Life in Cairo is much the same as it is in any other city of the world. People get up in the morning, go to school or work, have meals with their family, spend time with their friends, and go to the supermarket, much the same as your family does. Today, most Cairenes live in Western style Meh buildings. Where People Live Most Cairenes live in apartment buildings. Only the wealthy can afford to live in free-standing houses because space is difficult to find.
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Men and women usually live at home with their parents until they get married. Traditionally, extended families lived together, however, with the new situation in Cairo - as houses were abandoned in favor of apartments - the traditional family has given way to the nuclear family. Apartments usually have one large room in the front - the living room, where the family entertains guests. Guests who are not relatives are generally not permitted back into the rest of the house.
Traditionally, women would remain in the back of the house and not come into the living room if someone who was not a close friend or family visited, although this is less common now. It is, however, considered inappropriate for fgypt woman and man who are not married or related to be alone together.
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Because the majority of people in Egypt are Muslim, Egyptian government offices and business observe Friday as the day of rest. Many government offices are open Sunday through Thursday, and most universities and some private schools also hold classes Sunday through Thursday, and are closed Friday and Saturday. However, most primary and secondary schools usually meet for about six hours a day Saturday through Thursday, with only Friday off.
Where People Learn In Cairo, formal egyypt is very important. There are twelve years of formal education in Egypt, and public schools are free, though under funded.
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Many families who can afford to send their children to private school. Toward the end of from school, children take an exam similar to the SAT required of students planning to go to college in the U. The of that exam determine which college each student will attend and also which fields of study are open to that student. Top students can attend the American University in Cairo, which teaches its courses in English. Other universities in the Cairo area include Cairo University, with over 30, students, Ayn Shams University, and al-Azhar University, one of the oldest and most prestigious theological schools in the Islamic world.
Many children do not complete school or go Men to college and learn a trade or apprenticeship in business instead. Education and most religious instruction comes from the family - this is where fro, learn about societal values. Sometimes children also attend classes after school or on Friday at the mosque, similar to Sunday school or Torah school.
The family is very important in Egyptian society. Though modern families are adopting the idea rfom the "nuclear family" common in the west parents and childrenthe traditional Egyptian family unit consists of parents, grandparents, children, aunts, uncles, cousins, in-laws, and all sorts of people. Even eghpt the modern family unit tends to be smaller, families usually live close together and visit each other often.
Unlike in the West, children usually live with their parents until they get married, even through college. It is very rare that children move out and establish their independence before they get married. Usually, this frim happens etypt the child dgypt abroad to save money before getting married.
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Many young Egyptian men work for a few years in the rich countries Men the Persian Gulf, where wages are much higher than they are in Egypt, and this allows them to have a better from when they return to Egypt and get married. Islam discourages dating, as single men and women are not supposed to be alone together if they are not related. Among the middle and upper classes, often the man and woman know each other from school or university, where young people gather in groups like they do in the West.
In the lower classes, the egypt for intermingling of the sexes is rarer, and sometimes families negotiate a marriage for an unmarried son or daughter. However the couple is introduced, the steps toward marriage ffrom the same. Either at the instigation of the couple, or at their own initiative, the two families meet to discuss the terms of the marriage. This discussion usually covers such topics as the dowry, who will pay for the wedding, etc.
The two families then arrange egtpt supervised meeting between the potential bride and groom, and either one can say no to the marriage.
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The wedding usually takes place fairly quickly, unless the groom-to-be is going abroad to work or study, in which case the marriage may be postponed. Many couples arrange for photographs in scenic locations, like this couple on the 6th October Bridge, overlooking the lights of downtown Cairo. The marriage itself may be very simple, consisting only of the imam from the mosque presiding over the marriage contract between the groom and the bride's father, who speaks on behalf of his daughter.
Wealthier families spend large sums of money, sometimes renting ballrooms at the luxury hotels in Cairo to gather all their family and friends for the festivities, which may be spread out over several days.
Divorce is not very common in Egypt, although it does still happen. According to Egyptian secular law, both men and women have the right to ask for a divorce. Traditionally, upon divorce, geypt father is granted custody of any children, and any dowry paid by the groom to the bride's family must be returned.
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Like many modern Islamic societies, Egypt is trying to bridge the difference between etypt traditional interpretations of Islamic law say, and what many people feel should be the law, which is often based on western models. A woman's right to ask for a divorce under any circumstance was put into law in Egypt in Many interpretations of Islamic law give women the right to ask for a divorce only in certain circumstances, such as her husband's being mentally ill or infertile.
The new law was written both by secular lawmakers as well as representatives of the Muslim clergy in Egypt in order to ensure that it would address concerns that might be raised by opponents.
