Mostly for college studies or for a job, Egypt’s youth have been increasingly leaving Egypt and seeking opportunities abroad. While I am all for travelling and getting the best possible education and seizing good opportunities, it makes me sad to see everyone leave the country. I know that Egypt’s current situation isn’t ideal, so it makes sense that people would start planning their futures abroad. I, myself, am one of the people who are considering living abroad (don’t tell my mom I said that), so I really do get it. However, I think we should all think twice before deciding to permanently leave Egypt.
I’m all for getting a few years of education/experience abroad. What I’m advocating for is that we all come back to Egypt after our international experience. I was asking myself why I’d ever come back after having the time of my life somewhere else, and three answers came to mind:
1) Benefiting Egypt’s development and economy: Instead of getting an excellent education and leaving Egypt behind, why don’t we come back and give Egypt the best of what we’ve learned? Why don’t we come back and become experts and leaders in our respective fields? Imagine if every one of us who studied and worked abroad came back and passed on their experience here; how much of an impact will that have on Egypt’s society and economy? If our open and well-educated minds combined, how far will Egypt go? I want to take part in making Egypt better. I’ve been waiting to see it move forward for so long and now that it’s starting to blossom, I’m excited to be part of that change.
2) Egypt is home: I agree that the world has amazing and breathtaking countries all around. I agree that you may be happier abroad than you were in Egypt. But Egypt is home and we should love it through the good and the bad. Doesn’t home deserve a second chance? Doesn’t home deserve to be taken care of? The world is a great place, but there’s no place like home. Nobody’s going to understand your jokes like Egyptians do. Nobody’s going to understand your weird habits and taste in food like Egyptians do. You won’t find the same sense of warmth and “el lamma el 7elwa” anywhere else. Doesn’t the place where you have so many memories and history deserve something in return? Why benefiting another place’s economy and give it the best of you before doing that for your own home?
I know it’s more complicated than that. I know sometimes you don’t have a choice or things just don’t work out. I will however tell you that if you do have a choice, if you can come back, if your circumstances allow it, please do come home.
3) I don’t want to be away from my loved ones: I think that’s the one that gets me most. What’s more precious than family and lifetime friends? You can make many friends abroad, but family will always be irreplaceable and incomparable. They’re worth coming back for. You won’t find a tante Sousou to constantly nag about finding you a spouse or a teita whose main goal in life is to pamper you and feed you delicious food. There’s no 3am ma7mood beta3 el kebda or 3arabeyat fool on every corner. There really is no place like home.
So, before you decide to definitely leave home, take a moment to consider what you would be leaving behind. Don’t think your presence won’t matter or your absence won’t make a difference. It does matter and it can make a difference. One person can do so much for a country; you could be that person. Let us all have faith in Egypt and attempt to give it the best of what we’ve got.