Counter-argument Essay





Counter-argument Essay

The University of Georgetown owns a newspaper known as that primarily targets the students as the main audience. Issues involving the students, sports, opinion, academics as well as other topics addressed through this newspaper with an aim of creating awareness to the students and members of staff. Students can write articles and present them to the editor who then decides if the article can be published in the newspaper or not. Therefore, the newspaper is not only owned by the journalist students, but it is open to all talented students and those who desire to convey a message to a large number of university students and the staff. The other audience that is targeted by is the residents of Georgetown whom have access to the newspaper through their children or friends who are either students or members of staff of Georgetown University.

The essay written by Kerry McIntosh has diverse implications and repercussions considering the fact that it was published in a university newspaper. Generally, the author underscores the fact that the Egyptians’ mode of conduct is faulty and undermines progressive growth and development of the country. This perception can be considered to be rooted in various cultural values and beliefs. Numerous studies indicate that while the Americans value hard work, Africans equally value the need for relaxation. In this respect, studies posit that the author needs to try testing the culture in order appreciate the inherent benefits.

The claims presented by McIntosh had some truth in them, but the facts and logic presented to back up these claims are substantial. Generalization of all Egyptians as “lazy” is a logical error (Georgetown University 1). All the people in that country are not lazy and some sectors like the tourism sector have thrived tremendously. The pyramids are a major tourist attraction site that has earned the country millions of dollars in foreign exchange. The Egyptians view nepotism as a positive thing where wealth is passed down the family as explored in the article “Egypt- Language, Culture, Customs and Etiquette.” It was imperative that McIntosh have her facts beforehand before making nepotism look like a vice which is making the Egyptian economy take on a downward trend. In the article “Curing Egyptian Idleness,” all the students are generalized as rich and lacking a motivation to perform better in school. This is a logical error because not all students in the university are rich. When McIntosh, went to class late, some students were already in class so it not logical to generalize all students as lazy.

Much as the author conceives the Egyptians to be slow in their activities such as walking, she would also have put in consideration that social and economic implications that influence the state of affairs. Cultural studies indicate that the economic conditions of a society play an integral role in determining the culture that they assume. The socio-economic structure of Egypt can not be likened to that of the United States because of the different environments that characterize the two countries. The comparison between the work ethic of the two countries works against the argument that the people in Egypt are lazy. It needs to be appreciated that people living in the two countries have a diverse culture and customs as described in the article “Egypt- Language, Culture, Customs and Etiquette” and so their work ethic can not be identical.

McIntosh’s tone is very critical throughout the essay and she can not help herself but compare Egypt to the west. She blames the people of Egypt for their socio-economic gap and the poor economic structure due to their laziness. Throughout the essay, it is evident that she only portrays the negative side of Egypt and not the positive side. The biased perception could have clouded the author’s ability to appreciate the underlying reasons that influence the Egyptians to behave as they do. At this point, it is worth noting that the value system of the west differs significantly from that in the South. Societal values influence the mode of conduct of individuals in the society as they tend to align their perceptions to these values. Moreover, values define the morals of the society and are therefore imperative in determining the activities that respective individuals would presume.

Unlike intellectual capacities that can be assumed within a short period of time, social values are intrinsic of an individual’s culture and tend to be developed through time. Put differently, such attributes are complex and are learnt throughout an individual’s life. In this respect therefore, the presumptions of the author regarding the Egyptian culture is justified. The main difference according to The Hoya lies in the interpretation of the underlying reasons that influence such behavior (The Hoya 1). Equally important are the environmental factors that also reportedly influence the work ethic in the North Africa region.

McIntosh is a hardworking well educated university student. She obviously prefers the United States as compared to Egypt. She is not interested in the positive side of the Egyptian culture which is undoubtedly very rich. McIntosh definitely takes sides when comparing Egypt to the west; she prefers the west which obviously has problems of its own. The West is clearly portrayed as perfect as compared to Egypt. The writer of the article “Curing Egyptian Idleness” suggests that the government should formulate policies that will work to change the social structures of the nation in a way that provides opportunities for a wider segment of the population to succeed. However, she does not provide definite solutions to the problem because she sees herself as not knowledgeable enough nor entitled as a foreigner to make recommendations (Kwintessential 1).


In her review, McIntosh provides a criticism of the Egyptian culture from a personal point of view. Basing on her educational level, it can be ascertained that the perception was well informed. However, as it has come out from the preceding analysis, it can be argued that the perception was biased. Seemingly, the author did not analyze the underlying reasons with respect to why the Egyptians behave in that particular manner. The inability to assume this objective approach can be attributed to a different value system that she assumes. Considering the fact that social values are intrinsic in nature and also obtained over a long period of time, it would require the author massive efforts in order to understand and acknowledge the dynamics of the Egyptian culture. In conclusion, the author’s review is not reflective of the actual situation on the ground, at least from a cultural, economic and environmental point of view.

Works Cited

McIntosh, Kerry. “Curing Egyptian Idleness.” Retrieved 19th September 2010 from

Kwintessential. “Egypt- Language, Culture, Customs and Etiquette.” Retrieved 19th September 2010 from:

Georgetown University. Egyptian Culture. Retrieved 19th September 2010 from HYPERLINK “”

The Hoya. Americans Need to Find Time to Relax. Retrieved 20th September 2010 from: