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Customs and EtiquetteBack to top Back to main Skip to menu
Egypt - Customs and Etiquette
Egypt is an Islamic country. Respect the religion and don't try to convert anyone to yours.
A man who expresses himself physically in public to a woman (it doesn't matter if she is his wife) incurs the belief that she is, to put it politely, "loose". Holding hands in public is becoming more socially acceptable, but beyond that, restrain yourself.
While it is inappropriate to touch a woman in public, don't be surprised to see men holding hands, with arms wrapped around each other or kissing each other on the cheek in greeting. Friendships between men are an important part of the culture and, because the assumption is that homosexuality and bisexuality don't exist, men are physical with each other.
It is acceptable for a woman to be kind to an Egyptian man, but be aware that being too friendly can give the wrong impression. Men should never flirt with an Egyptian woman.
The Egyptian people are their country's greatest asset. They're kind, gentle, and have a wonderful sense of humor. Treat them with respect and kindness and they will open their hearts and homes to you.
Added 02/03/06 by Barry:
Women are certainly capable of asking for what they want, but as an expat living in Egypt I can tell you that there are many times that my wife is completely ignored by an Egyptian man and often, if she asks a question, the man will look and answer me and not her.
Added March 2007 by Shady:
If a woman is asking a question to a man, and she is with a man, usually the man will answer and look at him, not her, as a matter of respect to him, not ignorance to her. The same with Egyptian women - they will always try to look and talk to the woman, not the man.
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