17 Things You Didn’t Realize You Would Miss About Egypt While Abroad

Although Egyptians complain about life in Egypt 24/7, everybody seems to want to flee. We make up jokes about our country, ironically about ourselves, and make fun of anyone who says “bas walahi fiha 7aga 7elwa”. Nobody can deny that whenever we travel we miss lots of things about Egypt.

At first I started writing my own thoughts, then decided to ask all my Facebook friends who provided me with extremely valuable feedback, and mentioned things that would have never even crossed my mind.
My question was pretty simple: What do you guys miss when traveling or living abroad (other than shatafa)?

Food & Beverages

Nearly everyone agreed that it’s food; some miss Koshary, Molokheyah, Mango 3oweis, Fetir specially with Sogo2 and Gebna Roomy, Roomy Cheese, White Cheese (gebna beida) with Batikh (watermelon), Rice Pudding, Foul Medames w Ta3meya w Betengan Ma2li, Basterma, Basbousa, Kahk, Ghorayeba, Fesikh, Renga, 3esh Baladi, 7amam Ma7shi, Leb Asmar, 2asab and Karkade juice

Final - Project KoshariPhoto by Waleed Elzuhair

Being Dependent

70% of females who responded miss being dependent. In Egypt there is always someone to give a hand whether a maid, a porter, a doorman, or someone to do the ironing, pressing and dry cleaning, and it’s not as expensive, or requires lots of complicated logistics as abroad.

2278294489_4befb369c3_oPhoto by Fred Seibert

Porters and Doormen

All mums and housewives agreed that they miss doormen, porters at the airport (specially when traveling with kids) and at the supermarket too. We Egyptians are used to going to the supermarket once or twice a month to get all our needs, hence we buy lots of stuff at a time. This is where having a bawab comes handy as he helps in carrying the stuff -in return of a tip-, the stroller, whatever it is. If you don’t have a bawab, then you can ask any passerby who wouldn’t mind giving a hand. No matter how annoying they can be, and keep nagging to offer help, having their help is like a call from heaven. But when abroad you’ll be super lucky if someone offered help.

800px-Egyptian_manPhoto by Wikimedia Commons

Maid & Garbage Man

When you are abroad maids charge you hourly, and select the areas that they will be cleaning, or the kind of work that they will be involved in, and you can’t really complain, however in Egypt a maid cleans, cooks, does the laundry and sometimes irons as well. So it’s not that they don’t have it abroad, but it’s usually very expensive & very complicated.

When living abroad garbage can really be a nightmare, in most countries you have to take care of your garbage, separate it into plastic, cans, paper, organic, non-organic, bla bla, all depends on the country’s recycling system. There ain’t no garbage collection or help, you have to figure it out on your own. But in Egypt, you put everything together -which is not a good thing for the environment- and the garbage man comes at your doorstep to pick it up.

7524632478_98a22d8a97_zA tiring day of garbage collection (abroad) by Mary Crandall

The Makwagui (ironing & pressing specialist)

Ironing shirts is the biggest nightmare of all time. In Egypt, you don’t have to worry at all, it’s very easy to drop off your stuff or ask for a pick up and have them ironed, pressed and delivered to your place, or if in a hurry you could drop them off and wait for them to be ready at the comfort of your car, or even having someone to do the ironing and pressing at your place.

iron-201474_640

24/7 Delivery

Admit it, we are couch potatoes, and if there was an award for the laziest people in the universe that would be us :). We always feel like “tayeb w leh waga3 el demagh wel bahdala eh el haynazelni if anything can be delivered to home?“. In Egypt, you’ll never go hungry, you’ll never run out of snacks, chocolates or beverages, even if what you are about to order doesn’t offer delivery you can order anything from the shop next door, then ask the delivery boy to bring your initial order with him, even airline tickets are now delivered at your doorstep. So anything can be delivered at home, anytime of day.

3096111340_ef82fd3dfc_zPhoto by Kamyar Adl

Buying Medicine Anytime Without a Prescription

You don’t have to worry about visiting the doctor when sick, because in Egypt you don’t need a prescription to buy medicine, all you need is telling the pharmacist how you feel, or you know someone who “beyefti kowayes fel adweya”, or you know how to treat yourself and you are good to go. If you are not feeling well in the middle of the night, there will certainly be an open pharmacy who can deliver you medicine at home. But when abroad you have to make sure to get sick during the day, and to see a doctor, otherwise, mmm, there is no otherwise.

