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Egyptian Citizenship Legislation, Private International Law, and Their Impact on Individual Rights

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Under Egyptian law, citizenship plays a major role in defining the rights that a person may exercise. While Egyptians are generally free to work in any profession and own all types of property, foreign nationals are subject to restrictions, which vary depending on the rights they wish to exercise and their legal status in the country. Access to Egyptian citizenship is a discretionary process that is potentially discriminatory along ethnic, religious, and national lines. This article examines recent developments in legislation governing citizenship and individual rights in Egypt. It proceeds to outline areas in which non-Egyptians are subject to legal restrictions in accordance with applicable legislation, notably in the areas of residence, property ownership, adjudication, employment, and education. It finds that Egyptian law in effect creates a complex hierarchy of rights based primarily on citizenship status.

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