Modernization and Education in Egypt

The growth of education during the time of Muhammad Ali not only has changed the focus within Egypt but also has altered the political, social and religious realms within Egypt, specifically because of the political support toward education.
The alterations that began with Muhammad Ali were not only based on the political rulership of this time frame but also were created because of economic and societal impacts which led up to the demands within educational realms. Through the 1700s, there was a growth in the exchange between Egypt and Europe, specifically with areas such as France, Spain, and Britain offering an exchange of goods. The Ottoman rule offered free trade, stability and victory over different powers and ruling entities. This allowed the country to grow and prosper under rules of exchange and building wealth and prosperity. Egypt became known for trade with coffee and exchanges with merchandise. However, Ottoman authorities in the mid-1700s altered this exchange by stopping the import and export between both countries first by trading too much coffee and other goods then later declining the amount which could be exported because of a lack of goods. The same problem with decline occurred with the textiles, specifically because the Ottoman Empire didn’t provide the same quality of cloth and with rulings from France such as the Marseille chamber of commerce, which limited the number of imports and exports from Egypt. This was specifically because France was able to produce similar types of cloth to enhance their economy without the exchange. These several areas of decline with merchants then led to an economic downfall through the 1700s in Egypt (Marsot, 1984: 15). One component that led to the need for education was because of the economic boundaries that were created in the 1700s and the need to have alternative crafts to sustain the social order in Egypt.