24 Ways to Recognize an Egyptian from a Long Distance When Traveling Abroad

3106378545_dcff8c060e_zPeople of Egypt expressing their joy by Marwa Morgan

Some might think it’s funny and is pure sarcasm, some others might get offended or think it’s not fair, but one thing that I can promise you with is that when you keep reading you will find out that at least 2 or 3 items of the list are applicable to you. Personally, number 1 & 2 are applicable to me, I am more or less no. 4 and I learned not to be no. 7 or 8 anymore. How about you?

You will recognize an Egyptian traveler when you find…


1. A big group of people accompanying someone to the airport

Saying Goodbye to someone at the airport is a very emotional thing to Egyptians, therefore a group of 5 or as much as we could fit into a car or two go to the airport to accompany our close friend or relative who’s traveling abroad -even if only staying for a couple of weeks- and waiting for him/her at the airport to welcome him/her back.

2. Someone who’s carrying Egyptian food/deserts for his/her friend or family member living abroad

If you find someone who gets stopped in a foreign airport for carrying so much food then s/he must be Egyptian, not that other nationalities don’t do that, but we nearly do not travel without carrying food for our family member, friend or friend of a friend of a friend who’s craving 7amam ma7shi & molokheya, or dying to eat ka7k & homemade konafa.

3. People calling for each other outloudly

It’s very common that you find someone calling his/her companion in a big department store from a long distance “ya Rasha, ya Ihab la2etlak ma2as”, while we can go and tell each other face to face in a low voice, bas el kassal ba2a.

4. A group of people speaking out-loudly for no reason at all

It’s probably a part of our culture that we can’t speak but out-loudly as if the whole world is deaf including ourselves. Good news: the world’s population is not deaf, and believe me nobody’s interested to hear our conversation, or to listen to our stories.

5. Having someone intruding into your conversation or “ye7ot el touch beta3o”

That’s a killer, whether we are speaking loudly or not that doesn’t give anyone the right to intrude into our conversation, or to “ye7ot el touch beta3o”.

6. Useless conversations over mobile phones while roaming

It reminds me of the Ramadan commercial that was about someone calling his mum and wife to know what do they want from the dairy shop “Fi zabadi, mafish roz”. Roaming is very expensive, and we don’t have to call each and every family member and friend every day, to tell them about unnecessary details, we can do it over skype or viber if we have wifi access, or wait until returning for our vacation.

7. Shopping as if there is no tomorrow

That’s a disease that has attacked the whole Arab nation. They say “shop till you drop”, but we don’t really commit to that, dropping doesn’t stop us, the only two things that do are: being kicked out of a shop due to shopping after hours, and being out of money -completely broke.

8. Carrying too much luggage upon arrival and departure “specially ladies”

Upon departure from Egypt: We might die if we don’t leave Egypt without packing our whole closet in our luggage, maybe also two pairs of shoes, one pair of boots, some accessories, and our whole make-up set. So we already leave with very heavy luggage, carrying unnecessary stuff that won’t be used.

Upon arrival to Egypt: That’s the consequence of shopping irresponsibly, now that we have everything in Egypt there is no need to do that anymore, it’s also a very unhealthy habit -to keep buying what we really don’t need. Seriously, what on earth did we buy? And what on earth is in these bags? Obviously Egyptair had their reasons to increase baggage allowance to be 46 kg per person in economy class, yes they know us too well.

9. A husband shouting at his wife due to their over-weighed luggage

Weren’t you with her when she bought a bazillion of things? Let’s assume that you were not, haven’t you seen her when she was overloading the luggage? Haven’t you seen the size of her luggage before heading to the airport? I don’t think that she gave you sleeping pills so you wouldn’t notice. Don’t blame it on her, because you were part of the disaster. Why are you so surprised that your luggage is over-weight?

10. People riding only taxis and thinking whoever doesn’t is bi2a and cheap

Arabs from the Gulf area ride limos or their own fancy cars (Ferrari covered in gold, designed by Louis Vouitton, you name it!), but since we are not as rich we take taxis, which doesn’t make sense as they are expensive, and for God’s sake we do not have the privilege of having a good public transport system, so enjoy it while abroad.

11. Kids running & screaming at the airport or inside the plane

Yeah “El 2atfal 2a7babo Alah”, but having them running and screaming all over the place without any surveillance or a parent to ask them to act responsibly is very annoying.

12. Guys wearing long socks on shorts

Try on short socks, you’ll immediately feel the difference and know how ugly long socks on shorts are. (In some countries it’s fashionable, what an ugly fashion really)

13. Ladies wearing the wrong clothes & shoes while it’s not practical to

Believe me, we can remain fashionable while wearing something comfortable when traveling, think practical rather than super fashionable because our comfort comes first.

14. A guy acting as “El fetek beta3 el a3da” with lots of fatiy involved

Someone acting as “el meta2ta2″ and faking being the leader of the group who’s capable of “yeguib el dib men delo”.

15. A lady saying “Tawakalt 3ala Alah” when buying a branded accessory

I have heard it myself, and was like “come on it’s just a bag, not a life changing decision”.

16. Someone staring at what other people are doing/saying/wearing for no good reason

I cannot agree more that people abroad are different and this difference unfortunately drive us to refer to them as weirdos -which is wrong, we are born to be different-, but staring at them is no good, as we invade their personal space.