3177877243_cedf6401c0_zPhoto by Paula Bailey

The Energy (Going out & walking the streets late at night)

The best thing about Egypt is that the streets are never deserted, you’ll never be the only one hanging around at 4am. People are energetic 24/7, you’d sense it more at night, so we go out and stay up very late and walk the streets without any problems, and always find places that are open to eat, drink, chill out and party. But when abroad most countries become dead around 6-7pm, and you’d be lucky to find a good place to eat at 10-11pm.

4841374632_15b39f7718_zPhoto by Jose M. Rus

The Warmth

Not referring to the weather, but to emotions. People in Egypt are warm, sociable, hospital and very friendly. Something that is hardly & rarely found abroad.

14389715881_c45c998d0f_zPhoto by Rowanhill

The Shahama

Yeah we agree that it’s not as intense as before, however it’s still there. Got a flat tire? Your car broke down? Your battery is dead and you need to make a phone call? You are lost and need someone to show you the way? You need help? You’ll always find someone offering help and ready to assist you. The western culture is more independent, so everyone doesn’t really care about others.

8087179891_6407c157e5_zPhoto by Ktoine

Egyptian Hospitality & Generosity

The more you visit villages and small towns in Egypt the more you’ll sense hospitality and generosity, don’t be surprised if everybody you met or passed by offered you tea and food for free. When you head to big cities, it’s not exactly the same, however splitting the bill between two people is not an option, and when it happens it’s usually after fighting over the bill. It is considered very rude and cheap if a guy takes a girl out without paying the bill (unless they make a prior agreement). But when abroad, splitting the bill is just common sense, no fighting over the bill, and don’t expect from anyone to invite your over anything -it’s rare-, you can be offered a drink, nothing more.

080918-N-0659H-001Photo by Commons Wikimedia

2a3det el ahwa & el wa2fa 3andel koshk (for guys)

After a long day at work boys love to hang out together in Cafes (3al ahwa) to smoke their favorite shisha flavor or have a drink, while playing bolet estimation, tawla, watching a football game or just staring at each other without speaking a word.

2438462286_10c8f7d2af_zPhoto by Peter Morgan

Serviced Gas

Who would have ever expected that pumping gas in your car, and filling your tires with air are a luxury, and not a normal practice!!!

3482393120_5c7fbf235b_zThat’s how a gas station looks like in most foreign countries by Clyde Robinson

Egyptian Taxi Drivers

Other than enjoying some crazy driving, they always share the funniest stories ever, most of them are made up, lots of cursing and swearing are involved.

360674373_b21ef2f012_zPhoto by Rutger

Shops and Supermarkets open till late at night

Having shops and supermarkets open everyday -even on weekends- till late at night is the best thing ever. You’ll never have to worry about buying everything before the weekend, or before a certain hour during the day.

6087456626_7d85b75b62_zPhoto by Tom Magliery

Hairdresser (for ladies)

Having our hair and nails done abroad is very expensive and we can’t really complain about the outcome like we usually do in Egypt, whether we like it or not, we’ll have to draw a smile upon our face, pay and leave.

356235021_c80d74d947_zAt the nail spa by Ianquie Doodle

Beaches

Come on nothing can beat our beaches, they are simply stunning; sandy, with crystal clear waters, and amazing views. If you long for swimming in winter go directly to the Red Sea where the water remains fresh and the weather stays warm, but if you prefer to swim in summer time then head to Alexandria, Sahel (North Coast), or Marsa Matrouh -you can still go to the Red Sea as well.

3881506240_74c23ec94a_zThe North Coast by Mohamed Saeed

Weather

Yes our summer is insanely hot, however we are lucky to be having 365 of sunny days, and we don’t have to check the weather forecast hourly to make sure that it hasn’t changed. The climate is very stable, so no surprises involved.

1495968805_ccab134a5a_zPhoto by Andrew A. Shenouda

Nile Felucca

Be it in Cairo or Aswan, nothing beats a felucca ride on the Nile specially at sunset. It completely disconnects you from the hustle and bustle of living in Egypt.

2217394088_9d51ea98ec_zNile River in Aswan by Dennis Jarvis

And it goes without saying

The Shatafa (water hose)

I don’t think that non-shatafa countries should speak or even mention the word “hygiene”, as not having a shatafa is the filthiest thing ever. Egyptians find their ways to use alternatives -now there is a portable shatafa- or try to install them, however not having a shatafa is their biggest drawback.

I would like to thank all my friends who have taken the time to answer my question namely: Ingy Assem (my sister), Sarah Abdel Hamid, Tasnim Hassanein, Nassimah Francis, Omar El-Zorkany, Aladdin Nabil, Rita Rizkallah, Dina Samy, Sarah Rafik, Omar Helmy, Mohamed El-Far, Muhammad Abousteit, Sarah Rafea, Samy El-Sheikh, Mostafa Said, Mohamed Sherif Aggag, Donya Hassan, Tamer El-Rayes, Mariam Ihab Ghaly, Bisha Stino, Marwa Abaza, Chaimaa Yassine, Yasmin Helal, Radwa Saleh, & Aisha Saad.

And Emil Wessels & Angela Gibson: Both are foreigners, but Egyptians by heart.

Our Readers Comments

  1. I just luv the way you managed to put all comments altogether this nice…way to go sis,keep it up

      • I like the article so much bas law yenfa3 azawed 7aga I also miss (1) a3adat el 2alsh W el de7k li7ad mabatni tewga3ni min kotr el de7k. That rarely happens abroad except with Egyptian Friends. (2) Spending Ramadan in Egypt (3) W law hatkalem gad showaya baftaqid e7ssas eni metamena min na7yet en law fi ay 7aga 7assalit hala2i nas ketira ma3aya a2dar a3tamed 3aleiha (ahli W as7abi…etc) mish bas el shahama beta3it el nas fil shari3.

        • I am glad you like it ya Randy, and I agree with you in every word you said. Bas concerning no. 3 i was once put in a very bad situation “financially” and a Swiss friend of mine helped me, however I have to admit that I was lucky, akid having family and friends and knowing that i have loooots of people to count on is a priceless feeling :)

  2. So true!!! Egypt is a beautiful country and Egyptian are so kind and helpful.
    Once you visit this country you always wish to come back again.

    • Thank you very much Corinne, you’re always welcome to come back anytime :)

  3. This was written in a very clever way. *applause*

  4. So realistic…I am french and I really love Egypt for all those reasons.

    • Ca me fait grand plaisir, vous etes toujours la bienvenue 😉

  5. The picture shown in the paragraph “beaches”, is from Ageeba beach in Marsa Matrouh 😉

  6. I totally agree with Shatafa, food, 247 delivery, and medcine
    I would like to add dental is very cheap with good quality compared to gcc
    In Europe and the states its just a nightmare thinking about visiting the dentist

    Other than that is just a total hoax and the wrong ideolgy we have been fed most of our lives

    Great article I enjoyes reading it well done

    • Well Amr, I am sharing my own and other people’s experiences, so they are not made up or an ideology that we were born with. To be honest I had my share of bad experiences abroad along with great ones as well, experiences where people were rude, emotionless,and useless and other ones where people were very gentle and helpful…so there ain’t no perfect place on earth, there are always pros and cons, the more we travel the more we see and experience :)
      I am glad you enjoyed it

  7. I enjoy reading and each time I imagine the place or the thing you speak about it thanks. ..you take me for small trip to my lovely Egypt miss….. baladi mask

    • you have no idea how i feel accomplished when someone tells me that my article made them imagine the place and wanting to visit it.
      Thanks for making my day :)

  8. I like every word u write ( feha 7gat 7lwa mesh 7aga wahda bas)

  9. I really loved it and I am living abroad fa ta2reban most if the things we face it so thanks a lot for sharing and working on such a thing and we will keep saying feha haga helwa coz it’s true! Bas this time will say feha Hagat Helwa :)))

