Image of textbooks on tableThis report is co-authored by Dr Eldad Pardo, IMPACT-se Director of Research and Dr. Ofir Winter, Senior Researcher at the Institute for National Security Studies. The report provides a comprehensive study on school curricula in Egypt in light of recent regional developments, including the Hamas attack on Israel on 7 October. In the knowledge that textbooks can serve as a useful and instructive tool for researchers seeking to understand the vision of a country’s leadership in the medium and long term, this report uses the lens of Egyptian education as an indicator of future trends, in particular towards Israel-Egypt relations. Report

BETWEEN CONSERVATISM AND REFORMS: THE DUAL NATURE OF AL-AZHAR'S SCHOOL CURRICULUM - NOV 2023 - FRONT COVER

This report offers a first-of-its kind insight into the curriculum taught at the influential Al-Azhar religious seminary in Egypt. The institute operates a separate K-12 school system that publishes its own textbooks and teaches them alongside those of the Egyptian national curriculum, which IMPACT-se researched in April. The study evaluated 63 textbooks across grades 7–12, spanning many genres of classical Islamic literature: Qur’an commentary, hadith, jurisprudence, Islamic history and culture, grammar, and rhetoric.

Our findings reveal a strong emphasis on combating radical Islam, while still promoting adherence to traditional Islamic beliefs and texts. The report promotes a moderate form of Islam which rejects extremism, and demonizes Islamist terror groups. The attitude toward Jews is largely ambivalent, whereas Christians are portrayed in a positive light. Lessons on gender equality reveal conservative views. When addressed, international issues reflect an anti-Western perspective. Israel and Zionism are approached from a hostile standpoint. The report focuses on seven thematic categories: combating radical Islam; fighting disbelief; gender issues; treatment of Jews and Christians; Zionism and Israel; Islamic sects; and international relations. Report

Image: Kids in Egyptian School reading in front of a black board

IMPACT-se has released its most comprehensive report to date on the Egyptian national school curriculum, which evaluated 271 textbooks published between 2018 and 2023. The study focuses on Arabic language, Islamic and Christian religious education, social studies, Values and Respect for the Other, history, geography, philosophy, and more. The research comes amid an ongoing year-by-year reform of the Egyptian national curriculum between 2018 and 2030 across all grades (as yet up to grade 5), and found that the reformed curriculum shows highly positive change thus far. The report explores attitudes toward peace and tolerance, the Jewish and Christian Other, and both contemporary and past foreign policy. It evaluates the perception of domestic issues like population density; the revolutions of January 2011 and June 2013; the depiction of Israel; and the role of gender in Egyptian society. The report focuses on seven thematic categories: “Curricular Reform,” “General Perceptions of War and Peace,” “Society and Politics following a Decade of Upheaval,” “Treatment of the ‘Other’,” “Domestic Challenges,” “Status of Women,” and “Regional and International Outlook.”  Report

“Egypt Enhances It’s Peace Education, One Step at a Time”

By Ofir Winter — March 3, 2016
Ofir Winter’s IMPACT-se-commissioned response to the February 17, 2016 Times of Israel article titled “In a First, New Egyptian Schoolbook Teaches Peace Deal with Israel.”                      IMPACT-se Brief

“Inculcating Islamist Ideals in Egypt”
The Middle East Quarterly – Fall 2015 (PDF, 333 kb)

Image: Dr. Ali GomaaDr. Yohanan Manor revisits the Egyptian curriculum of the Mubarak era and puts it in historical perspective. The article convincingly demonstrates how years of under-the-radar official Islamist mass education (featuring jihad and anti-Christian teachings) thwarted a smooth transformation to democracy in Egypt. Instead, this curriculum led to political turmoil, coupled with violence against the country’s indigenous Coptic citizens. This research, published in the Middle East Quarterly, displays the critical role of education in shaping reality on the ground. Education and the attitudes of curricula toward others should be factored into any strategic analysis

Previous Survey

egyptJews, Christians, War and Peace in Egyptian School Textbooks
By IMPACT-se — March 2004

This reports surveys 103 Egyptian textbooks for use in state schools and 16 textbooks for use in the religious Azharite school system. The majority of the books were published in 2002.

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