17. Someone’s mobile that rings in no time after the flight lands

I wonder when did that happen? How did you get the time?!!!

18. People applauding after the flight lands as if it’s not a pilot’s job to make a good & safe landing

Come on people it’s common sense, if a pilot doesn’t land safely in perfect flying conditions without making passengers feel uncomfortable, then s/he mustn’t be competent for the job, there is no need to applaud, s/he is only doing her/his job.

19. Someone making fun of others, making up terrible jokes & bad alsh that nobody laughs about except himself or someone who’s as silly as him/her

We are without doubt one of the funniest & most sarcastic nations in the world, but not every single person is “damo khafif”, so do the world a favor by not spreading bad humor everywhere, and making jokes while assuming that everybody from other nationalities will get it.

20. Seeing people treating their kids so agressively to forbid them from doing something

It’s funny because there are 3 types of parents; those who are careless, those who speak to their children calmly asking them to act responsibly, or those who completely lose it and act like real monsters to scare their children. I really don’t know why some parents tend to treat their children so bad. How many times have you seen a mum grabbing her/his child so hard from her/his arm, swearing at them, or yelling at him/her as if an ogre is speaking?

21. Going to the fanciest places and all sorts of tourist traps only to show off

Admit it, we do not like to go through research or putting effort into googling nice affordable/cheap places, we also really like to show off, that’s why we tend to be victims of tourist traps, and spend lots of money without any given explanation.

22. Someone eating/staying at Egyptian cafes/restaurants though s/he has only been away for a couple of days

That is one thing that drives me crazy, our Egyptian food is undoubtedly delicious & has its very unique flavors, however there are other cuisines that are worth tasting, and even if they are not as good, savoring the food of a country is an important part of the overall experience.

23. Someone moving from his/her chair before a complete stop of the plane

Why the rush? You won’t get any awards if you are brave enough to stand up before a complete stop, and they won’t get you out of the plane first either.

24. Someone not appreciating the idea of queuing

Yes when we are abroad we respect queues -but in Egypt we don’t-, but how many feel like “uuuuf matkhalassouna ba2a”.


Please don’t take this article as if I am making fun of Egyptians, because I am one of them, and can easily be recognized while doing no. 1,2 & some of 4. Come on we make fun of ourselves more than we do with any other nationality. Stay tuned as we will soon post an article making fun of ways to recognize people from other nationalities.

Our Readers Comments

  1. Just a small note re 18, it’s actually considered good manners and respect for the Captain flying, when they make a very good ‘soft’ landing and Egyptian pilots are in the very top wordl wide as I learned when I had a travel agency, and tourists would applaud the Captain when a good landing was made, and I’m talking seasoned travelers 😉

    • Am totally agree with you, actually i was about to post the same th

      • Try Turkish airlines, those pilots are doing thier job also, but you can tell the difference.

  2. -The most of this list considered to be true facts, but I do have some comments..
    -No one can deny that we have the worst of the worst of everything in Egypt, so you don’t dare to question anyone: Why you do buy all of these products even that tooth paste ?!!
    -When I travel, I always take a big jar full of frozen spicy cooked meat proportional to the period of staying abroad, cause no food in Europe will do fully satisfy me.
    -Most times I travel in Europe by plane by Ryan Air, and I’ve to tell you that every single flight I attend European citizens applause after landing.
    -It’s better to initial every single issue in your life by mentioning ALLAH as ” In The Name Of ALLAH” or as what that lady said, you know when you get used to it, your life will be better, and you will gain the ability to recall it naturally at the hard times.

    • Thank you for your comment, let me answer it.
      1. No, Ahmed that’s not true at all I’m sorry, we now have everything available. There might be some stuff that we don’t have, or are in low quality but not every single thing that’s an unfair judgment.
      2. And why is that? 😀
      3. That’s weird, it has never occurred to me, i have never seen someone applauding but in egypt, though a frequent flyer
      4. I cannot agree more, but when you hear someone saying out-loudly “Tawakalt 3al Alah” when buying a bag you feel like the person is OVER AWI

  3. yeah this may be true for the tiny minority of Egyptians with more money than sense. It certainly doesn’t reflect the experiences of the vast majority of people who could never afford the kind of spending sprees you are suggesting.

  4. Points that apply to so many people of the world, false generalisations, poorly thought out stereotypes.
    Offending people for no good reason. Way to go.

    • I have never said it was exclusive to Egyptians, so yeah it applies to lots of other nationalities, and by the way having them applied to us don’t mean we are good or bad, it’s a culture thing that apply to some of us

  5. One more pathetic article of someone describing her own entourage only.. But guess what you are right at least in one … 19 … Is just you.

  6. Defo agree about the kids running around the airport and plane, makes me cringe, my kids are not to move!!!

  7. What if I am Egyptian and none of these things fit me? what would that make me?

  8. I believe all of the 24 points applies to many other nationalities. nothing significantly Egyptian but #19 which is really true and freak! also #5 is a bit Egyptian attitude but yet is very common from other nationalities. #14 is very true about Egyptians and we are really well known with that trait, we don’t know how to say I DON’T KNOW we would rather to “nefty f ommaha :D” and dramatically argue at any topic with just zero knowledge about it!

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