    • I am glad you like it…and yes fiha 7agat 7elwa, bas unfortunately we only look to the negative sides of everything, thinking that living abroad is heavenly. Every place on earth has its pros and cons, that’s a fact of life :)

  10. Nice article, agree on all aspects we are missing in Egypt except those 2 points (actually 1 point):
    “But when abroad you’ll be super lucky if someone offered help”
    “The western culture is more independent, so everyone doesn’t really care about others.”
    That’s not always true. I’m in Canada, people do care about you. They are offering assistance in any situation, and personally I’ve been frequently asked about some location or how to go to a place. Many people are noticing if you look tired or not happy, wondering ” how is your day? Long day for you?…” and I barely know them.
    While I was at work my car was hit by a lady who ran away! About 3 guys ran after her , knew where she lives, and came back to me to give me the whole information!!
    I have to acknowledge that many of them are caring and offering help, and on the same time appreciating your help so much and keep thanking you!

    • Well maybe people would help if in trouble, but people are not as caring as in Egypt, you barely feel the warmth. And maybe people abroad would ask casually, not that they really care!
      In fact that’s my personal experience in different countries with different cultures, maybe you were lucky to have a better one 😀

  11. The Azan, call for prayers. And Salat al Eid, where all go to the biggest mosques and big balloons filled with air and bunch of rice that expensivethe street sellers decorates the whole place with. example medan Moustaf Mahmoud.
    It is hardly to hear the azan even inthe other Moslem countries.

    Of food, there is grilled corn (dora mashwi ) and teen shoki and oven sweet potato. (Batata )

    The spirit of giving in Ramadan and Eid al adha, where you start preparing Ramadan bags, for poor people or back the sheep meet and the distribution lists of family, friends and the poor you know.

  12. It is like counting our blessings :-)

  13. Great article!

    I’m not Egyptian but lived here enough to relate to it :) Only one thing I can’t agree with though – the shatafa! It’s fine if it’s in your house and it’s clean but I think it’s revolting spraying it after other people have used it. I got a really bad infection down there from using a shatafa (probably because the water was dirty or someone else was using it before me).

    • I’m glad :), however about that shatafa that’s really weird Donovan!
      It kills us that with all technology the western world has failed to install shatafas 😀 (I am serious)

  14. I lived in Egypt for 4 years and since one year I am back to my country (Brazil) and I liked this post so much, I really love Egypt & the Egyptian people! Thank you for sharing this post. :)

  15. i have been lived in egypt(cairo) around 1 year,
    i missed just mango and fresh cheap seafood.
    dependent for me the worst thing in the world,i am european woman, i am happy to be independent, to feel freedom, travel where ever i want, buy and do whatever i want.
    the most expensive thing what human has is freedom. appreciate it.
    after egypt i feel it stronger!

  16. Water hose is not even about hygiene ; It is very helpful for people with diesease like internal hemorrids or anal fisture ; I don’t know how a better way to describe it but when i travelled aboard I started having massive pain because of absence of water hose ; tried medicine, eating lattice but actual improvmenet came after i plugged water house in home using warm water after that i started living my life normally

  17. Not Egyptian but speak, reead and write your language. I couldnt agree more.. I miss all of them except the shatafa. I would add thaf i missed the molokheyya and kushary! Also, the not so good things, but uniquely cairo, the fighting on the streets-sometimes over small things- :) the movie. asal aswad still my best favorite!!

    • Howwwww come you don’t miss the shatafa!!! I cannot imagine how foreigners are surviving without it!!!
      Yeah you’re right, fighting over stupid things is part of our culture and people gathering around to listen or interfere, hahaha
      It’s such an amazing movie, insanely accurate 😀

  18. i really missed the food and restaurants in egypt, especially the seafood restaurants and the grilled lamb and chicken! i missed everything about egypt, the non-stop zahmah, the sound of horns when there’s a wedding or celebration, the never ending sound of cars on the road even though it’s already midnight. i was a student there btw. anyway i love ur article. good day.

