From Falafel to Freedom: Setting the Course

Define Egyptians:

Egyptians: from the land of the Nile, a world of mysticism, one of the most exotic places in the world… until it comes to America. I am the child of two Egyptian immigrants. My life has been a juggling act. How can I mix Egyptian culture with American culture? Is it freedom when I have to choose one of the two beautiful cultures that I live between? Better yet, what am I talking about?

My blogs will explain the differences and similarities between Egyptian culture, politics, and every day life to that of America. I will separate truth from myth and fix all the misconceptions. Let’s start with the fun stuff. Here is a list of most frequently asked questions:

  • Can you walk like an Egyptian?
  • So are the houses like in the shape of PYRAMIDS????
  • Do you ride a camel?
  • Are there roads in Egypt?
  • Where is Egypt located?
  • Do you speak Ah-ray-bic or Egyptian?
  • So there are like, umm, diamonds and gold in your backyard, right?

What? Okay let’s get through this tedious process slowly.

  • Do you want to watch me walk like an Egyptian? Okay, put your right foot first then put your left foot and keep alternating. There you go! Now that reminds me of something else. Maybe something like regular walking. Though it hurts to believe, and I know you don’t want to believe it, we walk like all the other people in the world. We do have some really good belly dancers if that makes it any better.
  • Pyramids were made as tombs. People in the most populated cities live like most people in metropolitan cities. They live in apartments unless they are part of the few rich minority that have “villas” or large houses.
  • Do they ride camels? Haha… no. There are so many cars in the streets of Egypt that if you don’t watch out it will turn into a hit and run.
  • Roads. Yes, there are many of those. But, let’s be honest: they are not the best roads. On a road trip you might suffer a mild concussion from your head hitting the top of the car so much.
  • Egypt is located in Africa. I promise you, it’s on the map. I know that we don’t speak Swahili or Amheric. And we are a bit lighter-skinned than our neighbors but we are part of Africa all the same.
  • The official language of Egypt is Arabic. Let’s say it together: A-ra-bik. This is a beautiful language (even if people don’t know what it is called) that has a variation on it with every Arab country that you visit. Egypt has the easiest form of Arabic to learn.
  • In ancient Egypt there was a city called Kom Ombo which translates into “pile of gold.” Now it is one of the ancient ruins that you can tour if you go to Egypt. It is true that you can get a great price on buying gold there even if it isn’t located in their backyards.

So I hope this helped clarify your image of Egypt. They are a second world country but are more advanced than America in some ways: they have national health care and no income tax. But let’s save that topic for another time.