Egypt: FACTS / MISCONCEPTIONS (1)


  • We do not dress in Galabeyas, we wear jeans, t-shirts, dresses, pants, skirts, etc.
  • Not all Egyptian women know how to belly dance 🙂
  • We do not live in tents in the desert, we live in flats & houses.
  • Not each & every building in Egypt overlooks the Pyramids. And Giza Pyramids are not the only ones that we have in Egypt, they are just the most famous.

on the web

  • Since we do not live in the desert, we don’t go to work camel back riding, we mainly use our private cars or public transportation (not recommended).
  • Women go to school, university & work just like men, we have around 60% of working females in our population.
  • Egypt has around 90 million inhabitants, 10 million live in Cairo, around 2 million in Alexandria and the rest live in the remainder governorates.
  • We do not differentiate between Muslims and Christians -there are definitely exceptions as there is everywhere in the world-, we are all Egyptians.
  • Egypt is the country where God talked to Moses on Mount Moses, where Virgin Mary was sheltered while  she was carrying Jesus in her tummy, and was mentioned in the Holy Qur’an five times.
  • English is our 2nd unofficial language, it is very widely spoken among Egyptians, French comes as third, than German, Italian and other languages.
  • We do not swim in the Nile River since it is very dangerous.
  • We have department stores, malls, big hypermarkets, international food chains and coffee shops, international clothing brands, shopping centers.

Alexandria at Night (on the web)

  • Egyptians enjoy food a lot & eat a looooooooot. In every occasion or feast, the main theme is food during Eidul Fitr we eat special cookies called Kahk (cookies stuffed with dates or nuts with lots of sugar spread on top), during Eidul Adha we eat lots of meat (specially lambs’), during Ramadan (when Muslims fast for 29-30 days from sunrise till sunset, they do not eat, drink or smoke) we eat huge quantities of oriental desserts namely Katayef, Konafa, Basbousa,etc.
  • Egyptians have a very strong immune system & can eat anything without any problems.
  • Whether you are Muslim, Christian, Jew, or else, you’ll find all sorts of gastronomy in Egypt & you will most probably find restaurants serving your local cuisine.
  • The most famous Egyptian dishes are: Foul & Falafel (fava beans & falafel: Egyptian falafel has a different recipe from any other falafel), Koshari (a mix of rice, macaroni, fried onions, humus, lentils preferably eaten with Garlic sauce & hot sauce), Fatta served with Molokheya (Fatta: Rice with pieces of bread / Molokheya: a Liquid vegetable that should be spread over Fatta) should be eaten at El-Brens Restaurant.

Koshari

  • As we have the Mediterranean Sea, the Red Sea and the Nile River don’t assume that the entire population are fishermen.
  • We have four Nobel laureates; Mohamed El-Baradei in 2005 for Preventing nuclear energy from being used for military purposes and to ensure that it is used for peaceful purposes, Ahmed Zoweil in 1999 for Chemistry, Naguib Mahfouz in 1988 for Literature & President Anwar El-Sadat in 1978 for Peace.
  • Cairo is known as “City no.1 that does not sleep” & has one of the worst traffics in the world.
  • There is a huge difference between the Nile that you see in Cairo & the one in Aswan, Aswan’s is way wider & more beautiful.

Nile in Aswan, on the web

  • Egypt is not only where the Great Pyramids and Sphinx are still standing, and is not only Sharm El-Sheikh & Hurghada. We have mountains to climb, hiking to enjoy, caves to explore, oases to fancy,…
  • Egypt has very moderate temperatures in winter, but summer days can be very hot.
  • Egypt has installed A/C systems everywhere, while heating barely exists.
  • Egyptians are the least punctual people in the world, if someone says s/he will meet you at 5pm, you should be there around 6-6:30pm, if not 7pm.
  • Egyptians are heavy smokers. Smoking cigarettes or Shisha are allowed nearly everywhere. In indoors places there is usually a smoking & a non-smoking area.
  • Egyptians don’t consider themselves Arabs nor Africans, they consider themselves something in between.
  • Arabs speak Arabic in different dialects, they do not speak Farsi & since they do not speak Arabic in Iran, it is not considered an Arab country.
  • The easiest and most widely spread dialect among Arabs is the Egyptian, as our movies, songs & literature are very well known.
  • Although, all are Arabic dialects sometimes it’s impossible to understand one another, specially Moroccan & Algerian as their Arabic is highly influenced by french & Berber.
  • In Egypt when people are greeting each other; women kiss women & men kiss men, it does not go the other way round.
  • To enter a mosque; a woman needs to cover her whole body except her face, hands and feet, a man is not allowed to wear shorts and both have to take their shoes off.

Khan El-Khalili Bazaar (on the web)

  • Egyptians consume more than they produce.
  • The Jan 25th Revolution was organized via social media.
  • Omar Samra is the first Egyptian to climb Mount Everest at the age of 28, although a “scrawny asthmatic” as CNN says.

Useful links:

Cairo360

Yellow Pages

Yallabina

Filbalad

Circletie

*All the listed Restaurants are local ones, to live the Egyptian Experience 😉