There is an interesting debate going on it Egypt. Muslim ccleric and television host, Sheikh Yusuf al-Qaradawi has taken on the low productivity of Egyptian workers can suggesting less time praying and more time working. What is particularly interesting are studies that show that the average Egyptian government worker only spends 27 minutes a day actually working. No wonder it took so long to build the pyramids.
Qaradawi has argued that “Praying is a good thing [but] 10 minutes should be enough.”
Praying five times a day is one of the five pillars of Islam, but the time spent in prayer is extended by ritual cleaning of the hands and feet.
It is really the 27 minute estimate that I found most striking. This means that in a standard five day work week, the average employee actually works only slightly above two hours. For a whole month, that is less than 15 hours — the equivalent of a single day for some people in trucking, law and other professions. Imagine getting a full year’s salary on less than 180 hours of work. As a rational actor, I am immediately going to buy Arabic language tapes (I figure I will learn just enough to apply and do the rest of studying at work in Cairo).
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