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Egypt

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by

Supun Kotteduwa

on 19 May 2011

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Transcript of Egypt

Arab Republic of EGYPT Greetings Greetings are based largely on the class and religion of the person. When meeting someone you should follow their lead because Egyptian greetings are often very elaborate.In general friends of the same sex kiss each other on the check and shake hands. If it has been a long time since the people have seen one another then the kisses may be repeated several times and they may even kiss on the forehead. With a hug and a kiss is how family members greet each other. In a greeting between men and women, the woman must extend her hand first for a handshake, but if she does not then the greeting will be verbal. The woman will slightly bow her head and place her right hand over her heart. Handshakes in Egypt are mainly limp and prolonged, but always they are give with a big smile and direct eye contact. Unless you are invited to do so, you should not call someone by their first name. If you are friends then you may use first names in informal settings. You should respond in thanks to a compliment by giving an equally respectful compliment by wishing them Allah's blessing. Customs and Etiquette Visting Personal relationships with friends and family are very important to Egyptians so visiting is a vital pastime of theirs. On Fridays and holidays children who are married usually visit their parents. When guests visit it is common for them to bring a gift to their host. These gifts often reflect the closeness of the relationship and the guest's social and financial position in the realtion to the host. Good-quality chocolates, sweets aor pastries are gifts usually presented to the host and small gifts for the children are given to show affection. Flowers are not an appropriate gift because they are reserved for weddings or the ill. Another innapropriate gift is alcohol because it is prohibited by Islam and much of the population are Muslims. Most gifts are not opened when recieved because the guests are typically modest about the significance of the gifts and try to leave it behind without mentioning anything. Sometimes the host may choose to open the gift, especially if it is food, as an expression of their gratitude. Gifts are always opened with the right hand or both hands, if the gift is heavy, but never just the left hand. Dining In Egypt people prepare expensive and decadent means when they have guests. Before sitting down to eat, guests must wait for the host to tell them what seat to take. Egyptians eat with their fingers using their right hands and may also use Western utensils eating in the continental style( fork in left hand and knife in right). To Eyptian people it is considered a sincere compliment to take second helping. Throughout the meal it is expected that guests will show their appreciation of the food to the hosts. If the guests salt their food it is considered a personal insult to their cooking. It is a good idea for the guests to leave a small amount of food on their plates when they have finished eating, otherwise the host will keep filling it up. Also leaving a bit of food on the plate is considered a compliment and a symbol of abudance. In a restaurant food left behind is a sign of wealth(can afford to waste food). Lifestyle Family A good family is defined mainly by the family members' wealth, reputation, religious piety and education.

Considered an extremely important social unit.

Men are usually the heads of the household. Traditionally, men are honoured according to how well they protect the women under their care.

Extended families keep close ties. Cousins of the same sex are often considered siblings.

Relatives commonly gather during the weekend to celebrate religious occasions.

It is rare to find nursing homes for the old because children support their parents in old age (especially the oldest son)

Parents greatly influence their children's future including their choice of profession and selecting a mate. Egyptian society values this and considers it as providing emotional support for the children.

Children don't usually move out until marriage regardless of age. Even after marriage, it's common for the couple to move in with the parents.

Working out side home is considered a burden for women rather than a privilege. Business Etiquette Egyptians like to do business with people they know and respect and like to spend time developing a relationship before they conduct business. When doing business who you know is more important than what you know so it is a good idea to grow a large network of contracts. Whenever you meet someone you are offered tea or coffee. Even if you don't take a sip, you should always accept the beverage because declining is taken as a personal rejection. Eyptians judge people on their appearence so you should wear good quality conservative clothes and present yourself well always. You should be pepared for intense stares because direct eye contact is a sign of honesty and sincerity to Egyptians. Egyptians use hand gestures when they are excited but in general they speak softly. Because hierarchy and rank are important, the most senior person in the group will be the spokesperson. When dealing business you should keep in mind that Egyptians are tough negotiators. Business moves at a slow pace in Egypt because the society is extremely bureaucratic. It may take several visits to accomplish a simple tasks. While visiting you should not use high-pressure tactics but always include research and documents to support your claims. Dating and Marriage Dating is quite widespread and depicted by media but it is generally not accepted in society.

Casual dating is not common and intimate interactions between couples are seen as serious considerations of marriage.

Public affection is not approved of even between married couples.

Conventionally, marriages are arranged between heads of families with little to no input from the couple but nowadays, the couple has more say and they may even reject the man/woman after meeting them. Sometimes, couple meet on their own.

It is common for cousins to marry.

Many couple meet through their friends.

Moral purity is highly valued in women and it is a major requirement in the marriage contract. A woman and her family will always be on guard to protect the woman's reputation.

The marriage ceremony usually takes place in the bride's home or at a mosque Diet Commonly eat rice, bread, fish, lamb chicken, turkey and stuffed vegetables.

Tahina, a sesame seed paste, tomatoes and cucumbers are often eaten with meals.

Consumption of alcohol and pork is forbidden by Qur'an, the Islamic Holy Book.

Aish, is traditional food that is a flat Egyptian bread.

