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American Journal of Comparative Law


Sharia, Egyptian Civil Code, land ownership, Nasser, Sadat, egyptian land law, western influences


In all cases, the country adopting the Western code has attempted to infuse it with traditional values or with tenets of a particular ideology. Frequently, the inevitable dichotomy between the basic concepts of the code and the values which have been infused into it produce legal tensions. This has certainly been the case in Egypt. Traditionally, Egypt has had difficulty accommodating a growing population on a limited amount of arable land. Whether Egypt is able to remedy past maldistribution of arable land will have significant social, economic and political consequences. The success of legal reform in Egypt must be judged by the standard which led to the adoption of the Egyptian Civil Code in the first place: has the Code significantly reformed and simplified the law governing the ownership of land? Based on limited evidence, it seems fair to say that the Code has had but limited success in reforming land law.