Egypt has been witnessing an untraditional phenomenon over the past couple of years. It is the idea of young people moving out of their parents’ houses for reasons other than marriage or traveling abroad, but just for personal space and independence.
This phenomenon sparked quite a lot of issues in several Egyptian homes. It has become so problematic that some parents actually disowned their sons and daughters for wanting to separate from them. On the other hand, though, some parents actually accept their children’s decision and even encourage it at times.
We interviewed several youths and parents to try to view the situation from different perspectives, and here is what they had to say:
“I think my son is old enough now; it became necessary for him to move out and be on his own. He is capable of taking care of himself, financially and otherwise. Therefore, it doesn’t make sense for him to keep living with me.”
– Sayed, 84, Father
“I left because I felt that I’m turning into my parents, living according to their beliefs and aspirations. That was the root of all our problems. Because I did not fit the mold they created for me. So I moved out and started knowing who I really am and being who I really am; that’s when I started to succeed.”
– Omar, 24, Son
“I think if the son wants to have more independence, then he has the right to move out. And the parents should be able to understand his needs and accept his decision. However, I don’t think it’s culturally accepted for a daughter to move out and live on her own in our country.”
– Olfat, 60, Mother
“I think if the parents want you to stay with them, then you should. You owe it to them to grant their wishes. Except if they were causing a huge damage to your life that you absolutely can’t stay, then it’s your decision.”
– Ahmed, 33, Son
“I made the decision to move out because I felt like I have been living a life that wasn’t mine. I didn’t want to follow the traditional rule of leaving my parents’ house only to go to my husband’s house. Not because I hate marriage or anything, but I don’t want to leave a house that isn’t mine to go live in another one that is also not mine. I want to be selfish even if for some time. I think I have earned it.”
– Raghda, 27, Daughter
“I always felt like there’s something holding me down until I almost had a mental breakdown. That’s when I made the decision to be on my own and started getting my life together. Once I did, and with the help of the people around me, I started to live the free life I have always dreamed of. It almost felt like I grew a pair of wings and flew out of a cage.”
– Mohamed, 26, Son
“I think this very notion is the effect of the Western culture on our own. It does not fit our traditions and it only leads to chaos. Whoever chooses to abandon their parents after raising them and sacrificing everything for them, are selfish and ungrateful. Except if the parents are torturing their children or something.”
– Ibrahim, 65, Father
In the end, regardless of whose side you’re on, one sure thing is that every adult is more than capable of making decisions for themselves. Therefore, whether or not we agree with others’ decisions, we should be open minded enough to accept and respect them.