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mini
I've just come back from a long break in Egypt, and decided to write some of the things i observed about the people and their culture and what i thought. this is based purely on what i saw and heard and since i only spent time in Alexndria i cant really speak for the whole of Egypt but only on where i went.

Things i found strange:

* the fact that not one thing has been changed in 2 years since my last visit there.
* although the majority of people hate the regime, they dont do anything about it
* the egyptian culture seems to have lacked slightly and become more western.
* the large gap between the rich and poor and the more rich you are the more western like you become.
* the lack of work and oppertunities for young people, even skilled and educated and well qualified ones.
* corruption especially if u have money, you can get away with almost anything.
* marriage is exphensive so very few can actually afford the luxury. instead some draw up a contract with no islamic or legal status with two witnesses (friends) and call it marriage, which under the law and islam is just like being byfriend and girlfriend.

things they do that are assumed to be islamic but are not!:

* weddings are mixed with both men and women, and although the bride would have always worn the hijab on her weddding night she bares all in front of everyone blink.gif
* in certain parts of Alexandria...on the wedding night the family of both bride and groom have to make sure that the bride is a virgin....previously this was done within an audience....now its done with someone standing by your door waiting for u to make sure.......totally and utterly backward with no islamic backing.
* there are other minor things but arent that important

things i found sad

* there is no actual decent human rights. me as a tourist in egypt coming with a western passsport have more rights in egypt than egyptians do.
* nothing id offered for disabled people
* the wanting to be western i thought was sad, the desire to be and live a western life. the love of and respect for anyone whose white skinned..sad.



Russian
cool, i see all hope is not lost.
mini
no there is hope. people are educated and skilled but there is nothing for them. they work their asses of for pennies. its a great country with seriously decent people but the gvy offers them no support.
Telum
QUOTE(Amna @ Sep 14 2004, 08:39 PM)
no there is hope.  people are educated and skilled but there is nothing for them.  they work their asses of for pennies.  its a great country with seriously decent people but the gvy offers them no support.



No support in the form of social programs, or no support as in actively oppressing them?
ro4444
QUOTE
* the wanting to be western i thought was sad, the desire to be and live a western life. the love of and respect for anyone whose white skinned..sad.


How is this sad, pray tell?
mini
How is this sad, pray tell?

the reason i find it sad is not because i think being western is wrong, but the fact that these people assume being western to be superior to their own way of life.
Wolfenstein
Why is it wrong to respect everyone who is white (pink) skinned?
mini
Why is it wrong to respect everyone who is white (pink) skinned?

because they think white skinned people are ebtter than darker skinned people. it's like an inferiority complex.
Wolfenstein
That's not what I said (and not what you said).
mini
what i wrote although i agree isnt clear is this:

* the wanting to be western i thought was sad, the desire to be and live a western life. the love of and respect for anyone whose white skinned..sad.

the reason i found it sad was because they felt that being western and white skinned meant that you were better, it was the whole idea that anyone who didnt fot that wasnt quite as good as someone who did.

libvertaruan
I understood what she meant. Also, there is another poster here who went to Egypt at one time--acow.
acow
Yeah, but acow didn't attend any weddings.

Although we did have a thing where the muslim guy we were travelling with let the girls see photos of his wife, but wouldn't let any of them men.

The starkest problem i saw was corruption and bearacracy. While i was over there i had to get a police report due to loosing some of my stuff (i had to prove to the insurance company i actually cared and tried to find it). I went to three seperate police stations, in two different towns, and finally after speaking with a 4th person at the third place, i finally found someone who would sign ANYTHING, not because the others couldn't, but because they wouldn't.

Corruption is rife though to an absurd degree. I know this because we bribed one guy dealing with the passports, and one guard who was supposed to ensure tourists didn't use cameras.

