Obama adviser: Egyptians had the lowest feelings of democracy before revolution

A Muslim affairs adviser to US President Barack Obama said in a visit to Cairo Monday that Egyptians had the lowest confidence in its democratic practices before the 25 January revolution.

Dalia Mogahed, the executive director of the Gallup Center for Muslim Studies, said the research firm conducted a poll before the revolution that showed a revolution in Egypt was possible.

Mogahed said the poll revealed the main reason for the revolution was a wide gap between people’s perceived ambitions and what they could actually get. She said Gallup will conduct another poll after two months to find out how these indicators have changed after the revolution.

Egyptians’ ambitions toward democracy were the highest among Islamic countries, Mogahed added. Around 88 percent believed democracy supports progress.

But only 4 percent of Egyptians believed they could express opinions and practice democracy, making Egypt the country that felt least capable of democratic participation, she said.

Indicators in Egypt seemed contradictory. The higher economic development and income were, the less satisfied Egyptians felt.

Mogahed, participating at an Arab League conference on Islam and the West, said incomes in Egypt had increased from 2007 to 2010, but satisfaction among poor classes was getting lower.

Translated from the Arabic Edition

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