    • Thank you very much, you’ve got to come visit again :)
      Good day to you Rafidah 😉

  19. El kalam da ne3ne3 bel ganzabeeeel … balaaaaaaaaaa7

  20. Your own way to comment about every single fact is just wow! ..very well said about our dear mother egypt … you forgot mentioning beans car (3rbyt el fol) and silly adorable conversation when taking a bus <3 …thanks so much for this love towards egypt that my heart touched :)

    • I am glad you were touched. You’re right I forgot to mention 3arabeyat el foul wel ta3meya, el tin el shoky, el batatata wel dora el mashwi…We cannot deny that Egypt be-7elwaha w moraha is a very special place :)

  21. This is more than amazing and realistic. I enjoyed feeling that I am not the only one having every single problem of them 😀

    • I am glad that the article touched you in many ways, and yeaaaah you’re not alone :)

  22. We lived in Cairo for 4 years .. Initially at Madi and then at Katamiya … Travelled all over & covered Luxor, Aswan, Gouna, Alex, Sharm, etc. had good domestic help and was happy wid kid’s school. Truly loved our experience, late nite drives in Cairo, clubbing scene, khan el khalily, Ramadan sahoor and so much. Above all, the warmth and love of our Egyptian friends. Egypt is a must see for all. Thank You Egypt and would definitely visit again this year.

    • How glad I am that you had a pleasant experience, it really makes me happy when foreigners and egyptians agree equally about what they miss about Egypt. You’re mostly welcome anytime :)

  23. مقاله حلوه قوي ، وعايزه اضيف كمان :الاذان وشهر رمضان لما بيجي والزينه اللي في الشوارع والعربيات بتجري زي المجانين قبل الفطار وميدان الجامع والمحلات لما بيشغلوااغاني ام كلثوم الساعه ٥ والولاد اللي بتفضل تلعب في الشارع طول الليل في الاجازه واهم حاجه جارتي اللي كانت دايما بتحسسني بالامان وبتنقذني لما اتزنق في بصله او اطباق الغرف في العزايم الكبيره

  24. Sugar cane juice is very unique in egypt…I started loving it when I tasted it abroad it was awful & rice with milk and the topping is nuts and ice cream

  25. really a great article,, as a football fan,, I would add Al Ahly and Zamalek games atmosphere, staying with friends or family members hours before arguing who would win and hours or even days after discussing why and how the winner won. the streets are full of the flags and buying the newspaper after the game to tease my great friends El zamalkaweya. I miss my home, Egypt :-)

    • Yeaaaah, gam3et el dowal celebrations, and fireworks made out of Pyrosol and fire, hahaaaa!

  26. and What about the office boy ?? Parking boy? and the Car’s Covers? Only exist in Egypt !!!

  27. this article made me so happy as i argue a lot with young people about how beautiful egypt is ,i may add the the sense of humor of the egyptians that they turn everything into comedy maybe that is what enables them to survive all the bad stuff .

  28. This article is so true and nice, but the photo in the AHWA section isn’t really an AHWA its for a Koshary shop where you could buy like the biggest plate of Koshary in the world. For me when i was abroad i really missed the warmth which i could only feel when walking in the streets of Egypt.

    • You sure? I guess it’s an ahwa in down town, no?
      Anyway I got a better one, that I’ll post very soon :)

      Thank you & yeah it’s all about the warmth

  29. this is very good article especially when when you are living aboard and you read it you will feel what you are missing in Egypt , also the way and sequence we live our life in Egypt different than when you are living aboard , thank you very much for letting us live for moments inside our past in egypt

    • I am so glad that you were touched. Thing is we don’t realize the good things as we always look at the negative side of things (glass half empty) and fail big time at seeing the bright side.

  30. You really illustrated the picture in a true, comprehensive and accurate way. Though I spent a big chunk of my life abroad between different countries, but I never had that conclusive outcomes.
    7keki gamda gedan.

    • Just wanted to add that the streets, buildings, and architecture in Egypt is part of its beauty, you feel history just walking down a street in downtown or in old districts like Ghouraya or Houssain. Sometimes you can feel it in the air, considering the pollution and population, it is best to try it early morning.
      Not to mention the kindness you can see carved in the old people faces.
      Finally beside all what you magnificently showed, still I believe there is some magical attraction in this country that affects anyone that stays a while on its land, it is more clear when you meet a foreigner and you realize that s/he decided to live in Egypt and leave his/her developed country.

