Saturday, December 16, 2006

Egyptian census takers faces unique hurdles

The Daily Star has an interesting article in todays paper about the current census, ongoing since three weeks. The last census was done 10 years ago, and the Egyptian population was then 59 milion, and according to unicef statistics, the egyptian population increases with 1.9 milion/year.

More than 120 000 people have been recruited to do this, but this qoute perhaps reflects the problems that people working with the census face.

"But the way the census was conducted - run by military generals - also speaks volumes of a country where people fear interaction with the state, whatever shape it takes."

Another qoute comes from AUC sociology professor Maha Abd al Rahman:

Sociologist Maha Abdel Rahman says reluctance to give information might be explained by a general feeling of mistrust of the state's intentions.

"People do not trust government officials who are supposed to be providing them with services, because experience has proven time and time again that the state is not on your side," the American University in Cairo professor said. "Representatives of the state can use information to harm, to hurt you or at least sabotage your daily life."

She continues by saying:
"The government in this particular instance is trying to use an academic or scientific approach when at every level in society, representatives of the state are negating the simplest ideas and principles of scientific thinking," she said. "The state, at the educational level, does not invest in preparing people to think scientifically - and all of a sudden it wants them to follow scientific methods of thinking."

After having seen the way the census is being done in a home in upper Egypt two weeks ago, the questions for a family of eight taking no longer than two minutes, i can not help but think about how the census is being conducted in comparison with the United states state department lottery applications, that ended just 10 days ago, and where many Egyptians opted voluntarilly to answer much more precise questions for a chance to go the land of oppurtunities.

Go read the article!

3 Comments:

Anonymous Anonymous said...

You have got message :-)

C

2:26 PM  
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