If you drive through some parts of egypt too, you'll notice the "ghost holiday resorts". Hundreds upon hundreds of shiny holiday resorts and brand new units, built with government money and kickbacks, and not a single person staying in any of them. Its like something out of madmax. You have these beautifull western style resorts built on the edge of the desert and the sea, and no one there, all aquired mainly through corrupt government programmes, with the money for them essentially going into dirty people's pockets. Shamefull when you see how much resources are wasted because of itt.
acow
The western thing is kinda understandable to a degree, given that so much of the governments revenue and the country's economy is based upon tourism and sucking up to the visitors. Although half of this again is not only kissing up to westerners, but taking the naive weak willed ones for a ride. Don't ever accept a free gift from anyone if your in Egypt, its not free, no matter what they say. NO. DON'T DO IT! Never believe anyone's stories about how they are vicariously like you, and for the love of god, if ANYONE asks you whether you've been to egypt before, the answer is yes, for at least a month if not more.

Though the "white chick" syndrome of mens eyes continually glaring
can apparently be a bit stressfull according to the girls with us.
mini
Corruption is rife though to an absurd degree. I know this because we bribed one guy dealing with the passports, and one guard who was supposed to ensure tourists didn't use cameras.

you can get almost anything u want in egypt if u pay the right amount of money for it.
my husbands cousin passed her 2nd year of uni, but was never put intot he third year......why? not because she hadnt applied or that she failed, but the richer students who had failed had got their parents to pay off the uni to be included in the enxt year, so 30 odd students who's passed never got to their third year cause they couldnt prove anything.....and even if they did, money speaks more than human rights there.

Don't ever accept a free gift from anyone if your in Egypt, its not free, no matter what they say. NO. DON'T DO IT! Never believe anyone's stories about how they are vicariously like you, and for the love of god, if ANYONE asks you whether you've been to egypt before, the answer is yes, for at least a month if not more.


lol, i agree, if they smell u're foreign then they triple everything and expect you to pay more.

Though the "white chick" syndrome of mens eyes continually glaring
can apparently be a bit stressfull according to the girls with us.


i agree, i had the same problem and i'm covered, my husband wasnt best pleased, but i think most of the attention was due to the fact i looked so different to the normal egyptians there. but at least they only stare....... blink.gif
zkajan
QUOTE(Amna @ Sep 15 2004, 02:44 PM)
i agree, i had the same problem and i'm covered, my husband wasnt best pleased, but i think most of the attention was due to the fact i looked so different to the normal egyptians there.  but at least they only stare....... blink.gif


i didn't realize you were married. did you get married recently?
mini
i didn't realize you were married. did you get married recently?

no, i've been married for almost 3 and a half years now.
ro4444
QUOTE(Amna @ Sep 15 2004, 06:13 AM)
How is this sad, pray tell?

the reason i find it sad is not because i think being western is wrong, but the fact that these people assume being western to be superior to their own way of life.



One must wonder why you are living in the United Kingdom then. Could you not find a better life in an Arab country?
zkajan
rolly, if you don't undertand what that means you're an idiot
if you do, you're a troll
ro4444
How does one know what living a particular culture is like without experimenting it first? One must give credit to the Egyptians for trying.
mini
One must wonder why you are living in the United Kingdom then.

reasons for my living in the United kingdom:

1.) i was born here
2.) My mums british
3.) I have british citizenship and passport
4.) Medical treatment for my younger brother
5.) political reasons for not being able to go back and live in libya.

Could you not find a better life in an Arab country?

yes i could, and it's a plan for the future.


i honestly dont know what you didnt get from my reply, it wasnt meant to be critisizing or insulting western culture, i just find it sad when a antion of people with their own culture and beleifs would see themselves as inferior to the west. That doesnt mean western culture is wrong and shouldnt be followed. i dont know how to make it any simpler than that.
Wolfenstein
You have to admit that the west is supperior in many senses today to the rest of the world. This is a natural property of cultures, one culture tries to emulate another, one (or few) culture is the dominante culture.
libvertaruan
QUOTE(ro4444 @ Sep 15 2004, 08:15 PM)
How does one know what living a particular culture is like without experimenting it first? One must give credit to the Egyptians for trying.