Such cooperation between secular and religious jurists is common in Egypt and other countries where traditional interpretations are being challenged. The birth of is one of the most important and celebrated events in Egyptian society. Traditions of Birth and Death Similarly, the birth of is an event to be celebrated. Boys are usually circumcised near birth. The birth of the first son is a momentous event, after which the father and mother are often called by the titles "Abu" and "Umm" "father" and "mother" followed by their son's name.
Egyptians are careful never to praise the beauty of the child without adding the phrase mash'allah, meaning "thanks be to God.
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This reminds Egyptians of God's presence and influence over all matters, and also that God has the power to alter anything thing at any time, so nothing should be taken for granted. Many Egyptians also believe in the power of the Evil Eye, for demons - djinn - are mentioned in the Qur'an.
Repeating such invocations of the name of God are frkm considered to prevent harm at the hands of these djinn. Similarly, when a person dies, it is a ificant event. In keeping with Islamic custom, the person is usually buried before sundown on the day of death, or, at the least, within three days. Friends and family come to pay their respects to the surviving spouse or children. The funeral is held in the mosque, where special prayers, called the janazah, are said.
The casket is then carried on the shoulders from dgypt male egypt to the cemetery, with the mourners following Men procession. For forty days after death, there is an official mourning period for the deceased, in which special prayers and rituals are observed, and friends MMen relatives gather frequently to pay their respects to the surviving relatives. The Rights of Women Since the revolution, women have entered the work place in force.
This has been the result of the need for families to bring in more money in order to live, as well as the increase in women's education. Today, women serve in all levels of Egyptian society - as doctors, lawyers, scientists, civil servants, and small business owners. In the s and eygpt, it was common for many Egyptian women egtpt particularly in Cairo, to appear in public unveiled, in western clothes. The veil has been part of traditional dress in Egyptian society - as well as throughout the Middle East - for centuries.
From the mid s, however, Islamic dress has made a return among many younger women. Such dress incorporates long skirts, a long sleeved blouse, sometimes with a western style suit jacket, and a hecarf. Many women feel that such attire egyt them in the workplace - men tend to be more respectful of women who are veiled because they are perceived as "off limits. Skirts or dresses usually ankle length are more common than pants, though young Mfn often wear slacks from jeans.
Long sleeves are also common - it is rare to see women wear sleeves that do not reach at least to the eggpt. Although much attention is focused on what women wear in Middle Eastern society, it is important to point out that men also tend to dress modestly. Men almost always wear long pants and long sleeves. Appearing in public in shorts would likely be uncomfortable, and it is socially Men for men to go shirtless in public.
The traditional garment for Egypt men is called a galabiyya, and it is a long cotton robe, usually white or vrom blue, that comes down to the ankles.
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It is sometimes seen from Men men in the old city, but the galabiyya tends to be associated with poor, country folk fellahinand is usually abandoned for pants and a shirt by young men who migrate to Cairo. Many of them, like this woman in a factory in Cairo, are in supervisory positions. Muslims do not eat pork, so most Egyptian food does not include pork products. Most Egyptians have a light breakfast when they wake up, consisting of tea with bread and honey, hard-boiled eggs, and fruit.
Like many other societies in the Mediterranean region, lunch is the main meal of the day, eaten at about two or three o'clock in the afternoon. Supper is eaten late, around nine or ten o'clock and consists of small mezza dishes, or food left over from lunch. A complex meal starts off with mezza, similar to appetizers. Mezza may include hummus ground chickpeas and sesame-seed pastestuffed grape leaves, ta'miyya fried patties made with fava beans and spices; if made with chick peas it is called felafelbeans, and other light items.
The egypt course usually consists of a meat dish - chicken, beef or lamb, served with rice and bread.
Sometimes vegetables comprise the main ingredient. The most common are eggplant, squash, or moulkhiyya, a native Egyptian vegetable similar to okra. One common dish is kushari, a mixture of rice, pasta, lentils, and spicy tomato sauce topped with a eggypt sauce and fried onions. Another common dish is fuul mudammas, or roasted fava beans that are served much like black beans or pinto beans are served with Mexican dishes, in a soup-like broth and eaten with bread.
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Egyptian bread is a flatbread, called aysh, similar to pita bread. Most Egyptians eat with their hands, using small pieces of bread to scoop up their food. Egyptians always serve themselves with their right hands, as the left hand is considered unclean, and to use the left hand would pollute the communal dish. Sometimes, each person scoops a portion of the food from the communal dish onto his or her plate, other times, each person simply eats straight from the communal dish.
Egyptian desserts range from foods like baklava walnuts and cinnamon between sheets of thin pastry dough to louqm al-qadi fried balls of dough in syrupbassboosa semolina cake with almonds and umm ali nuts and raisins or currants in warm custard topped with pastry dough. Ice cream is also quite popular in Egypt. Egyptians are fond of tea and coffee.
Both are served strong: the coffee is what is typically known as "Turkish coffee," ground very fine and served thick.