  31. Amazing artical…..el sayes the guy who jumps out of no where to help you park your car…eventhough I used to feel annoyed but I miss them……..valet parking anywhere u would go to and doesnt cost much as well……

    • I haaaaate soyas, and I never EVER miss them, i actuallu enjoooooooy not seeing them around…haha

  32. As an Egyptian living abroad I can say you got most of them right..but one of the things you didn’t mention is just strolling down the streets of Cairo late at night and enjoying the fresh air and the almost empty streets..keep up the good work

    • Thank you Aya :), I mentioned walking at night, but not as detailed as you 😉

  33. For me an AMERICAN MUSLIM WHO LIVED IN EGYPT TWENTY YEARS,I MOSTLY MISS THE LESSONS IN THE MASJID. GREAT WOMEN TEACHERS OF QURAN AND SUNNAH. SADLY, SINCE THE SECOND REVOLUTION, THEY HAVE BEEN CURTAILED. ALSO MISS THE CHEAP MINIBUS AND TAXI RIDES…AND MOST OF ALL,THE ADHAAN!!

    • Yesss! The Adhaan

  34. Sh-hama? you really wrote this? I guess you are stuck in the 50s.

  35. Very good and fun article, but for many things I wouldn’t say “abroad” but “Europe” or “Western countries”. I lived in Egypt for 3 years, 10 years back, and have lived in Angola since then (between Namibia and Congo) and I found again here a lot of things I liked there. Yes some things are missing here but they have others. The sun, having people jumping to help at any time, “cheap” cleaning lady, kind and warm people are all here as well. Now I do miss roz bil laban we mukassarat, fetir and basbussa ketiiiiiiiiiiiiir, because food of course is different in every country, and the smell of shisha (Thank God there are Lebanese everywhere in the world, so if you get close to a lebanese restaurant, you can get the smell :) ).

  36. I’m now in Indonesia so far away from Egypt and ive nearly cried when i read this. i really miss Egypt.

  37. Being someone lived abroad for almost 10 years, I used to miss what you have mentioned exactly but since coming back, I regret it and I envy your way of seeing some of these as positive things, Egypt changed a lot the last 8 years.

    • I am just being positive, and honestly I miss those things every time I travel for long periods of time…
      Stay positive, we’ve been through worse, things will improve inshaallah :)

  38. I wonder what the bawab, the porter, the maid, the delivery boy and the garbage man would think about this article. Anyway, they will never get to live abroad, or be able to speak english fluently, or even to read and write, so, who cares?

    • Stating that there existence is important in our lives doesn’t mean by any means that I am making fun of them, it’s the exact opposite, it actually shows how much we undermine them, so when we travel abroad we realize how important they are

      • Yes, they are important to carry your shopping bags or take your rubbish to the street. I think it is preferable to take your bags and rubbish by yourself and let these people live with the same opprotunities as you (access to education, health care, dignified jobs…)

  39. Hi 😀 So I absolutely LOVE LOVE LOVE your article!! I was kind of upset and you totally cheered me up!! I’m having a problem in that most of my friends don’t love Egypt and don’t feel any sense of belonging to it, and I really love Egypt and think it’s very beautiful, but i don’t have anyone to share it with :( It’s just so refreshing to see someone who has such a positive attitude and agrees in opinion with me :) So are u currently living abroad or are you in Egypt? :) Thank you for SUCH a wonderful article <3

    • Hey Doaa, you have no idea how much i am touched by your comment :)
      I currently live in Egypt, but i travel frequently and lived for a while abroad all by myself

      • Thank you so much for replying back! :) You really did a great job on this article ( no compliment there 😀 ). I think I will continue to come back to this article every time I feel super lonely about how I feel about Egypt :) It’s sad that people who truly love this country are getting more and more rare :( But it’s great to see the great spirit in the comments here! I hope that our country gets better and better over the years :) Thank you again for replying back, I’m flattered :D!

        • It’s always a pleasure to get your comments Doaa :)
          Inshaallah things will get better…

  40. I’m sorry but most of these things are overrated, and not only that but also a disgrace. For example, what’s good about buying medicine without a prescription? Have you heard about “Antibiotic resistance”? And how dangerous could this be for the evolving bacteria? Not to mention of course medicine poisoning and so on.

