The Egyptian Constitution in Article 1 states that Egypt is a republican democratic system based on citizenship. Citizenship is the relationship between the individual and his state, provided that all citizens are enjoy equality, coexistence and the democratic system through the laws approved by the Constitution.
Citizenship in Egypt has gone through multiple stages, which led to the lack of full citizenship rights. However current political system is trying to reach full citizenship; it bears the consequences of the history of incomplete citizenship that the Egyptians faced for many years.
Before Mohammed Ali, there was no real definition of citizenship under the era of the Mamluks and Turkish colonialism. With Muhammad Ali, citizenship appeared gradually through several decisions including: Repeal previous laws designed to oppress Christians, such as the Code of Uniforms, which obliges the Jews and Christians to wear certain types and colors of clothing to distinguish them from Muslims. The abolition of tribute to the Copts that they started to pay since the Arab conquest of Egypt in the year 641 AD. Therefore, the situation of the Copts got a little better under the rule of Muhamed Ali, but full equality was not achieved completely.
The Revolution of March 1919 presented the most beautiful images of citizenship in the twentieth century against the British invasion. The British army had to hire employees of the Levant instead of the Copts since it difficult to distinguish between Muslims and Christians. The Wafd Party succeeded in achieve citizenship in a better way.
The Revolution or coup of 1952 frankly affected citizenship really badly in Egypt. Nasser decided to establish universities, namely Al-Azhar University, dedicated for Muslims alone, which divided the community. I lived in the fiftieth and the sixtieth and they were good due to the previous era, but later the community tended to show hatred and extremism.
Under the Sadat era, citizenship was affected even badly. He was a great military leader and liberated Sinai, but his internal policies divided the community among Muslims and Christians. He planted Article II that assured that Christians can t be full citizens in Egypt after the official religion in Egypt became Islam.
Mubarak s era witnessed deterioration of citizenship after he formed a terrible economic gap between the Egyptians and left the street to the Muslim Brotherhood and other religious currents that we started to hear that Christians have no right to build churches or recognize religious holidays. The appearance of the people changed and it became very easy to differentiate between Muslims and Christians from their appearance. This era came to an end when the Saints Church was attacked by explosives on New Year s Eve.
After the Muslim Brotherhood ruling, the Egyptians revolted against their religious and political fascism. President al-Sisi has come in power to face such division and hatred. He support citizenship and called to renew religious discourse. He built and opened the greatest Cathedral in the Middle East next to the Great Mosque at the New Administrative Capital. Moreover, he was the first Egyptian president to visit the Cathedral on Christmas eve to congratulate the Copts on their feast.
Al-Sisi supported citizenship when he tried to eliminate slums and to offer a decent life for ordinary Egyptians, in addition to the medical campaigns to fight diseases among the Egyptians.