Some about Egypt and Egyptians:
Climate:
In general, the weather in Cairo is hot in the summer and chilly in winter. The average annual rainfall is 1.6 inches. Most of the rain falls during the winter, usually as brief showers. Humidity has increased in recent years because of a rise in the water table.

Winter days in Cairo are often sunny but after sundown the temperature drops sharply to as low as 45°F (8°C). Warmer temperatures in the spring are sometimes accompanied by khamaseen weather, a hot, dry wind from the south which blows intermittently over a period of fifty days. The khamaseen fills the air with fine dust.

Newcomers not familiar with a desert climate are usually prepared for the heat but not for the cold. However, foreigners usually enjoy Egypt's predominantly dry, sunny climate.
THE ARABIC LANGUAGE
Because of historical, cultural and regional factors, spoken and written Arabic have evolved differently through the centuries. Colloquial Arabic is the term used to describe the various dialects that most Arabs use in conversation. These dialects differ from one another on several levels. Customarily, colloquial Arabic is not a written language, although today there is a body of modern literature, especially plays by distinguished playwrights, using colloquial dialects.

Classical Arabic is the term used to designate the traditionally written forms of Arabic. There are essentially three forms of Classical Arabic: Qur'anic, Literary, and Modern Standard. Modern Standard Arabic is the form used by educated Arabs today for reading and writing, and occasionally for speaking. It evolved from Qur'anic and Literary Arabic much as modern English evolved from the English of Chaucer and Shakespeare. A special form of Modern Standard is media Arabic, which one hears on radio and television, especially in news broadcasts. Media Arabic is a somewhat simplified form of Modern Standard and is influenced from one region to another by local dialects.

When taking up the study of Arabic, one must be reasonably sure of one's purpose. In general, students wishing to learn Arabic as a second language in order to live and/or work in the Arab world should concentrate on Modern Standard Arabic supplemented by the study of a Colloquial dialect. Learning colloquial Arabic, while not obligatory, will help the newcomer feel more at ease and independent. Egyptians appreciate any efforts foreigners make to learn Arabic, so one need not feel uncomfortable as a beginner.
PERCEPTIONS
The foreigner who is new to Egypt may remark that the behavior and appearance of many of the Egyptians they meet seem to share more similarities than differences with the behavior and appearance of members of many western societies. Only after a longer acquaintance does it become evident that social practice in Egyptian society as a whole is more conservative than most western societies due to the strong influence of tradition, family, religion, paternal authority, and social class distinctions. Even at AUC, where appearances are so outwardly western, one should not be misled into believing that traditional values do not lie beneath the surface. In this context, foreigners should consider whether their own behavior is respectful of the formalities of Egyptian society. A few aspects that warrant special attention are: ethnic identity, clothing, male-female relations, homosexuality, drugs, alcohol, gambling, and religion.
Ethnic Identity.
While Egypt (with the exception of the Sinai Peninsula) lies geographically on the African continent, most Egyptians consider themselves to be more Mediterranean and Arab than African. In fact, Egyptians often refer to themselves as the descendants of the Pharaohs in describing how they are different from other peoples, including other Arabs. Except for simply happening to share the same continent, Egyptians may find little that relates them to the cultures of sub-Saharan Africa. African and African-American people need to be aware of this fact before coming to Egypt. Even if you are Muslim, you will still be primarily identified as a foreigner in Egypt and will be expected to adjust yourself, as sensitively as possible, to the prevailing customs and norms.
Clothing.
Clothing can be a status symbol. Educated urban middle and upper-class Egyptians usually dress in modern western clothes while those of the lower and peasant classes, especially in rural areas, more often dress in a remarkable variety of traditional styles that reflect their origin, occupation, and social status. Still, there are variations of style and personal choice in dress among all classes that make it difficult to generalize. Egyptians in general, and AUCians in particular, take pride in dressing as well or as neatly as their budgets will allow.

