Egypt is the land of the pharaohs with a rich culture stretching from antiquity right up to the present. It has been a popular destination among tourists from all across the globe for centuries - and for good reason. Located in the northeastern part of Africa, Egypt is a Muslim republic and Arabic is the most spoken language. Culturally, Egypt is most influenced by the Islamic beliefs of the majority of its citizens. Egyptians are very welcoming and warm-hearted people who ensure the guests always feel welcome and wanted.
Hospitality in Egypt
Since ancient times Egyptian hospitality has been widely known and was highlighted by the great feasts that were organized in honor of visiting guests and dignitaries. Egyptians were always involved in offering food first to their gods and then to their guests and family. Elaborate dinners and entertainment have always been a central part of Egyptian hospitality practices. Both men and women were treated well and the food was served to people sitting at dining couches and small tables. Dishes made of fowl, fish, bread, game, and wine were a common sight as parties lasted long into the night. Today that same spirit of hospitality and delicious food is still all around!
Impact Of Different Cultures
During the time of the Roman Empire, feasts in Egypt were grander than ever before as the wealthy served their guests food in lavish style and delicacies adorned tables. The Romans sent representatives into all the known world to find fruits and viands of choice to serve their guests. The Israelites were also known to offer great feasts on special occasions and their hospitality extended to not just their guests but even strangers and poor people. Most text obtained from historical excavations indicates that for centuries there were only two strata of society—the wealthy and the powerful who entertained lavishly and the laboring classes who could share their bread only when they had some to spare.
Since ancient times eating and drinking together have provided an elementary form of hospitality among people in Egypt. Most historians have recorded that even in the most primitive of tribal cultures, once people have broken bread with strangers or taken a drink with them, they considered one another on peaceful terms. After the relationship was established, people in many traditional cultures and tribes consider themselves to have an obligation to protect the honor and safety of their guests.
Hospitality Towards Tourists
The sense of honor is an important Egyptian cultural value. Regarding etiquette and customs, the best way to be sure of doing the right thing is to follow the lead of the Egyptian host or hostess. Visitors, who make an effort to show honor and respect to others and to wait for the guidance of their hosts, are always welcomed. Any mistake in etiquette or customs is quickly forgiven here. Visitors should treat even the lowliest-seeming porter or taxi driver, and especially those in authority, with great respect in Egypt, so as to be treated the same way in return.
Visitors to Egypt are always expected to respect the religious practices of people here. Especially during the time of Ramadan, celebrations extend elaborately and people follow a very strict culture. In personal and business relationships, visitors must understand that the family is the most important unit of Egyptian society.