When it comes to ancient civilizations, Egypt is arguably among the most famous, and is also one of the most fascinating. Its history and culture trace back thousands of years, and it was old even before Rome was founded. A visit there will help educate you on what it was like in the time of the Pharaohs, but its modern culture is still quite intriguing. So while you can read up on the culture of this ancient civilization, here are a few interesting facts about Egypt’s culture in today’s world:
1, Whatever your prejudices might be regarding the Egyptians (because they’re Muslims or because of movies like The Mummy), when you get there you will quickly realize that modern Egyptians are very courteous and certainly well-mannered. Part of the reason for that is actually their Muslim religion.
2. If you’re in any trouble in Egypt, you can always ask for help from the people around you. If you’re lost, they will be very eager to provide directions. In fact, you may be surrounded by people who will want to provide answers to all your questions.
3. Egyptians tend to stand close to one another, so if you’re a Westerner you may feel uncomfortable at first when they seem to invade your personal space. But people here won’t act improperly. Actually, men are forbidden to touch a woman in public. A handshake may be acceptable, but holding your hand or patting your back is certainly not proper.
4. It’s Egyptian custom to offer something out of politeness, whether it’s an invitation to their home or to share food. But it’s also part of their culture to refuse the first invitation because it’s just etiquette. So you’ll know that their offer is truly genuine if they insist and repeat the invitation. The same goes for when you invite them. You have to repeat the invitation when they first refuse.
5. When you do accept an invitation to someone’s home, you have to take it seriously. It will be very humiliating for them if they prepare for your arrival and you don’t actually show up. It’s like standing up your date to the prom.
6. You may need to clarify what time a meeting will take place when you set it up with Egyptians. The concept of Egyptian time is a bit different, so a meeting set up for 4PM may actually take place in the early evening.
7. This is a very progressive country by Arabic standards. Their media and entertainment industry is more permissive, and they don’t have as much censorship as other Arab countries. The 2011 revolution in Egypt was the result of anger over the lack of free speech and free elections, and as a consequence President Mubarak resigned. He was actually imprisoned before he was released in 2017.
8. Here women can work as doctors, lawyers, and diplomats. However, they’re expected to act and dress modestly. They have to cover their shoulders and legs, and head scarves are very common.
Of course, you need to visit Egypt itself to better immerse yourself in Egypt’s culture. Staying here can be captivating, as you will be fascinated by the ancient pyramids and the modern friendliness of the Egyptian people.