The Development Of Behavioral Health In Egypt



The Basics

Egyptian behavioral health or Egyptian psychology started in the 19th century. Psychology according to Islam was the study of the human behavior and the human mind – the mind specifically referring to human consciousness or intellect. Hence, the old Islamic psychology did not only focus on the mind. It included the soul, which represented human personality and nature. It also included the heart and the spirit, as evidenced by the extensive writings of the medieval Arab scholars. Islamic behavioral health or Islamic psychology as a whole encompassed the study of the self (or the ‘Nafs’) and was associated with psychiatry, psychology, and the sciences.

The Development

An Egyptian king did the first documented psychological experiment in the 7th century. It concluded that if children from Egypt were separated when they were infants without exposure to any type of communication, they would instinctively speak their original language – Egyptian – further supporting the idea that language comes from the mind. Eventually, psychology was introduced and practiced by all Arab regions, and several Arab scholars made history in contributing to the discipline. These include Ibn-Khaldoun, Al-Farabi, Ibn-Sina, and Ibn-al-Heitham.

The practice flourished even more with the opening of the first university in Egypt in 1908. Subsequently, the first behavioral health lecture was held there in 1911, which was a discussion of the psychology of women. During this time, French teachers taught psychology in Egypt. However, in 1940, the Egyptian psychologists were given the responsibility, and since then they taught psychology. The best teacher ever known in Egypt was Y. Mourad, who studied and earned his Psychology degree in France. After him, several others got qualified to teach the discipline in Egypt and surrounding Arab countries, although organizations established associated with psychology were short-lived due to financial reasons.


Undeniably, Egypt became the primary doorway of modern psychology to the rest of the Arab nations. Consequently, most of these nations share equal strengths and weaknesses with Egypt when it comes to the behavioral health discipline. Perhaps this is because Egypt and the Arab nations share the same language, religion, history, and political issues. Some of the trials and challenges of Egyptian psychology include:

  • Universities in Egypt have had financial issues, just as other sectors in Egypt did. This affected academic outcomes, including psychology.
  • The Psychology Department is still part of the Arts Department in Egypt instead of being a separate one. This is why the discipline is torn between the scientific and the literary disciplines. As a result, there is also a conflict between two classifications of psychologists – the teachers from graduate school and those from the medical group.
  • Animal psychology has not been receiving attention in the Egyptian psychological institutes.
  • The presence of misconceptions surrounding psychology, including the belief that mental illness is a sign of weak faith, that those who are inflicted with a mental disorder should not be given high-level type jobs, and that mentally ill individuals should not be allowed to wander freely but should be locked away in mental care institutions.


The Future Of Egyptian Behavioral Health

In spite of the many trials, even until today, Egyptian psychologists have reached up to 70% of the entire Arab psychologist population, and Egyptian research and studies make up approximately 70% of the entire Arabic outcomes. These committed psychologists who are sincere in their practice hope to be involved in more collaboration with funded trials with colleagues from across the world. They want to establish a standard database for different psychological tests that are useful especially for their people. It is also their biggest hope that one day, professional meetings and conferences of psychological societies will be held in the Arab regions to help them in developing behavioral health and psychology as a whole in their part of the world.



Indeed, there have been, and still, there are challenges that face Egyptian psychology, which includes finances to support and perform research activities. Unfortunately, there is also a lack of an appropriate system of communication among Egyptian and Arab psychologists, plus a vague and problematic identity of the standing of psychology. The further development of this experimental but major branch of science in Egypt will not be a walk in the park, but it certainly has to be done.




Faith And Society: How Religious Beliefs Shape The Modern Day Egypt

The Golden Rule can be found in religions and philosophies all over the world. It was first written down in ancient Egypt. —

When it comes to famous tourist destinations, Egypt has always been on the top of lists since the time of enlightenment. But what made these tourist destinations different from other countries is its correlation with the ancient civilization and the religious beliefs that every Egyptian family still carries until now.

Since the early 1300s, Egypt has been practicing their religious beliefs as the basis for making laws of the state. The legislative branch of the Egyptian government sees the predominant religion like Islam as a primary pillar that can shape society for the future generation. However, let us also tackle and look at the relationship of other minor religious beliefs like Christianity and Judaism to modern Egyptian society.

Islam As The Predominant Religion

Egypt’s population consists of roughly 94 percent of Muslim believers. A large part of this population considers themselves as the follower of Sunni Islam in which they recognize the four caliphs as the rightful leaders of the state. Meanwhile, there is also a small portion of this population that faithfully believes in Mu’tazila, Shia Twelvers, and Ismailism. Apart from that, the renowned principal and long-standing Islamic university ever recorded in the world is in Egypt.

Al-Azhar University offers Islamic studies that enhance the Muslim believer’s principles, convictions, and practices in which it can foster a beneficial impact on all sectors of the Egyptian community. After graduation, the majority of the students from the university pursue working in the government where they can facilitate legislative decisions that follow the Islamic rules. It is also to support the propagation of Islamic faith which citizens believe to be an effective political system and the only way they can afford the preservation of order.


Although Islam and its rules have contributed a positive impact to the community as the official state religion of Egypt, flaws continue to emerge such as denial of religious freedom. The government is firm with the decision of not recognizing non-Muslim individuals because they believe that it is in contradiction with national peace. So for citizens who have converted and practiced other religious belief, they are arrested and subjected to penalization.

It is an old truth but a frequently forgotten one: there are no leaders without followers. If followers decide to take a different route then the individual at the front ceases to be the leader. — Mark Van Vugt Ph.D.

Christianity As The Second Religion

The Christian religion in Egypt still exists to around five percent of the population despite the prominence of Islamic faith in the country. A large portion of the Christian community in Egypt belongs to the Coptic Orthodox Church of Alexandria where the Bible is the basis of services and lessons.

Because of the presence of Christianity, the government has adopted a more democratic way of leadership in the country. The 12 diocesan bishops serve as the authorities or councils in the community, where they handle the finances of the Christian churches in the area. They are authorized to administer rules in regards to education, heritage, and marriage.

Just like Islam, the leaders of the Christian church in Egypt have established primary schools, secondary schools, and colleges that hone children to the teachings of the gospel. Aside from that, a strong foundation of Sunday-school movement has been visible for years to offer religious education, good ethics, and manners to incapable children who cannot go to Coptic schools.

Judaism: The Lowest In Number Among The Recognized Religions

Although Judaism is considered one of the oldest broad evangelical religions present in the world, it is still one of the lowest in terms of the number recognized in Egypt. Records estimate that less than one percent of present-day Egypt’s population practices Judaism. The 40 Jews remaining in the country is a representation of the ones who left after the massive migration to Israel in 1948. 


A lot of Jewish religious practices are very much family-oriented. For example, they never forget the tradition of doing Sabbath meal where relatives unite in one table to honor the sacred day. Since the religion of Judaism is a faith of action, believers tend to seek both obedience to the law of the land and obedience to the law of the spirits which contribute to the holiness of the world. The remaining population of Egypt who believes in Judaism follows rules that help with keeping a group of individuals together for the betterment of the future generation.

Unrecognized Religions

The remaining percentage of the entire population of Egypt belongs to the unrecognized religions such as Atheism, Hinduism, Baha’I Faith, and Agnosticism. The religions mentioned are the religious beliefs that were not able to register their customs and traditions to the Department of Religious Affairs. The lack of state recognition of the religions is an indication of a more complex processing system in the country. For example, an individual who has Baha’I faith that is residing in Egypt may have a hard time registering for bank accounts, educational institutions, and businesses.


Since the early times, faith and society were never separate. They always come hand in hand because religion is instituted to regulate society. There is a strong potential for religious beliefs and practices to enormously address social issues. That is why it has taken up accountability to improve the shape of society in all aspects.

We don’t control other people, the weather, the economy, our bodies and health, our reputation, or things in the past and future. The only thing we have complete control over is our beliefs—if we choose to exercise this control. — Susan K Perry Ph.D.

Did You (Or Didn’t You) Know This About Egypt?



Egypt, referred to as the land of the pharaohs, is popular for its shimmering treasures, great pyramids, and historical mummies. But what else do you know about this interesting country?

Read on and discover what you probably didn’t know about Egypt – its people, cultures and beliefs, and their way of life.


