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Egypt - Glossary Index
Sources: The Library of Congress Country Studies; CIA World Factbook

      Glossary -- Egypt

      Egyptian pound (£E)
      Consists of 100 piasters. In early 1990, the pound was worth between US$1.00 and US$1.50 depending on the exchange rate that applied; the informal market rate was £E=US$0.40.
      Equals 1.038 acres.
      FY (fiscal year)
      Since July 1, 1980, July 1 through June 30.
      GDP (gross domestic product)
      A value measure of the flow of domestic goods and services produced by an economy over a period of time, such as a year. Only output values of goods for final consumption and investment are included because the values of primary and intermediate production are assumed to be included in final prices. GDP is sometimes aggregated and shown at market prices, meaning that indirect taxes and subsidies are included; when these have been eliminated, the result is GDP at factor cost. The word gross indicates that deductions for depreciation of physical assets have not been made. See also GNP.
      GNP (gross national product)
      The gross domestic product (GDP--q.v.) plus the net income or loss stemming from transactions with foreign countries. GNP is the broadest measure of the output of goods and services by an economy. It can be calculated at market prices, which include indirect taxes and subsidies. Because indirect taxes and subsidies are only transfer payments, GNP is often calculated at factor cost, removing indirect taxes and subsidies.
      A word used in several senses. In general use and in lower case, it means the leader of congregational prayers; as such it implies no ordination or special spiritual powers beyond sufficient education to carry out this function. It is also used figuratively by many Sunni (q.v.) Muslims to mean the leader of the Islamic community. Among Shias (q.v.) the word takes on many complex meanings; in general, it indicates that particular descendant of the House of Ali ibn Abu Talib, who is believed to have been God's designated repository of the spiritual authority inherent in that line. The identity of this individual and the means of ascertaining his identity have been the major issues causing divisions among Shias.
      Literally open door; refers to Anwar as Sadat's policy after the October 1973 War of relaxing government controls on the economy so as to encourage the private sector and stimulate the inflow of foreign funds.
      International Monetary Fund (IMF)
      Established along with the World Bank (q.v.) in 1945, the IMF is a specialized agency affiliated with the United Nations (UN) and is responsible for stabilizing international exchange rates and payments. The main business of the IMF is the provision of loans to its members (including industrialized and developing countries) when they experience balance of payments difficulties. These loans frequently carry conditions that require substantial internal economic adjustments by the recipients, most of which are developing counties.
      Ismaili Shia Islam
      A subsect of Shia Islam that takes its name from Imam Muhammad ibn Ismail, the Seventh Imam. Ismaili Shia doctrine closely resembled Twelver Shia Islam with regard to observance of the sharia but also included a system of philosophy and science coordinated with religion that proved the divine origin of the Imamate and the rights of the Fatimids to it. Ubaid Allah, al Mahdi, the founder of the Fatimid Dynasty, came to North Africa in the early tenth century and actively promoted the Ismaili faith. See also Shia.
      Name given to the ruler of Egypt from 1867 to 1914. He governed as semi-independent viceroy of the sultan of Turkey.
      Religious jurist who issues judgments and opinions on Islamic law and precedent.
      Relates to an estate or any heritage from one's father or other ancestors.
      Prefers to the glories of Egypt's ancient period under the rule of the pharaohs.
      See Egyptian pound.
      Shia (from Shiat Ali, the Party of Ali)
      A member of the smaller of the two great divisions of Islam. The Shias supported the claims of Ali and his line to presumptive right to the caliphate and leadership of the Muslim community, and on this issue they divided from the Sunni (q.v.) in the great schism within Islam. Later schisms have produced further divisions among the Shias over the identity and number of Imams (q.v.). Most Shias revere Twelve Imams, the last of whom is believed to be in hiding. Ismaili Shias are connected with the Fatimid Dynasty in Egypt; some believe that Muhammad ibn Ismail, the Seventh Imam, was the last Imam. See also Ismaili Shia Islam.
      Special Drawing Right(s) (SDR)
      A monetary unit of the International Monetary Fund (IMF) (q.v.) based on a basket of international currencies consisting of the United States dollar, the German deutschmark, the Japanese yen, the British pound sterling, and the French franc.
      One who advocates the concentration of all economic controls and planning in the hands of a highly centralized government.
      Sublime Porte
      Ottoman Empire palace entrance that provided access to the chief minister, representing the government and the sultan. Term came to mean the Ottoman government.
      Sunni (from sunna, orthodox)
      A member of the larger of the two great divisions of Islam. The Sunnis supported the traditional method of election to the caliphate and accepted the Umayyad line. On this issue they divided from the Shias (q.v.) in the great schism within Islam.
      West Bank
      That portion of Jordan west of the Jordan River and the Dead Sea. Area was seized by Israel in the June 1967 War (Arab-Israeli war, also known as the Six-Day War) and in 1990 remained Israeli- occupied territory.
      World Bank
      Informal name used to designate a group of three affiliated international institutions: the International Bank for Reconstruction and Development (IBRD), the International Development Association (IDA), and the International Finance Corporation (IFC). The IBRD, established in 1945, has the primary purpose of providing loans to developing countries for productive projects. The IDA, a legally separate loan fund, but administered by the staff of the IBRD, was set up in 1960 to furnish credits to the poorest developing countries on much easier terms than those of conventional IBRD loans. The IFC, founded in 1956, supplements the activities of the IBRD through loans and assistance designed specifically to encourage the growth of productive private enterprises in the less developed countries. The president and certain senior officers of the IBRD hold the same positions in the IFC. The three institutions are owned by the governments of the countries that subscribe thier capital. To participate in the World Bank group, member states must first belong to the International Monetary Fund (IMF--q.v.).

    NOTE: The information regarding Egypt on this page is re-published from The Library of Congress Country Studies and the CIA World Factbook. No claims are made regarding the accuracy of Egypt Glossary information contained here. All suggestions for corrections of any errors about Egypt Glossary should be addressed to the Library of Congress and the CIA.

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