Meat is expensive so the lower class eats it only on occasion. Bread is inexpensive so, it is eaten often during every meal. Climate and Land Education Egypt covers an area of 1,001,450 square kilometres. It is just larger than the province of British Columbia. Most of Egypt is desert land, dry with a few inhabited oases. Part of the Sahara or Western Desert is found in southwestern Egypt. Africa's longest river, the Nile, runs through Egypt into the Mediterranean Sea. This natural source of water provides a fertile delta area with many people and plants living near it. The Nile Delta and the surrounding valleys were often flooded during certain seasons until the Aswan Dam was built. The Dam not only allows for more predictable planting of crops by regulating water flow, but it also generates a signifigant amound of electrical power. It's one flaw is causing environmental problems. The valuable silt that used to come in with the floods is now trapped by the dam. This means that Egyptians soils are now depleted and must heavily rely on fertilizers. There are an average of about 12 hours of sunlight in the summer and 8 to 10 hours in the winter each day. During the summer months the weather is very hot and humid with daily temperatures reaching highs of 42 degrees celcuis. In the desert there is virtually no rainfall but near the Nile Delta there may be 8 inches of rain water. The "Khamasiin", which is a hot dusty wind, blows in the spring. The Egyptian government subsidizes education so that it is free through the university level. But students still have to pay fees for uniforms, tutoring, etc. Some children can not go to school because they must work to support their family. Students are expected to go to school between the ages of six and fifteen, although this is not enforced strictly. In general more boys are enrolled in school than girls. Most students who finish primary school continue on to secondary school. In secondary school the gap between males and females students increases. Because of this, adult literacy rates are very drastic. Only 58% of women are able to read while 75% of can. In the rural areas schools lack teachers and supplies. Most children attend public schools that are over crowded. Memorization, strict disipline and exams are what the curriculum is based on. Families often hire private tutors that help students prepare for national exams, that are taken twice a year. The results of these exams determine how students will advance in their schooling(either technical school or general secondary school). In technical school a student will learn a trade, while in general secondary secondary they will prepare to attend a university. Universities are usually located in cities and almost half of the students are women. Competition in public universities is very common, especially in prestigious subjects like medicine and engineering. Because so many people have attended universities, there are too many graduates with degrees and not enough jobs. Background Life Cycle Recreation Soccer, Egypt's national sport, is watched mainly by men in rowdy stadiums and inexpensive coffee shops. Children and young men often play soccer in the streets.

Most wealthy and middle class families belong to sports clubs that offer sports such as tennis, judo, swimming and horseback riding.

Urban Egyptians enjoy going to the movie theatres where a broad range of Egyptian and foreign movies are shown.

Talk shows and dramatic mini-series on television are popularly enjoyed by many Egyptians.

Men of all classes relax with friends in coffee shops over tea, coffee or a smoke while watching television or playing cards/board games. Some coffee shops even cater to only a specific groups or professions.

Women socialize at home, mall, workplace or the market.

People living near the Nile River often take boat rides along with loud music and dancing.

Taking walks and sitting outside in the evening is common when temperatures drop.

People take vacations on the coast of the Red Sea or the Mediterranean Sea if they can afford it. After childbirth, a woman usually relies on her mother for support. Either the mother comes to live with her or she moves in with her mother for a length of time. A celebration is held seven days after the birth of the baby. During this celebration called 'sobou', the mother puts her baby in a sieve lavishly decorated with Candy and ribbons. The gifts from guests are placed in the sieve. A thick and sweet drink is served to represent a rich and sweet life for the baby. conventional families bang a mortar and a pestle near the baby to ward off evil spirits.

Babies are often given religious names and are named after grand parents.

Celebrations are held for academic achievements and career advancements.

When an Islamic Egyptian dies, they are wrapped in a white shroud and buried within 24 hours. A brief burial ceremony is held where verses from Qur'an and special prayers are recited. Black coffee, which represents the bitterness of death, is served during the ceremony. Many attend funerals of deceased that they don't know just to support co-workers, friends or family. Family and friends gather at a relative's house for three days straight to mourn and read the Qur'an fully after the funeral.

Coptic Christians hold funeral services at church. An Eulogy is read and the deceased is buried in a cemetery. The People Egypt's current
population is 80.47
million and grows
2 percent every year.
About 99.6 of the
population is
Egyptian In Egypt, Arabic is
the official language.
Arabic is the language
used in schools along
with some English. About 90 percent
of all Egyptians are
Muslims. Egypt's largest
minority are Coptic
Christians. Their most
important worship day
is Sunday. Egyptians live a
laid-back and relaxed
life. Egyptians are
sensitve and very
expressive in their
own way. They are
knows for their sense
of humour and
generosity Women have strict
dress codes. Most rural
women completely cover
their body and hair in
public. Rural men usually
wear a long dress-like
robe or head covering. “Arab Republic of Egypt.” Culture Grams. ProQuest LLC. 2011. (Web). 14 May 2011.

“Children Playing Soccer, Egypt.” N.d. Super stock. (Web). 18 May 2011.
<http://www.superstock.co.uk/stock-photos-images/1841-42848>.

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“Egyptian food.” 22 March 2011. Undiscovered Egypt. (Web). 17 May 2011. <http://undiscoveredegypt.co.uk/5-foods-to-try-in-egypt/>.

“Egypt -Language, Culture, Customs and Etiquette.” Kwintessentials. Kwintessential. N.d. (Web). 14 May 2011.

“Egyptian people." 2003. Bruges Info. (Web). 18 May 2011. <http://www.brugesinfo.com/pictures/637/Egyptian-People/>.

“Egypt.” WorldMark Encyclopedia of the Nations Africa. 7th Edition. 1998. Print.

“Egypt.” 2011. African Travel. (Web). 17 May 2011.
< http://www.africantravelinc.com/AboutATI/egypt.html>.

“Egypt.” CIA World Fact Book. Central Intelligence Agency. 11 May 2011. (Web). 14 May 2011. Works Cited
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