Egyptian pound was no longer pegged to the dollar. There were more than six million visitors to Egypt in Retirement is set at age A death grant and a funeral grant is also available. Employed persons aged 18 or older are covered by work injury insurance, except for casual workers, domestic workers, and the self-employed.

Unemployment legislation has been in place since and covers all employed persons in the public and private sectors. It is funded by contributions from employers with deficits covered by the government. Equality of the sexes is provided by law, but many aspects of law and traditional practice discriminate against women.

Under Egyptian law, only males can transmit citizenship to their children or spouses. Women have won employment opportunities in a number of fields, but Egyptian feminists fear these gains will be halted by resurgent Islamic fundamentalism. Muslim female heirs receive half of the amount of a male heir, and Christian widows of Muslims retain no inheritance rights. The government continues its efforts to eradicate the widespread practice of female genital mutilation FGM.

Domestic abuse and violence is common. Because the concept of family integrity supersedes the well-being of the woman, few women seek redress from authorities. Christian minorities in Egypt are often subject to discrimination and harassment. Extremists have attacked churches and have killed Christians. They sometimes face discrimination in obtaining higher education and employment.

Muslim converts to Christianity have been subject to harassment by police and have been charged under the Penal Code. Human rights abuses of torture, extrajudicial killings, and prolonged pretrial detentions are on the decline. Arbitrary arrest and detention continue, and prison conditions remain poor. The government restricts freedom of press, assembly, religion, and expression. Islamic extremists also engaged in terrorist attacks, killing civilians. Human rights organizations do not have legal recognition, but they do operate openly. Nearly all Egyptians have access to health care.

Between and during the first five-year plan , the government established 14 public and central hospitals, rural health units, and 39 rural hospitals. The total number of beds increased by 9, during this period to a total in of 96, In , general and central hospitals were established 26, beds , as well as 2, rural health units, and 78 village hospitals. As of , there were an estimated physicians, nurses, 27 dentists, and 68 pharmacists per , people. Serious diseases in Egypt include schistosomiasis, malaria, hookworm, trachoma, tuberculosis, dysentery, beriberi, and typhus.

Although malaria and polio cases were small in number, nearly 1, measles cases were reported in Abortion is legal only for medical reasons. The overall death rate was estimated at 7. Life expectancy in was 71 years. There are no specific laws against this practice. Total health care expenditure was estimated at 3. There were an estimated deaths from AIDS in Prior to , most Egyptians lived in mud huts. Post revolutionary governments, however, have actively concerned themselves with housing. In order to encourage rural housing activities on unfertile soil, "extension areas" have been allocated for villages.

Efforts have been made to provide low-rent housing in towns; the units were constructed in cooperation with the Reconstruction and Popular Dwellings Co. Assisted by the state, which grants long-term and low-interest loans, cooperative societies also engage in housing construction. The state affords facilities for cooperatives to acquire land from the religious foundations. Despite these efforts, Egypt's housing shortage remains acute, with about one million units needed in urban areas. Housing construction was a major priority of development plans in the s, but it was considered likely that it would take many years for Egypt's housing deficit to be met.

The greatest shortage is in lowcost housing. According to the census, there were about 9. In , government subsidies helped build about 63, housing units. The new housing demand has been estimated at about , per year. In , only about , units were available for sale. The Education Act of provided free and compulsory education for all children between the ages of 6 and The nine years of basic education is split into six years of primary education and three years of preparatory studies.

Secondary schools cover threeyear programs in either general or technical studies. Some students opt for a five-year advanced technical studies program for secondary school. The curriculum was updated in and includes a greater emphasis on vocational training, as well as on physics and foreign languages. The general secondary education certificate entitles the holder to enter a university. The student-to-teacher ratio for primary school was at about A decree of 23 July provided free tuition at all Egyptian universities.

The traditional center for religious education in the Muslim world is Al-Azhar in Cairo, which in celebrated 1, years of teaching as the oldest continuously operating school in the world. Al-Azhar offers instruction in three faculties and 14 affiliated institutes and maintains its own primary and secondary schools.