Styles.
Most new faculty will find their present mode of dress quite acceptable in Egypt. Any clothing regarded as far out in the U.S. will be considered far out in Egypt as well. Those inclined to be mavericks in their style of dress at home may not be understood or appreciated; indeed, unusual styles of dress may inhibit communication with many Egyptians by conveying non-verbal messages that offend, embarrass, or mystify them. To most foreigners, Egyptians seem to dress up often, but one does not need a large wardrobe to dress appropriately.
Men generally can dress as they do in large metropolitan centers in the U.S., but shorts are not worn in public except for sport or in areas where there is a high concentration of expatriates or tourists. At the Grand Hall of the Opera House, in luxury restaurants, nightclubs, and the more expensive hotel restaurants, men are required to wear jackets and ties. A business suit is appropriate for social and official functions. In class, male faculty dress casually in sport shirts and slacks or jeans, adding a sport jacket or sweater in cooler weather; some prefer suits and ties.
In most areas, women do not wear sundresses or halter-tops, shorts, miniskirts, or clothes made of see-through or translucent fabrics. In hot weather, sleeveless blouses or dresses can be worn on campus but on the street a woman should wear a shirt or jacket as a cover-up. While some Egyptian women may wear these more revealing clothes indoors, at parties, at sporting clubs, on the beach, in automobiles, or even on campus, in the streets such clothes can attract unwelcome attention, especially when worn by women or girls walking alone, whether foreign or Egyptian. Unfortunately Western films, television, magazines, and the steamier novels have helped shape the assumptions that many less sophisticated Middle Eastern males make about women, particularly foreign women. In the classroom, many female faculty members wear jeans or slacks. Dresses, t-shirts, and blouses should have modest necklines; hems should be below the knee.
Male-Female Relations.
Young Egyptians' first concern is their family. Most live at home in a close-knit family atmosphere and have social obligations to family members. Traditionally, any major decision for the child such as choice of a school or a mate is a corporate family decision, with a main concern being how that choice will reflect on the family. With the advent of modern university co-education, young people have more opportunities to meet and work with members of the opposite sex without parental supervision but social life on or off campus still occurs mainly in groups, often at parties in homes. Dating before engagement is not a common practice.
In Egyptian society as a whole, the degree of social conservatism of a woman's background may govern where and in whose company she may go and what she may do. In other words, a woman, Egyptian or foreign, needs to know where and under what circumstances she can behave in a particular way without causing comment. The woman who ignores these social conventions is open to social disapproval and may receive unwelcome advances.
Young Egyptian men are free to associate with the opposite sex and may date but a woman should proceed very cautiously in any relationship with an Egyptian man, lest he misunderstand her objectives. She must keep in mind the significance of her social behavior in the Egyptian setting. Foreign women are often stereotyped as being experienced or sexually liberal because of the image projected by the media. Additionally, foreign women in Egypt tend to go places and do things that are socially off-limits for Egyptian women, which gives the impression of their playing fast and free with mores.
A male foreigner, meanwhile, may find that some young Egyptian women are willing to talk to him on campus but not off campus. This is because convention dictates that unmarried men and women should not mix freely in unsupervised social situations. Egyptian social custom also dictates that a man may not put his arm around a woman, touch her, hold her hand, or kiss her (even on the cheek) in public without risking her reputation. With any relationship there can be obstacles: conflicts involving personalities, lifestyles, and goals. In Egypt, there is also a cultural conflict, which must be taken seriously.
It should also be noted that, regardless of their nationality, public displays of affectionate behavior between the sexes is inappropriate and embarrassing to Egyptians.

