Notes on Compulsory Army Service in Egypt

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Many countries have some form of compulsory Army service for a certain period, including Netherlands, Israel, Turkey, Egypt and others. In Egypt, service in the army was compulsory for most of the 20th century. It is restricted to males 18 years to 35 years who do have another male brother, and is physically and mentally fit. Those who study can have a temporary reprieve until they finish their study, to a maximum of 24 or so. The duration of the service varies from 1 year (plus 3 months training) for university graduates, to 3 years for those with only elementary education. Before 1952, service could be avoided if one paid a large sum of money to the government. After 1952, and in the name of equality, this practice was abolished, and every eligible person had to serve. On the face of it, service in the army makes a young youth ready for combat if need be, teaches him to be adaptable, resourceful and tough. Reality is much different though. The army in Egypt, just like many other countries, is the culmination of bureaucracy, favoritism, nepotism, cronyism, corruption. All of these are rampant in the government, but more so in the army.The reasons for this are plenty. Those who serve in the army are two types: the recruits forced to serve before they can hold a job, or  travel abroad, and career staff. The career staff are two classes, the higher rank army officers (Second Lieutenant to General), and the lower rank (Private, Sargeant, ...etc.). The officers are either from a technical background (medicine, engineering, ...etc.) graduating from normal technical colleges, or of military disciplines, graduating from specialized military academies. Most join the army because it is a guaranteed government job that pays a relatively good salary and pension, and comes with many perks, such as use of army clubs, percieved social status, ...etc.. The lower rank officers are mostly people from lower social levels who have no education and join the Army because it is the only hope they have for a paying job. This is true in most armies of the world, including Canada, UK, USA and others. These lower rank officers can later go up to the first few ranks of officers, but are often derogatorily called ضابط مخلة (Dufflebag Officer), because they joined the armies as private rank soldiers.Many of the permanent  staff, specially the lower rank ones, disdain the temporary recruits, envying them for having education and better job prospects. They therefore use all the tricks to make their life miserable for the duration they are in the army. Some get the sick feeling of pleasure from the misery of others. Some feel satisfaction from being able to humilate a medical doctor or an engineer. Most of this is allowed in the name of teaching discipline and absolute obedience. Others use their position and influence as a secondary source of income. For example, they would agree to give recruits extra vacation days in return for a bribe. Some of these recruits, most likely farmers with no education at all, need the vacations because they have married early and have a family to support, so they need the vacation to work.Those lucky recruits with connections can practically spend the whole duration at home, with all the paper work arranged to make them look like they have been "sent on a mission" or "on loan" to some other unit. This is reminiscent of George W Bush national guard service during the Vietnam War era, but on a larger scale.Those with no connections, and no money for bribes can only watch how cruel real life is  ... So, the army is mostly a demoralizing experience for those forced to do the compulsory service. Some reverse wisdom can be seen in proverbs and saying that are famous in the army such as:

  • "Injustice to all is justice!" الظلم لما يعم يبقى عدل This is told by officers when recruits complain of some situation. The response is to apply injustice to everyone, then it becomes justice. Of course, not even this twisted logic is true, given the bribes and favoritism that are widely practiced.
  • "In the army, you have to find a way"الجيش قال لك اتصرف. This used to mean resourcefulness, and making do with what you have. However it gradually evolved into "the ends justify the means", such as bribes.
  • "Talk only about yourself" اتكلم عن نفسك بس. A rebellion in the army is a big disaster to the chain of command. A mutiny used to be punishable by death (e.g. Fletcher Christian and the Mutiny on the Bounty). Hence, the army always do not want any kind of groups forming under any circumstances.

Of course, the Egyptian army is up to the challenge in the battlefield, no doubts about that. However, the compulsory draft system is absolutely useless, and is a remnant from another age.

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Comments

Illegal Marriage and The Army (Advice Needed Please, Urgent)

This is to the person who left the post about 'Illegal Marriage and The Army (Advice Needed Please, Urgent)'

How much younger than your friend is this guy?

I am currently with an Egyptian who is 9 years younger than me but he thought I was younger and I do look younger than my age.

My Egyptian is married but separated and told me this on the first day we met. He tells me that whilst he is working (500 odd Km away from home) his father and aunt are negitiating a 'pay off' with his wife's father in order to get her to agree to divorce.

My guy has told his entire family about me, all 400 of em! His parents have stated that if he is happy, they are happy and have asked to meet me as soon as possible. I will be going to stay with them in September, after Ramadan. In the meantime, I am visiting him in June and he has said he will teach me some words in arabic so I can say hi to them on the phone. I have also bought a 'master course in arabic' which I intend to try my best to become fluent in.