    Also having a “doorman” isn’t that nice by the way, most people are lazy to buy there daily needs and they treat that doorman so badly, as if he is a slave or something. Same goes for maids as well. And what’s so special by the way about garbage men? Have you been to Ain Shams before? The streets are almost blocked because of garbage! And why do you mention small jobs like “Gas Stations”, these people aren’t making almost any money and they just live off of tips, so yeah it could be good for you but not for the poor workers there.

    You also talk about “Shahaama”, “Warmth”, and “Hospitality” supposing that it doesn’t exist abroad. I live in Europe and I can say that people are different, and I have met the most friendly people who always cared and offered help when it was in need, I was even hosted by many people who cooked for me and offered me a great place to sleep during traveling in Germany and Latvia without paying a cent! I also don’t have to mention anything about “Sexual Harassment” when it comes to “Shahaama” in Egypt.

    I could only agree with a few points like weather for example but even that is ruined by the “black cloud” during the rice straw burning season in October and November. I am sorry but nationalism and denial aren’t so good after all.

    • Hey Ahmed, thank you for taking the time to read the article and for writing such an in depth insight.
      Let me clarify few things:
      1. good thing about buying medicine without prescription: is that when you get sick in the middle of the night you can always buy something to make you feel better until you’re able to see a doctor, and some illnesses like a cold doesn’t require visiting a doctor. I caught a cold myself once in London and it was Christmas time and I had to suffer for around 5 days and my only cure was hot drinks and vitmanin C. So it doesn’t hurt if you get basic medicines without prescription, i am not saying every single medicine should be bought without one.

      2. When I mention the good things about my country it doesn’t mean that I’m in denial or ignoring all the bad things, it’s just that I’m trying my best to look at the glass “half full”, not half empty. No place in the world is perfect, and Egypt is no exception.

      3. Speaking of maids, doormen, etc…I’m not undermining their role, or saying that we should treat them or use their services as slaves -God forbids- I don’t know why you’re taking extreme behaviors as an exaample. Actually I mean the exact opposite, we only realize their importance when we are abroad. And when we use the help of a maid or a doorman it’s not slavery, it’s a job like any other decent job, and when a woman needs the help of a gentleman it doesn’t mean that she’s not being nice, it means that she needs a hand :)

      4. When saying shahama, warmth & hospitality it doesn’t mean that it’s exclusive to Egypt & Egyptians, because they exist abroad as well, however I personally believe -and from my own experience- that warmth is very exclusive to Egyptians, or maybe it’s exclusive to being in someone’s homeland.

      5. I’ve never said that garbage men are doing their job perfectly, i am just saying that you have a garbage man in Egypt who helps you take the garbage out.

  41. Passainte :) That’s an awesome article … I’m new to travelling and only spent 3 weeks abroad and when my foreigner friends asked me about what I miss, I told them about many of these things … and also your readers’ comments are astonishing :) we have like a book club each week and we can host a speaker to orient us about certain topics. If you can come talk to us about travelling experiences in a holistic way … this would be great

    • Thank you Nader, I would love to :) & I am glad that the article has touched you in a way or another :).
      Please send an email on info@travelstart.com.eg so we can communicate over there.

  42. Great article!!! I lived in Cairo for one 1 year. Egypt is such a great country. I have so many good memories that will last me a life time. The people were absolutely wonderful. I miss the felucca rides, the aliveness of the city, shwarma, sheesha cafes, weddings, the country side, falafels, camping trips in the desert, my bowab and his family, and the list goes on!!!!! Miss you Masr!!!!!

    • Masr misses you as well Raeanna :), thanks for the wonderful feedback, always a pleasure to see people from around the globe who are in love with our country, you’re welcome to come back anytime 😉

  43. Sorry Passainte … but are you serious !!?

    Can’t accept the fact that a traveler wrote this !! I mean yeah I do love Egypt, but have you consciously thought of you just wrote up there as a “”traveler””. Sorry but allow me to criticize all the above 17 point (as a traveler):

    1- Food: We have the unhealthiest menu ever as Egyptians .. as a traveler I enjoy eating vegetarian, it helps moving slightly and sleeping better.

