What do Egyptians think?

According to Pew:

Opinions of the U.S. and President Obama continue to be overwhelmingly unfavorable. Even American financial assistance is viewed negatively: about six-in-ten Egyptians say both U.S. military and economic aid is having a detrimental impact on their country.

Despite these decidedly negative attitudes, most Egyptians want their country’s relationship with the U.S. to stay about as close as it is currently or become even closer. About four-in-ten (38%) would like to see a more distant relationship between the two countries.

While the conflict over American NGOs’ democracy-promotion efforts in Egypt severely strained bilateral relations with the U.S., few Egyptians believe that Western powers are behind the country’s ongoing protests.

The tremendous political changes that have taken place in Egypt since the end of the Mubarak era have not led to a major shift in perceptions of the U.S. Roughly eight-in-ten Egyptians (79%) express unfavorable attitudes toward the U.S., with just 19% saying favorable. This is essentially unchanged from 2011, when 79% were unfavorable and 20% were favorable.

President Obama also receives low marks from most Egyptians. About seven-in-ten (69%) say they do not have confidence in him to do the right thing in world affairs; just 29% have a lot or some confidence in his actions. There has been a steady decrease in confidence in Obama since 2009, when Egyptian opinions about the new American leader were nearly split, with 42% expressing confidence and 47% saying not much or none at all.

Views toward President Obama have become considerably more negative over the last year among younger Egyptians. In 2011, 44% of 18-29 year-olds had a lot or some confidence in President Obama. Today, just 24% say the same. Attitudes toward the U.S. leader have remained constant among other age groups since 2011.

Text and images ©2024 Antony Loewenstein. All rights reserved.

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