Anyway, even though my guy sounds a lot more genuine that your friends' guy, I have made checks on him and when we marry I will get him to sign an international pre-nuptial agreement. I have also told him I have no money so if that's what he's after he's out of luck.

Anyway, kind of a roundabout way of going about it, but what I want to say is it sounds like your friend's guy is a rat and is using her for cash and visa.

She is currently supporting him, his wife and their child(ren).

She needs to get wise and get rid.

military in egypt

my boyfriend is currently doing military service in egypt for a month, he has taken part in military service before but is apperently made to do it again whenever they call? is this true? also is it true that once completing a month doing military service, he has to go back to his city to fill out military papers to be 'free' from the army?

im confused, please help!!

hi i am a english girl and i

hi

i am a english girl and i am married to an egyptian. he was told he had to serve in the army and i had a question on weather it made a difference if he had children would he still have to go to the army. he really doesn't want to go, but at the moment it seems theres nothing we can do!!

Please help
Thank you

He could get his military

He could get his military duties postponed for 3 years. He will have to go the Security Office (مكتب إمن) of the military precinct to apply for a postponement.

Joining the Egyptian Military.

I'm joining the Egyptian Military on 14/7. I can barely read or write Arabic let alone speak. Wish me luck.

hi, My fiancée is Egyptian

hi,

My fiancée is Egyptian and has been with me in the UK for two years. We applied to have him stay legally and Home office said no, stating he has to apply from Egypt to get married. This is not a problem, but in Egypt he has military service. He has two years left of University and I wanted to know if anyone can say whether he would be allowed to leave Egypt again as a student before serving in the Army, or will they grant him the Visa to get married and live in the UK, but he has to finish his service before he goes?

Thank you

Foreign Ladies WAKE UP!

God I'm sorry but all these foreign women marrying these young Egyptian guys just... I dunno what to tell you guys to be honest. Egyptian men are truly disgusting human beings. Not all of them, but most of them are. A TON of them go and marry foreign women just to get citizenship and the women ALWAYS seem to be older because it's easier to bait an older lady than one his age. Ladies please, please stay away from these men. Please do not hook up with Egyptian guys younger than you on a trip to Sharm. Please do not marry him if it isn't at the MINISTRY OF JUSTICE in Egypt. Marrying someone at a lawyer's office is NOT a real marriage, you will have absolutely no rights to anything, this is a orfi marriage. If you are in love with an Egyptian, I beg of you to contact someone who knows about these things and can tell you the truth. Please use your better judgment and do not let these men fool you! Sure now they can't use you to get out of the military anymore, but they sure as hell will use you to get a resident's visa in another country then it's bye bye white lady. I am an Egyptian-American woman so I'm not telling you these things just to piss you off. Use your brains ok?

Alhamdulillah im not like one

Alhamdulillah im not like one of these western ladies here. I am a born and bred muslim and grew up with an educated family. I met my guy online and we have been together for almost 3 years. We have also planned to get married and this marriage is feesabilillah (for the sake of Allah). My family is very particular about marrying guys. First and foremost, he must be a practicing muslim, not just any muslim. Secondly, he MUST be educated with a university degree. Thirdly he must show commitment for the marriage and not just marry for the sake of wealth or status. This marriage MUST be blessed by both families and if not it is considered haram to marry and will lead to a difficult marriage in the future. I have heard of such western ladies who do not marry according to these criteria and have ended being "dumped" by their egyptian husbands. My guy is only one year older than me and he has no intention of living in my country. He had already made plans for his career in egypt but unfortunately had to go to the army for 3 years. Also his family is an educated family who has also taught him never to mess with marrying just anyone on the streets. We have been both advised to meet each other's families in order to gain approval. May Allah bless our union in marriage inshaAllah.

Reasons to be Excused from serving in the Army

What are the reasons that someone is excused from serving in the Army? I know that if they are the only son they are excused. What are the other reasons?

There are two types of

There are two types of exemption:

A. Temporary
This is for a reason, an d when the reason is no longer in effect, then the exemption is also terminated.

1. Secondary Education: a person in high school is exempt until they finish high school.

2. Higher Education: a person in a post secondary degree is exempted until they finish their degree or reach a certain age (I think it is 30 years).

B. Permanent

1. Sole male child to old parents. If one has only sisters and one of the parents is above a certain age (I think it is 60 years), then they are exempted permanently.

2. Health reasons: certain conditions, such as very poor eye sight, physical disabilities that prevent physical exercise, ...etc.

3. Whole cohort exemption. Certain years are exempted depending on the man power needs of the military at the time. These cannot be predicted in advance.

There may be others.

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