Egypt is a testament to a confluence of ancient traditions, where the legacies of pharaohs coexist harmoniously with tribal customs and even the influences of its many conquerors. This rich tapestry of cultures has given birth to a uniquely Egyptian ethos that is both rooted in ancient practices and forward-looking in its embrace of modernity. This blend is evident not just in historical monuments or rituals but in the very spirit of the Egyptian people. Their warmth and hospitality, especially towards visitors, is legendary. As travelers explore Egypt's renowned landmarks, the genuine smiles and the generous nature of the locals leave an indelible mark on their hearts. A journey through Egypt is not just a voyage through its monuments but an immersion into a culture that has seamlessly woven thousands of years of history, language, and tradition into the fabric of its daily life.
Egypt, home to approximately 105 million, is predominantly Sunni Islam, with around 90 million followers. The Coptic Christians form a significant minority, numbering between 10 to 15 million. Both Sunnis and Copts deeply value their religious tenets and practices. Central to Egyptian culture is the emphasis on family integrity. Unlike the Western preference for nuclear families, Egyptians cherish extended family bonds, with the family head often bearing the responsibility for the well-being and conduct of its members. This strong sense of community and respect for familial ties might contribute to Egypt's reputation as a safe travel destination, even for solo female travelers. The Arab way of life, while sometimes perceived as enigmatic, is rooted in warmth and hospitality. Egyptians are known for their welcoming nature, often inviting visitors into their homes. However, they also value respect and courtesy, and any perceived slight disrespect can be met with strong disapproval.
The rules and regulations standard in Egypt may seem quite a bit different, which can sometimes confuse outsiders in Egypt. To understand the air of Egypt, you need to learn about their culture, customs, and family values. Once you can understand and respect their values, traveling in Egypt will be even fuller of enjoyment and excitement.
Egyptians are often entirely adjustable and love to help people. If you ask them any question, they will answer it happily. One interesting behavior is whenever you ask an Egyptian something, he will call some other people over to discuss the question, and they will try their best to offer you the correct answer to the question asked.
Most Muslims in Egypt are not accustomed to alcohol but hardly object to others drinking. But it is crucial that if you drink alcohol while in Egypt, you should have it in moderation. In Egypt, pork consumption is not that common, but you will still find plenty of other options in places where pork is unavailable.
Ramadan is a holy month for Egyptians in which people celebrate the month with friends and relatives. During this month, Egyptians stay awake at night and spend time in prayer and spiritual activities. Also, they donate to charity, indulge in the renewal of relationships, and share love and affection. The Egypt holiday season goes on throughout the country.
In Egypt, there are few restrictions valid for foreign women. In a ticket line, foreign women stand with other women in a queue. For underground train cars, elderly ladies always get first preference. Outright interaction with Egyptian women is never recommended; it is always wise to speak to them via someone local or a family member whom you know well.
Crime in Egypt is rarely experienced, and violence is found chiefly in family disputes. However, some scattered events of petty thieves and pickpockets are sometimes found here and there. Women, on average, need to be alert, especially in outlying zones. Consumption of drugs is not appreciated, and you should not carry your drugs in public if you have anything with you.
There is one interesting fact about the Egyptian invitation. They refuse all sorts of invitations initially, and it is a custom to fulfill their formalities. If an Egyptian decides to invite you with genuine spirit, they will repeat the invitation. And it is always good to honor a cordial request. If you can't keep the request, always promise to visit them next time.
If you are invited, you should accept the invitation; otherwise, there is a chance that your host will be humiliated. It is always good to show respect and a positive view toward the customs and practices of the host and behave cordially with all people assembled there. If you wish, you can take some gifts for the host, but check if the gift is equal to his status.
In Egypt, tipping is warmly accepted and often expected. You can offer tips for all the people who have helped you during your travel, but do not offer them small coins or notes. These activities are taken as insulting to the people you have tipped. However, your tipping should be spontaneous and considered offensive otherwise. It is an excellent way to create a good impression on the people surrounding you. In this context, you should never attempt to offer tips for professionals or people of your status. You can arrange some gifts for them as a gesture of friendship. But check if the gift is equal to his status.
Egyptian women are known for their exquisite beauty. Nowadays, Egyptian ladies, in general, are well-educated and groomed, and they are immersed in the professional world, too. In Egyptian society, girls are well pampered by their parents until marriage establishes them in reality.
In Egyptian tradition, virginity is considered a prime value for women, and therefore, women prefer keeping their modesty and virginity for as long as possible. Egyptian women maintain their modesty because men respect ladies who are alert about their social prestige and modesty. Most Egyptian men prefer to get married to virginal women who believe in family values; however, there are several instances where Egyptian men have married non-Egyptian girls, and they are pretty different in their attitude than everyday Egyptian girls.
Most of the girls in Egypt wear a scarf, and it has become a common practice these days for young girls. This practice honors the Muslim convention for ladies covering their heads and is a stylish way to respect the Islamic virtue of conservativeness.
In Egypt, women behave conservatively with strangers. They may use Western wear and manage businesses, but Egyptian women maintain a sober approach where their social profile is presented. Many Egyptian women are found involved in different professional activities with a reasonable success rate in Egypt as well as outside of Egypt. However, they tend to keep diligent obedience to their religious rites and customs.
Egypt is an entirely safe place for women. Therefore, it is a safe travel destination for foreign tourist groups of women set to vacation in Egypt. It is always recommended that in case of any sort of problem, they should seek help from local shopkeepers or the police. However, it is always wise to dress appropriately and walk in a standard, covered dress on the street. Being indifferent to local men is an excellent way to avoid hassle and curiosity about foreign ladies traveling in this country. While planning a tour in Egypt, a woman traveling alone should care for Egyptian holidays because some buildings and places may remain closed on those days.
Places of worship are considered sacred places for Egyptians, and therefore, tourists from abroad should respect the serious mentality about the places of worship. For Muslims, these are called mosques. The places of worship for Christians are called churches. In Egypt, both mosques and churches are numerous.
People follow the rules of taking out their shoes before entering the sacred ground. Women and men are requested to cover up their bare heads and heads. It is always wise to wear a sad and covered dress, especially when visiting a mosque. Friday is considered the most sacred day of the week.
Business and religious communities in Egypt run on a Western/Gregorian calendar, but other calendars are widely honored in this country. The Islamic calendar is based on viewing religious formalities and the lunar cycle of 12 months of 29 or 30 days. The Muslim year is thus almost 11 days smaller than the Gregorian year according to the Gregorian calendar and months moving ahead. According to the Gregorian calendar, for example, April is the time of spring, but in the Muslim calendar, the entire cycle of months moves through in a 33-year cycle.
The Coptic calendar is also called the Alexandrian calendar, and it is made on a solar cycle of 12 months of 30 days and one month of 5 days, respectively. Every four years, a 6th day is added to the shorter month. Besides the Coptic Orthodox Church, farmers often follow the Coptic calendar for their date reminders, calculations, and counting days.
|1st day of Spring (2nd Monday after the Coptic Easter day)
|It is called Sham El-Nessim day (Just avoid going out on this day to national parks and the zoo)
|Sinai Liberation Day
|1952 Revolution Day
|Armed Forces Day, Victory Day 1973
|Suez Liberation Day
|Eid El-Adha (Sacrifice feast )
|Comes right after the pilgrimage season, it lasts for four days
|Eid El-Fitr (Breakfast feast)
|Comes right after the Holy fasting month of Ramadan