There are a total of 13 universities, and numerous institutes of higher learning. There is also the American University in Cairo , which offers a wide range of undergraduate and graduate courses, as well as an American school in Cairo and one in Alexandria. It was established in to encourage the exchange of archaeologists and other researchers in almost all fields of interest.

Adult education, under the Ministry of Education, is increasingly important. Since the government conducted a campaign against illiteracy. Business firms are required to combat illiteracy among their employees. Recent university graduates are being hired to lead literacy classes, and armed forces recruits are also expected to teach. In addition, the government has set up 3, oneclass schools to teach a nontraditional study plan. These schools are aimed at girls who are unlikely to attend formal schooling, and as a result, are likely to remain illiterate. The schools provide vocational training and lessons on income generating businesses, in addition to the more traditional classes in Arabic, religion, sciences and arithmetic.

The adult literacy rate for was estimated at about As of , public expenditure on education was estimated at 4. In the Bibliotheca Alexandria was established on the same site of the ancient library destroyed in a fire 2, years before. Bibliotheca Alexandria is the largest library in the Middle East and serves as a cultural center with exhibit areas, planetarium, and conference center. Egypt's other major libraries are the Egyptian National Library 2. The National Library also functions as the main public library for the nation's capital and supervises 11 branch libraries located throughout the country.

The Municipal Library in Alexandria contains one of the country's largest public library collections, with 23, Arabic and 35, European volumes. One of the most important special libraries is the Scientific and Technical Documentation Division of the National Research Center at Cairo, which has the best collection of scientific and technical material in the Arab world. American University in Cairo sponsors a library system of nearly , volumes primarily English language and holds the Creswell Collection of Islamic art and architecture , comprising about 3, bound volumes.

In all, Egyptian libraries affiliated with institutions of higher education hold over 35 million volumes. Assuit University sponsors 16 libraries with an approximate total of , Arabic volumes and , foreign books, as well as hundreds of periodicals. The Egyptian National Museum, founded in , contains unique exhibits from prehistoric times up to the 3rd century ad, and it also has a notable Department of Antiquities, established in , which supervises excavations and administers archaeological museums.

There is a museum dedicated exclusively to the work of Mohmoud Mokhtar in Cairo. Several former royal palaces have been transformed into museums: Telephone, telegraph, radio, and television services are operated by the state-owned Telecommunication Organization. In , there were an estimated mainline telephones for every 1, people; about 99, people were on a waiting list for telephone service installation. The same year, there were approximately 84 mobile phones in use for every 1, people.

As of , there were 42 AM and 14 FM radio stations and 42 television stations, broadcasting mostly in Arabic. In , there were an estimated radios and television sets for every 1, people. The same year, there were There were 28 secure Internet servers in the country in Al-Jumhuriyah The Republic ; , is the official publication of the government; Al-Ahram is the unofficial publication.

The leading evening paper is Al-Misa'a , There is also an English-language newspaper, the Egyptian Gazette 40, Arev is a daily Armenian paper. There are two weekly Greek publications, Phos 20, and Tachydromos-Egyptos 2, On 23 May , all Egyptian newspapers were nationalized and subjected to censorship. President Sadat ended formal press censorship in , but the following year he set up a government council to supervise the newspapers.

In , President Mubarak revoked the ban on opposition newspapers, but the press remains sensitive to the wishes of the government. The constitution does provide for freedom of speech and press, though the government exercises control through media ownership, oversight, and a monopoly on resources such as newsprint. Most organizations in Egypt serve occupational and professional particularly agricultural goals. The land reform law makes it compulsory for landholders who have obtained land under it to join cooperative societies such as the Egyptian Seed Association to help supply them with tested seeds, tools if available, and possibly markets.

The International Labour Organization has an office in Cairo. There are many chambers of commerce, representing various cities and various economic groups. There are scholastic and archaeological, accounting, economic, historical, and other learned organizations. A national Academy of Scientific Research and Technology was established in The Egyptian Medical Association promotes research and education on health issues and works to establish common policies and standards in healthcare.

There are also several associations dedicated to research and education for specific fields of medicine and particular diseases and conditions. Egypt serves as a multinational center for many sports organizations, including Arab federations for boxing, fishing, basketball, judo, gymnastics, and fencing, to name a few. Many youth organizations are affiliated with religious institutions.