It’s the one question I get asked the most when I mention my intentions on visiting the North African country.
My two answers:
- I don’t know.
- I know, but it’s hard to explain.
Pretty contradictory huh?
Yeah I know.
Several months ago, like forever ago it seems, I dated an Egyptian Muslim man that lives here in the US. I won’t mention his name here out of respect for him. Ha! The few of you who went through that time period that I was with him, along side of me? I can hear you chanting about how he deserves no respect and I agree to a point. And thank you, thank you for helping me through that whole absurd and heartbreaking time.
However, there were aspects of that relationship that were nice.
The most fascinating one:
Like how his eyes lit up when he spoke with his family in Egypt. To hear him speak of his love for his family and how much he missed them, well it made me so happy and simultaneously more pissed off at my own family. I mean to actually see a man cry because he couldn’t honor his mother’s wishes for her son to come visit right then…well you get it.
I’ve always been fascinated with the family dynamics of other’s when there is a strong and loving bond present. Morbid curiosity? Maybe. One of the many things I keep reading over and over about Egyptians are that they are close to their family. Now, I don’t mean that it’s always a good thing, but for the most part it appears that it is. I’m sure they have their fair share of issues too but just experiencing it and reading about how the Egyptian familial unit functions…it seems for the most part, pretty OK.
So, naturally like anyone who is dating someone from a different culture and very different religious background, I began to research things. (Please say I’m not the only one who does that.) I wanted to know more about the country and the religion. Honestly it was more about the country and culture than anything at first. Religion is messy and I wasn’t ready to explore that side of things yet.
Did you know that I actually had an almost hour long argument with my best friend about Egypt NOT being in Africa? Yeah, me either. I couldn’t believe that I had spent all those days in grade school, coloring Africa and her countries and didn’t even remember that Egypt was one of those colored squares. To be honest I probably colored it all brown anyway due to that part of the continent being mostly desert.
Desert = BROWN
I even think at one point we made little pyramids out of sugar cubes in art class.
Who knows. The point is I learned something new…well old/new…and it spurred me on to learn even more after that. I fell in love with Egypt from the beginning and I hadn’t even scratched the surface. Something drew me to the country and felt I had to learn more. I needed to know more.
One of the main reasons for me blogging about my Egypt adventure:
I have searched endless hours for a blog that chronicles visiting and/or living as an expat in Egypt. While there are many blogs out there, none seem to have been updated currently.
Of course if there is one thing I’ve learned and experienced personally through my contact with friends in Egypt, the internet sucks there most of the time. That’s for another post though!
There are so many things I’ve studied or researched so far. There’s my ongoing Arabic tutoring via Skype with my lovely friend in Egypt that I’ve been doing which has been one of the most rewarding things I’ve done for myself in a long time. Mix in with that all of the blogs, articles and travel sites I’ve poured over and my brain is almost on overload!
Let’s just say you’re going to have a lot to read over the next several months. I hope you’ll enjoy this as much as I am and eventually you’ll get to see all my awesome pictures and hear about my travels abroad when the time comes!