Let’s face it; we’re not really the most open minded race in the world. In some matters, we can really be very opinionated because of old notions and traditions about what’s right or wrong that have been embedded in our minds through the years. And even though Egyptians like to think otherwise, it’s very important that we acknowledge the extent to which we can be racist.
There have been many incidents where blacks were discriminated against by Egyptians
In 2007, Fatma Emam, a Nubian girl, founded the blog Brownie to speak out against racism in Egypt. Fatma spoke to Al-Araby and told them that she was constantly subjected to racism by Egyptians, and that she often felt very vulnerable on her own. She added that she is usually subjected to more security checks than others while, for example, in the airport. So much for the “Chocolata, Chocolata” song, right? Turns out being black isn’t necessarily seen as having “3eyoon 7elwa btngany”.
We think telling girls they’re white is a compliment
This is to all of you girls who walked the streets of Egypt only to find some weird guy calling you “Eh ya Beida” with a huge smile on his face. Let’s get this straight; calling me beida is not a compliment. It’s a skin color. It does not necessarily scream “Hey beautiful”! We realize your idea might be jaded by Adel Imam’s movie El Tagroba El-Denmarkya, but honestly we’ve never seen a girl actually get hitched for 50 cows 😉
Somehow in all the old Egyptian movies, the servants were black
3am Othman was a major character in every Egyptian movie. He totally had to be dark skinned though, and from El Nuba or El Sudan. He was also the kindest and most naïve person that you will ever meet in your whole life, because there is just no way he could be smart and self confident. Black people don’t function that way.
Apparently in Egypt, racial discrimination is not a crime
So not only are we racists, but there is absolutely nothing being done about it. In fact, very little is done to take legal action against the discrimination that some blacks in Egypt are subjected to. Of course the laws do prohibit any form of discrimination, but when it comes to taking action, there is no legal way to penalize those who discriminate.
We use racist stereotypical remarks like our lives depend on it
All the jokes and idioms we made up along the years are just too much. When you want to act like you’re naïve or don’t know much about a subject, you say “E3mel nafsak hendy”, when in fact Indians are one of the smartest most hardworking people in the world. When we meet an Asian person, we automatically assume they’re Chinese even though there are plenty more countries in Asia, and honestly speaking not all Asians look the same. It’s stupid really and we need to stop.
Not to mention all the “We’re not Arabs, we’re Pharaohs” Fiesta!
I’ll admit it’s sort of true. History wise we are Coptic, but seriously, what’s so wrong with being Arab? We do share the same language. I can even dare to go an extra mile and say that we share a lot of traditions and beliefs with the Arab world. Historically speaking we’re Coptic, but practically speaking let’s just acknowledge the fact that we’re Arabs, and that there is absolutely nothing wrong with that. In fact, our next step should be uniting together against the West!
We do hold a grudge against Jews
Let’s get one thing straight. Being a Jew does NOT mean that you are Israeli, so it’s about time we learn the difference. If you want to hold a grudge against Israelis, be my guest. I honestly won’t blame you, but holding a grudge against Jews is absolutely ridiculous and uncalled for. They’re people you know, and believe it or not, we do have a small Jewish community in Egypt.
Finally, Egyptians are one of the kindest and nicest people in the world, and like all other nations, we have our not so nice traits. While discrimination might be one of Egypt’s most untapped into issues of all times, we’re positive that with a little bit of education and mass media awareness we can overcome racism in no time.