They’re Egyptians alright, but not quite like us. We’ll stumble into them in college or school; they’ll baffle us because we’re never sure where they actually come from until we ask and find out their back story. They’re the Egyptians who haven’t drank from the Nile just yet; we’re not sure if that’s good or bad!

Here are 13 things that puzzle us about Egyptian kids who return home from Khalij.


They don’t speak one dialect!

Egyptians come in two forms; some who do not understand any dialect other than Egyptian or those who do understand just enough to make out a meaning. So, it’s a hell load of confusion when these kids who are supposed to be Egyptian start talking something that sounds like Lebanese, Egyptian and Qatari mated in a blender!

They don’t swear like us!

Every good Egyptian, man or woman, knows a good bunch of grand-ma-heart-stopping swears. These kids come in all prim and proper; either they don’t swear at all or they know something lame that you wouldn’t use, or they swear in some other language other than good old Egyptian cursing.

They can’t cross the road

This is Dubai. We don’t stop traffic for humans, let alone a lizard!

The street could literally be empty and they’d still be looking for a traffic light. Yes, we do realize our road crossing methods are inhuman, but we do feel like we have extra-superpowers when watching how horrified they are at the idea!

Is there a supermarket nearby? [yes, in the same building!]

They just can’t fathom the idea that everything is nearby in Cairo. They also can’t fathom that everything is available anywhere. Yes, you can pay your bills in that pharmacy, it’s called Fawry. Yes, you can find a duvet sold at a supermarket. Yes, you can buy credit from that vitrine-store. No I do not know what they sell, but I’m sure we can buy credit there!

They’re too overwhelmed with the idea of delivery

hell, we even got the Germans to deliver!

What do you mean we can order antibiotics to our doorstep?! While Khalij countries do have delivery, not everything can be delivered to your doorstep. Not every restaurant delivers, and pharmacies definitely do not deliver prescription medicine to your door, neither does Diwan deliver books because we’re too lazy to go pick them up from the store! Yes, khalijis might afford the luxury life but we here in Egypt are the kings of lazy with a “bitch better deliver or you’re outta business” attitude.

They think Uber/Careem is public transport

When you ask them if they use public transport, they say yes only to show you their Uber/Careem app. No dear, public transport is not “anything” other than your parent’s private car.

They get very excited or very disgusted when they actually discover public transport

You’ll either have a jittery overexcited friend jumping up and down clutching her metro ticket like she’s about to go on an exciting roller coaster ride; or there’s that other friend whose face just went yellow cause he saw a rat skip across the platform… just wait he shall faint when he steps inside with all the body odor XD

No, we’re not there yet… stop whining!

Kids who’ve lived in Khalij all their lives are used to the idea of getting to places in no time. On one hand their cities/towns are smaller, and on the other they don’t have our 90-million-citizen-traffic-jams. We know that going from Mohandessin to October will take over an hour. We know that before starting our trip from Giza to Tagamoa, we must have water and a snack in our vehicle, a list of all the calls we’ve been postponing for a week, our favorite music, maybe even a shaving kit… oh, and we don’t forget to pee, because that’s one long ride. Kids from Khalij, buckle up and stop asking “are we there yet?”

They don’t know effehat… like at all!

You could be Egypt’s worst person at film lingo, but these kids take it to a whole new level, they don’t even know our plays! Like how did you never watch “el3eyal kebret” or “sok 3la banatak”. Give me a break! Please, do go through this list of films and this one here just to help sharpen up your lingo.

They don’t get Sham Elnessim, Mouled Elnaby or Eid, or how/why we celebrate half of the time

Yes, we celebrate the Prophet’s birth with enough sweets to get us on a sugar high and dolls wearing every colour on the spectrum. Yes, we celebrate the Eid with sugar cookies. Yes, we celebrate the start of summer by eating stinky fish. Dude, stop telling me we’re weird, you just came from a place where people eat rice using their hands!

They’re horrified the maid/worker stole something

The first month they’re here they complain about the maid or worker stealing something. Our automatic response is “where did you leave it?” We really want to sympathize, but leaving money out in the open means it shall get stolen. Not locking your money drawer means the same. Yes, we all wish Egypt had better laws to protect citizens against thefts from the very people they trust into their homes, but alas…sigh.

They insist that Egypt is not multinational

We’ve been living a lie believing that Egypt has a variety of nationalities living together in peace. Apparently the Khalij has won this competition. Kids coming back from the Khalij will continuously remark that they only see Egyptians during the day, and how over there they’d spot a minimum of three different nationalities a day!

Christians!? What are those!? [of course, this only applies to Muslim Egyptians coming from Khalij]

Ironically, they have 0 clue about Christians. They’re genuinely surprised we have 2 Christmases, that January 7th is a holiday, that Egypt has vegan food only with a less fancy name called “seyamy”. Yes, it’s polite to say “kol sana wenta tayeb” during Christmas and Easter. Yes, we all eat qolqas (Taro) for Eid Ghetasqolqas is a dish that you were blessed to have your mom not make for you ever! They’ll even gawp when they see nuns walking across the street!

In spite of their quirkiness, we can’t deny they’re a lovable bunch! At least them being around helps us realize what makes us unique as Egyptians 😉

  • Abdallh Ãlwe Ãlsggaf

    As a person who grows up outside Egypt in khalid country it’s damn true