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Dr. Amani Kandil’s latest book titled “The Middle Class in Egypt, Professional Associations and the World of Eight Million” represents a new addition to her important work in studying professional unions and interest groups in Egypt..
In fact, Amani Kandil’s writings on professional unions in the 1990s opened the door for dozens of researchers to understand the complex nature of the work of professional unions in Egypt, and the overlap that occurred between the professional and the politician, after some parties introduced service activities, and politics moved to many professional unions..
The great researcher documented the elections that professional unions witnessed in Egypt, an effort that is not so easy that it has become impossible for any researcher who wishes to approach the subject of professional unions to ignore what she has written, as she chronicled in her latest book, in an interesting way, “A Tour into the Depth of the Social and Political History of Professional Unions.” The historical roots of various professional syndicates, especially the Bar Association, which dates back to 1876 and there were three syndicates, the first of which was the Bar Association before mixed courts (it was abolished in 1949), the Bar Association before Sharia courts (it was abolished in 1956) and the Bar Association before the civil courts, and it remained the Bar Egypt.
The researcher referred to the influence of societal and political culture on what was known in the nineteenth century as the profession of “agents”, meaning lawyers, as they defend rights on the one hand and have obtained a distinguished education on the other hand, and they have a high social status not only for their education but as influencing the opinion. The year for their distinct writings and cultures.
The book also dealt with the interactions of professional unions with the moment in time or the surrounding political context, and how they changed from one stage to another, as well as the various means that these unions used in order to obtain the rights of their members, whether by appealing to the government to discuss its demands as did the teachers’ union. Or through demand and pressure, as other trade unions did, such as doctors, lawyers, and engineers, for various reasons, including the independence of many of their members from the state’s administrative apparatus..
Perhaps what distinguished this book and the entire writings of Dr. Amani Kandil was that she not only monitored the situation of professional unions in Egypt, but rather provided one of the most important analytical readings to understand the reasons behind each union taking a different position on public policies and politics as well, and here quantitative indicators such as the number of members were monitored. In each union, and qualitative indicators of the extent of homogeneity among members, the nature of the profession or activity, the educational background, and the nature of the political currents within it..
This book is one of the important books that monitored the development of the work of professional unions in the last half century, and helped to understand an important segment of society that is theoretically supposed to be in the heart of the middle class..