Remembering Galal Amin (1935–2018)

 

AUC Press is deeply saddened by the passing of Galal Amin, one of Egypt’s most prominent economists and a prolific writer and commentator, author of several books and multiple newspaper columns. Among his most influential books are Whatever Happened to the Egyptians? (AUC Press, 2000), Whatever Else Happened to the Egyptians? (AUC Press, 2003), Egypt in the Era of Hosni Mubarak, 1981–2011 (2011), and Whatever Happened to the Egyptian Revolution? (AUC Press, 2013).

Amin graduated from Cairo University in 1955 with a law degree before studying economics at the London School of Economics, where he obtained his PhD in 1964. He taught at Egypt’s Ain Shams University and then, for over forty years, at the American University in Cairo’s department of economics, where he was named Professor Emeritus in recognition of his outstanding academic achievements.

The Egyptian economist was outspoken in his condemnation of corruption, autocracy, capitalism, and globalization. In Whatever Happened to the Egyptians?, one of his bestselling books, he examined the underlying causes of some of the more disturbing social, political, economic, and cultural phenomena that characterized Egyptian society in modern times, while in Egypt in the Era of Hosni Mubarak, he turned his attention to the Mubarak regime’s relationship with the press, the vexing issue of presidential succession, and Egypt’s relations with the Arab world and the United States.

During a public event in 2012 at Cairo International Book Fair, a year after the former president of Egypt Hosni Mubarak was deposed, Amin said: “Poverty in Egypt changed its form under Mubarak.” He went on to say that before 1952, “the poor lived in terrible conditions, many without shoes, but at least had a sense of contentment because they believed nothing could be done and everything was decided by fate. Under Mubarak, the poor are better dressed but suffer a deep sense of humiliation and see that their ambitions for a better life are not being met, despite better education. Thanks to television, everyone understands their deficiency and feels more excluded.”

In this 2013 AUC Press YouTube video, Amin analyzes Egypt’s “bleak” economic situation.

 

 

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