Gallup poll released Sunday trends Egyptians on politics, religion, money

Dina Ezzat, Sunday 5 Jun 2011

The Gallup poll released Sunday reveals, among many things, that Egyptians prefer clerics serve only in advisory roles, feel compatriots are less tolerant and poorer, mistrust the US, but are positive about their future

Protesters chant slogans as they march n Tahrir Square, in Cairo, Egypt. (AP / Khalil Hamra)

After the January 25 Revolution "Egyptians expect a bright political and economic future and they envision a representative government where religious principles guide the democratic process, but with clerics limited to an advisory role," according to a Gallup-Abu Dhabi report that was released this afternoon in Cairo.

The report also finds that "Egyptians are less satisfied with their standard of living, and the availability of necessities and they feel their communities have become less safe and less tolerant," despite a sound commitment to inter-faith co-existence and almost absolute rejection of violence against civilians.

Despite this discontent fewer Egyptians seem keen to migrate from the country, in contrast to before the January 25 Revolution. In fact, they are more willing to actively participate in the making of a new political system and to improve the level of economy.

“Egypt from Tahrir to Transition; Egyptians on their assets and challenges and what leaders should do about it” is the title of the report that attempts to assess Egyptians' perception of life at present and in the future. The report also has an eye on offering recommendations to the decision-makers and political leaders to help better manage the transitional phase and build up a democratic state.

Gallup conducted the face-to-face survey after the ouster of Egypt’s old regime on approximately 1,000 respondents in Egypt aged 15 and older. The research includes other primary sources and reveals both the opportunities and obstacles of the country’s transition to democracy.

“Though the live TV cameras have gone elsewhere, the central story in Egypt is only beginning. The most exciting and most difficult is the journey we are now beginning together to build a democracy on the ruins of a dictatorship. Our success on this journey will decide the future,” said Dalia Mogahed, executive director of Gallup Abu-Dhabi at the report’s release this afternoon in Cairo.

The findings reveal Egyptians’ views on democracy and freedom, the future role of religion in their new government, the Muslim Brotherhood, Egypt’s standard of living and economy and approval rating of United States leadership.

“Egyptians are optimistic about their future and are willing to work to achieve a better tomorrow, but they also face a number of economic and political challenges,” according to Mogahed.

Meanwhile, the report reflected limited faith on the part of Egyptians in the support that the US would lend to them in the transitional phase or beyond. "At this critical juncture in their history, Egyptians fear US interference in their political affairs," the report notes.

The report offers a set of recommendations for leaders to fast track a peaceful transition towards democracy, primarily the creation of wide public trust in a fair and transparent political process. It also recommends job creation investments to help increase faith in the prospects of better economic standards and to give more people the sense of true ownership of the nation and the future.

Reforming local governing aparatuses and promotion of inter-faith cohesion are also highlighted by the Gallup Abu-Dhabi report that was released simultaneously in Washington DC.

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