Homosexuality.
There are also cultural dimensions to friendships between persons of the same sex. Two Egyptian friends of the same sex may hold hands casually in public without this being interpreted by passersby as homosexual behavior. On the other hand, public gestures of affection between two persons of the same sex that are perceived as homosexual behavior can provoke a strong reaction. Earrings on men are considered to be a sign of homosexuality. There is no gay rights movement in Egypt for the simple reason that homosexuality is forbidden. For the crime of committing "disgraceful impudent acts" the law allows for up to one year's imprisonment and a fine not to exceed £E 300. Historically, when this law has been used against westerners they have often been deported instead of imprisoned.
Drugs, Alcohol and Gambling.
Egyptian law prescribes severe punishments for persons found guilty of using illegal drugs and even more severe penalties for those selling them. Heroin addiction among Egyptians, including university students, has increased recently and government authorities are more frequently arresting and punishing dealers and their customers. Smoking marijuana and hashish are illegal and socially inappropriate.
Egyptian law prohibits the serving or drinking of alcohol in public places except in hotels, tourist establishments and clubs of a tourist nature. Locally made beer and wine for home consumption are available in shops spread around Cairo. Hard liquor is expensive and difficult to find. In the past few years, cases of alcohol poisoning resulting in death have occurred in Cairo. The cause was a mixture consisting primarily of rubbing alcohol sold in recycled liquor bottles bearing the original labels. Any display of inebriation in public is highly embarrassing to Egyptians.
Gambling is also frowned upon and is actually forbidden by Islamic religious law. There are gambling casinos in Cairo serving the international tourist trade where Egyptians are not admitted.
All foreigners in Egypt are subject to Egyptian law. If an American is arrested, the American Consul can only provide the individual with a list of Egyptian attorneys, visit him or her in prison, and help him or her to communicate with relatives.
Religion.
Religion is a powerful influence in Egyptian life. Whether Muslim or Christian, all Egyptians take religion seriously, even those who do not practice except on major religious occasions such as festivals, weddings, and funerals. Most Egyptians cannot conceive of one's being agnostic or atheist. Nearly all believe in the existence of God, and were you to tell any but the most sophisticated Egyptian that you do not, you would be regarded as strange and perhaps not altogether trustworthy. Phrases like 'inshallah (God willing) and alhamdulellah (thanks be to God) are heard frequently in conversation among Egyptians and they are usually spoken with heartfelt sincerity.
Take care to show proper respect for Egyptians’ attitudes toward, and sensitivities about, God and religion. Refrain from initiating conversations with Egyptians in which you compare Islam or Coptic Christianity unfavorably with your own religious beliefs. Nor should one assume that fundamentalist and born again mean the same in Egyptian society as they do elsewhere. Finally, proseletizing is forbidden by law in Egypt and can lead to the non-renewal of a foreigner's work permit, deportation, or jail.
Food:
There is an abundant supply of fresh fruits, vegetables, meats and fish in the markets of Egypt as well as a growing variety of frozen and processed items. You may want to bring a particular spice or flavoring for a special food but it is fun to exercise one’s ingenuity in finding or developing substitutes and adapting favorite recipes to locally available ingredients.
It should be mentioned that a wide range of restaurants, including many of the fast food chains such as MacDonald’s, Pizza Hut and Arby’s, are there to supplement the family’s culinary skills.
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and it's from the internet also.. collect it here..Emotion: smile
This was fascinating to read. An insight into Egyptian life.
One of the next places I would like to visit and discover more in depth is EGYPT. In reality, I know so little about it other than the typical things you read in books or on a documentary so this was very interesting. Of course I'd like to see the pyramids but I'm very interested in learning more about your culture and to practise the language. I discovered the different types of Arabic when I started learning it here in Chile. It makes it just a bit hard when there are such big differences between the countries and even within a country. I heard that Egyptian Arabic is more widely understood because they produce a lot of soap operas that they 'export' to the other arab-speaking countries.
I have some CDs from an artist that sings in Arabic. It's a mixture of traditional music mixed with the latest western dance/romantic/pop music tendencies. Her name is Natasha Atlas. Is she from Egypt or someone born in a western country with an Arabic background?