Facts About Egypt

  1. Employed Workers Built The Pyramids, Not Slaves. That I didn’t know!

We have been made to believe all this time, through the historian Herodotus, that over 100,000 slaves combined forces to build the Great Pyramids of Egypt. However, archaeological proof reveals that salaried employees totaling to 5,000, and 20,000 temporary employees worked on them. These men were not slaves. They were housed in a camp and provided with food, water, and medical services.


  1. Not All Who Died Were Mummified. But in the movies, everyone was.

Mummies are a distinct artifact, which is almost always associated with Egypt. But contrary to what we thought, only the wealthy Egyptians were mummified, since the process of mummification was laborious and quite expensive. Majority of the dead in Egypt were buried in the deserts, in simple pits.


The belief of the rich Egyptians was that if their bodies were preserved or mummified, they would possibly live again.


  1. Men And Women In Egypt Had Equal Rights. This sounds ironic since in most Muslim countries, the men were always above the women. 

Egyptian women shared the same status as men. In other words, they can own properties, work and earn, and they can live on their own without any protection from men. In business matters, they were also allowed to replace their absent husbands.

Egyptian women, however, are expected to marry and fulfill their roles as wife and mother. Therefore, they were to take care of the house and raise their children well while the husband works and earns for the family.


  1. Egyptian Women Can Become Kings. Does this happen anywhere else?

Typically, the next king of Egypt is the previous king’s son, which is not always the case in this country. The king can actually choose whomever he wants to take his crown, even the most unlikely individual. Hatshepsut is one of the few women rulers who successfully reigned for over 20 years. She was literally King because queens in Egypt were used to refer to wives of the king.


  1. Cleopatra May Not Have Been Beautiful After All. We would beg to disagree, as she seduced two very important men – Mark Antony and Julius Cesar. Perhaps they were taken by her wits?



Cleopatra VII was the last queen of the old Egypt and she was believed to be beautiful, smart, and cunning. We have always assumed that she was beautiful, yet the coin that has her face engraved on proves otherwise. On her coin, Cleopatra had a sharp chin, a protruding nose, and eyes that were deep-set. But others suggest that maybe she wanted to look less feminine on her coin, although the historian Plutarch, who never ever saw the queen, tells that Cleopatra’s charm was all in her character and her lovely voice!


Do you know of other interesting and unique details on the history of Egypt? If you do, let us know!



Know More About Ancient Egypt’s Trade Relations 

Every major empire has one thing in common: trade. Yes, trade relations are of vital importance for the growth and development of Ancient Egypt. This ancient empire had established trade relations from countless countries, from their next-door neighbors to far-away Eastern lands. Here are just some of Ancient Egypt’s former trade partners.   



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3 Unique Ways Egyptians Handle Stress 

Egypt is more than just the tombs and mummies. It is a nation located where Africa and Asia meet. Moreover, it is a country surrounded by deserts, pyramids, and rivers. With its rich culture and history masked with mystery, it is a fascinating place to visit.


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Egyptian Hieroglyphs: An Iconic Writing System 

Of all the ancient scripts in the world, perhaps one of the most well-known is Egyptian hieroglyphs. Whenever people see the distinctive symbols, many of them remember the old adventure movies they grew up with, the ones where the hero explores long-lost tombs of ancient pharaohs, seeking danger and thrill.  



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5 Most Famous Traditional Egyptian Dishes 

Food is a critical aspect of every country’s culture, and in Egypt, all of their traditional dishes are a must-try. Aside from the pyramids, travelers make sure to visit this country to taste the rich Egyptian cuisine. Their recipes are a little bit similar to the Mediterranean cuisine – but with a little bit of a twist.  


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5 Unique Egyptian Traditions

The population of Egypt, the earliest civilization, was maintained by beer which was consumed by every person – man, woman, and child – at every meal. — Stanton Peele Ph.D.

Egypt is a magnificent country. It has impressed tourists and the rest of the world with its unique and breathtaking attractions. This country also has a rich culture dating from three eras – the Pharaonic era, the Christianity era, and the Islam era. Egypt has exciting and unique traditions as well, dating back to thousands of years ago but are still practiced up to today. Let us explore and understand some of these traditions.  



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