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Egyptians Oppose U.S. Aid to Political Groups in Their Country

Egyptians Oppose U.S. Aid to Political Groups in Their Country

by Dalia Mogahed and Mohamed Younis

ABU DHABI and WASHINGTON, D.C. -- Egyptians oppose the U.S. sending aid to political groups in their country. This is particularly the case among those who look to the U.S. as a political example. While 75% of the general public opposes U.S. aid to political groups, 88% of Egyptians who see the U.S. as a political model for their country say the same.


The findings, from Gallup's first survey in Egypt following the revolution, suggest that Egyptians may not be rejecting America's political principles, but rather seeking their own self-determination.

At this important juncture in their history, Egyptians are still apprehensive about possible U.S. interference in their political affairs. About two-thirds of Egyptians disagree that the U.S. is serious about encouraging democratic systems of government in MENA. While that percentage is lower now than in 2009, when three-quarters of Egyptians expressed such skepticism, it still implies that a majority of Egyptians distrust U.S. motives. Additionally, 68% of Egyptians think the U.S. will try to exert direct influence over Egypt's political future as opposed to letting the people of the country forge that future for themselves.

This desire for political independence may help explain Egyptians' discomfort with accepting U.S. financial aid. Even among Egyptians who think their country should look to the U.S. system of democracy as a model, 43% oppose the more general idea of accepting economic aid from the U.S. A slight majority of Egyptians as a whole (52%) also oppose economic aid from the U.S. This is especially noteworthy considering Egyptians' immediate economic challenges, suggesting that they are rejecting aid out of suspicion rather than lack of need.

Survey Methods

Results are based on face-to-face interviews in Egypt with approximately 1,000 adults in each survey administration, aged 15 and older, from 2007 to 2011. Surveys took place in July 2007; in 2008, they were conducted April 23-May 18; in 2009, surveys took place March 7-22 and Aug. 11-19; in 2010, they were conducted March 13-23 and Sept. 25-Oct. 26; and in 2011 surveys were conducted March 25-April 2. For results based on the total sample of national adults, one can say with 95% confidence that the maximum margin of sampling error ranges from ±3.1 to ±3.5 percentage points. The questionnaire was translated into Arabic. The translation process starts with an English version. A translator who is proficient in the English and Arabic languages translates the survey into the target language. A second translator reviews the language version against the original version and recommends refinements.

For complete methodology and specific survey dates, please review Gallup's Country Data Set details.

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