    2- Being dependent: This really goes to “SPOILED PEOPLE”

    3- Porters and doorman: They got too much involved in our daily life, they save parking slots to their closest customers, they fight with each other, they swear and yell at each other, they listen to sha3bi music loudly, they r hell in our neighborhood … etc ! 3am Abdo beta3 zaman does not exists anymore !

    4- Maid and Garbage: SPOILED PEOPLE
    5- Makwagi : SPOILED AGAIN !!

    6- 24/7 Delivery: Fix your sleeping hours normally and you wont need anything between 10 to 6 am !
    7- Medicines: It’s a curse more than a bless !! We are addicted to medicines because we can buy them anytime … And you surely know the cons of abusing medicines !!

    8- The Energy (Going out & walking the streets late at night): This suits Cairo only, and Cairo is like most of capitals of the world, they all never sleep !

    9- Warmth: Try South-East Asia, you will know the true meaning of warmth !

    10- Shahama: Believe me you can get everywhere and lack it everywhere too ! It’s a manly behavior and men are the same all over the world !!

    12- Egyptian hospitality: Try South-East Asia again !!

    13- 2a3det el ahwa & el wa2fa 3andel koshk (for guys): Do you know how many court cases ahawi are facing because people that lives around them can’t sleep !!?

    14- Service gas and pumping tires: Are you serious ?! I pay 5 pounds because i don’t get my a$$ off my seat to go get the hose and inject my car with fuel !!! Self service gas stations are the best !!!!

    15- Egyptian Taxi Drivers: Ok I am speechless !! Do you really miss them when you travel !! Does someone even miss them when in Egypt !!?

    16- Shops and Supermarkets open till late at night: Again, go to bed and wake up in normal hours, and a shop that opens to 2AM won’t add anything to your life !!

    17- Hairdresser (for ladies): I am a guy, I don’t know if this is a bless or not honestly … But for me, as a guy, I do respect women that can do these things to themselves, believe it or not … they do exist !!

    18- Beaches: ?? Are we the only Country with a beach LOL :) !!

    19- Weather: Sorry again we are not the only country with good weather on the planet, some even have nicer weather than we do. Choosing to go to Europe in winter, or to be an immigrant in Canada is stupidity (in case you hate cold weather)

    20- Feluka: So many countries have this service too by the way !!

    21- Shatafa: Ok, I will accept this one !

    So, between 21 (and they are not 17 by the way as the article title said) only one made sense to me !!
    Sorry I am not being offensive, but these works very fine for a “Spoiled TOURIST” not someone who travels often and definitely not for someone who lives abroad.

    Have a good day,
    Sorry again !

  44. what a shallow article. The summary of this piece is that Egyptians are lazy and can’t do anything for themselves. Nothing to brag about.

  45. What a very nice things to remind us about….thanks

  46. A3det el ahwa (for guys)

    This is exactly what i don’t miss about Egypt. Mind numbing sexism.

    • How would I be sexist? Meaning, since I am a womman, if I am sexist I would be against men, not women…right?
      And I believe that a3det el ahwa works more for men, specially law fe makan baladi that could expose a girl to annoyances

  47. thumbs up for the portable shattafa !! The person who came up with its idea is a genius and should be awarded a nobel prize ! 😀

  48. please i need the writer email

  49. I am from the US. I was fortunate to be able visit your country several times for extended periods. I love everything you mention about Egypt, except I don’ t know what the “hose” is. What I love the most were the wonderful people I encountered. I was blown away by their kindness and acceptance of me. Whatever Egypt may be lacking, it is more than made up for by the warmth of the people and their strong sense of family and community. This is invaluable and is lacking in many of the “wealthy” countries. I am in love with Egypt and Hope and pray for the day when I can return.

    • Thank you Pam, it’s our great pleasure that you loved our country, and are always pleased to welcome you once again in Egypt :)
      The water hose used in the restroom, got it? 😉

  50. I really enjoyed your articles

  51. This article is very painful

  52. Good to see I am not the only one who still thinks this is the most awesome country in the world.
    It has its problems but after travelling abroad I would say we only have problems which have relatively easy solutions.
    Great list and of course God bless the almighty shatafa xD.

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