Egypt – one of the oldest states on the planet, which has experienced several eras of heyday and decline. Now the country is among the world's tourist powers with a steady flow of guests from all over the world. The economy of Egypt is developing at a rapid pace, and the number of World Heritage sites is second only to some European countries.
But what is known about Egypt besides these cliches? How does the people living here differ from their closest neighbors, and how deep are these differences? What should you fear, and what should you not be surprised at in Egypt?
Let's try to answer all these questions.
Mentality and behavior
90% of the Egyptian population – these are the descendants of the Arab conquerors, who have nothing to do with the ancient Egyptian civilization.
Direct descendants of the ancient Egyptians – Copts – are now an ethnic minority in modern Egypt. According to various sources, they are from 2 to 8% of the total population. Almost all of them profess Christianity and belong to the Orthodox culture.
In relation to tourists, the Egyptians are hospitable and cordial, but this hospitality, unfortunately, is ostentatious. The guest serves as a source of income for them, although all conditions will be created for him to express the joy of coming.
For most Egyptians, the main character trait is isolation. It is customary to treat strangers here with caution, although not to show it.
It is not customary in Egypt to say unpleasant things to your face. The most heated discussions can take place behind a person's back, but the Egyptian will say only good things in the eyes, or he will not say anything. This is due rather to Sharia law than to hypocrisy, as it is seen by a European. A direct insult in Egypt – this is a crime, first of all, before Allah.
By the way, the degree of religiosity in Egyptian society is growing every year. Good or bad, but now on the streets of cities it is less and less common to meet girls without a headscarf on their heads. Increasingly, there are men in national Arab clothing.
Egyptians live, like many Arab peoples, `` in prosperity ''. If a person has the opportunity to buy an expensive thing – he will not only buy it, but at every opportunity he will demonstrate his wealth to others.
At the same time, every Egyptian values public opinion, regardless of his social status. Reputation plays a key role in building relationships with friends, neighbors or work colleagues.
Alcohol in Egypt is only allowed in a limited number of establishments. Nobody will allow you to walk down the street with a bottle of strong drink – immediately call the police even if the bottle is sealed and you were not going to drink from it.
Important: If the fight against alcohol in Egypt goes with varying success, then the problem of soft drugs is becoming more serious. Locals in tourist areas shamelessly smoke marijuana or hashish, sometimes disguising them as hookahs. Dealers usually have a 'roof' the police, and enthusiastically help them catch frivolous tourists.
Egyptian with a hookah
Attitudes towards women in Egypt traditionally for Muslim countries. They value modesty and unquestioning obedience to a man – father or husband.
Tourists who dress frankly are not liked here and are treated as easily accessible women. The consequences of such behavior for the guest can be the most serious – from unambiguous offers in broad daylight to attempted rape in the dark.
Eastern slowness is also inherent in the Egyptians. An hour or even an hour and a half late here – absolutely normal phenomenon, moreover – for most residents, this behavior is considered a natural etiquette.
Even in a business conversation, Egyptians are very emotional. It is customary here to wring hands theatrically, addressing the sky and at every opportunity to thank Allah, even if the conversation is about money.
Egypt is the largest Arab state on the planet.
In Egypt, the predominant religion is Islam, it is professed by about 90% of the country's population.
Face of Egypt - The Great Pyramid at Giza was the tomb of Pharaoh Cheops, and its construction took about 20 years ... The structure is truly grandiose, the base area of the pyramid occupies about five football fields, and its height reaches 137 m.
The Great Pyramid of Giza
Mummification is a special ritual of ancient Egypt, designed to ensure a safe journey to the kingdom of the dead for those who left our world. Not only human bodies were mummified, but also animals.
The Egyptians have a habit of not completing the roofs on their houses. According to the laws of this country, such buildings are considered unfinished, which exempts their owners from taxes.
The Aswan Dam is the most massive structure in the world. It was built to protect agricultural fields from the flooding of the Nile, and it took 17 times more building material than the construction of the Cheops pyramid.
The Suez Canal is the longest in the world. It connects the Red and Mediterranean seas.
In Egypt, there is an interesting category of citizens called Bedouins, which means `` desert dweller. '' Bedouins are quite wealthy people in Egypt, but they live in conditions that we would call beggarly. A feature of this stratum of society is that they believe they have the right to spontaneously seize desert lands. This means that if someone wants to build a hotel or a shop on Bedouin land, the businessman will have to pay for the land twice: first to the Bedouin, and then also to the state.
The Red Sea is the pearl of this Arab country ... It has probably the largest number of corals and colorful fish on the planet, is the saltiest in the entire World Ocean and does not have a single flowing river bringing silt and sand, which makes the waters of the Red Sea crystal clear.
Egypt is a very tempting destination for those looking for leather, silver or gold. The truth and the risk of stumbling upon a swindler and speculator is extremely high.