Rolly, your biggest problem is that you lack all possible imagination. Perhaps that is because you failed to exercise it.
mini
You have to admit that the west is supperior in many senses today to the rest of the world. This is a natural property of cultures, one culture tries to emulate another, one (or few) culture is the dominante culture.

i'm not talking economic superiority, i'm talking about the actual humans whi live there, as humans, no one should assume themselves to be superior or less superior than someone else just because of their skin colour or where they happen to have been born.
the attention i got from being white and living in the west and having a western mother was astonishing, it was nice but in the back of my mind i always thought i'm not any better than any of these people, so y the hell do they treat me like i am. if the issue was in which country is more superior due to wealth or power, there wouldnt be an argument here. but its not.

Ryan_Liam
QUOTE(Amna @ Sep 13 2004, 11:26 AM)
* the wanting to be western i thought was sad, the desire to be and live a western life.  the love of and respect for anyone whose white skinned..sad.



I don't particulary see this as a bad thing, most Egyptians are white anyway.
Flyer_Bear
QUOTE(Amna @ Sep 13 2004, 11:26 AM)

* in certain parts of Alexandria...on the wedding night the family of both bride and groom have to make sure that the bride is a virgin....previously this was done within an audience....now its done with someone standing by your door waiting for u to make sure.......totally and utterly backward with no islamic backing.


Pardon my cultural and religious insensitivity, but virgin sex is "difficult" and sensitive enough WITHOUT a crowd gathering around asking again and again, "Well? IS SHE?"

"Yes, damnit, must I show you the sheets?"

This seems progressive to me. Anything but backward.

Frankly, Amna, I don't see how you could stand something like that.
ro4444
QUOTE(Michael Badnarik @ Sep 16 2004, 02:14 AM)
Rolly, your biggest problem is that you lack all possible imagination.  Perhaps that is because you failed to exercise it.



Do you have a point, or are you just spamming?
mini
firstly Ryan, actually the majority of egyptians are dark skinned, olive or brown skinned, some black and some white. the majority however are darke skinned.

shadow17, if u read my post, i did say that practice was firstly extremely backward and totally unislamic. it only happens in some places and it certianly didnt happen to me, and nor would i tolerate it. but for some people it's tradition as sick as it may be and they choose to follow it.

Flyer_Bear
QUOTE(Amna @ Sep 19 2004, 01:26 AM)
firstly Ryan, actually the majority of egyptians are dark skinned, olive or brown skinned, some black and some white.  the majority however are darke skinned.

shadow17, if u read my post, i did say that practice was firstly extremely backward and totally unislamic.  it only happens in some places and it certianly didnt happen to me, and nor would  i tolerate it.  but for some people it's tradition as sick as it may be and they choose to follow it.



Ah, I see. Sorry, I misinterpreted what you were saying about it.
Ryan_Liam
QUOTE(Amna @ Sep 19 2004, 01:26 AM)
firstly Ryan, actually the majority of egyptians are dark skinned, olive or brown skinned, some black and some white.  the majority however are darke skinned.


Correction, Caucasian. Some Black. All want to be Western.

Anyway, I think we should cut off Egypts aid, it doesn't do shit for us, might as well let them try and attack Israel and yet again get their asses stomped. It'd save the US money and material trying to appease that scumbag.

Haha and something else I've noticed, I wonder why the light skinned in Egypt hold higher status than the dark skinned ones. Go figure.


Stimulant
Fucking egytians talk funny. Its all z's god damnit, why can't they actually pronunce their thaa like a real a-rab?
Bar-Aram
Yeah, they talk really funny, but I find it charming actually. smile.gif

They also pronounce "g" like in "good" instead of like in "George" like everyone else does.
Stimulant
its probably more charming when they aren't doubling the amount of collequial you have to learn.
mini
i didnt partu=icularly like the egyptian accent........yes they'll kill me for saying it.....not that a libyan accent is better its probably the worst within the arab world, i personally like the palestinian accent and syrian...which are somewhat alike.
Bar-Aram
Lebanese is the best (and the Syrian border-regions). smile.gif

I do like the Egyptian accent though. I don't like the Iraqi accent or that of the bedouins in eastern Syria. I can't even understand anything west of Egypt in North Africa, so I don't like those either for that reason.
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