Bashing the Egyptian culture and the traditions upon which our society is built seems to be the trend lately. I’m probably one of the people who are most upset with the Egyptian culture and its ever-so-conservative and absurd rules. *Deep breath*, calm down, Malak.

I was sitting on my couch, peacefully contemplating my life when a sudden rush of anger spiked inside my chest as I thought of how sometimes our culture just doesn’t make sense to me. I was about to start an internal rant and I could feel the anger building up as my mind was getting ready to pull out all the things that drive me crazy about our culture.

However, the little angel standing on my right shoulder got the best of me and I decided to do something I haven’t done in a very long time – look at the bright side of our culture. Tough thing to do, right? I know.

I choose to see the good instead of the bad, at least for today. The Internet is already full of negativity and I don’t want to be adding to it. I also don’t want to be the over-optimistic naïve idiot who just wants to eat cake and poop rainbows, so I’m going to keep the cheesiness as minimal as possible.

My list isn’t long; it only contains a couple of things that I truly admire about our community.

The first thing I love about the Egyptian Culture is the closeness of family. I love how our family members are so close to us and to each other. There’s a sense of love and care that you feel when you’re around family here, sort of like a warm, fuzzy feeling. It’s true that we do get too nosy and dramatic at times (lama tante Sousou tekallem tante Samia te7kelha 3ala Sawsan bent okht Moody), but it’s heartwarming how family members -even distant ones- worry about our future and share our moments of sadness and joy.

Family gatherings tend to get a little crazy sometimes, but I wouldn’t give them away for the world. Teta’s food, 3ameto’s love, khalo’s jokes and geddo’s humor are irreplaceable.

I love knowing that a large group of people has my back wherever I go. I love knowing that my cousins can burry whoever messes with me; I love knowing my brother will always look out for me; I love how my parents care about even the smallest details of my life. I’ve tried life without this closeness when I lived abroad; I saw how families in other cultures don’t have the same warmth and realized how blessed I am to have people who care so much about me. I love that family is sacred in our Egyptian community.

The second thing I like about the Egyptian culture is the friendliness of the people, especially with strangers.

Ever notice how we Egyptians like to talk to people around us, even if we’ve never met them before? If you’re standing in line somewhere or waiting for something to happen, people around you will almost always be willing to engage in conversation, even about the most trivial of things. E7na sha3b laziz keda w by7eb yerghi. Even if you’re not in the mood to talk, you’ll smile and nod anyway because the old man complaining about the country’s current situation and the lady telling you about her son’s wife are too cute to ignore or shut up.

I love our sense of humor. I love how -most of us- would help out a stranger on the street if they need it. I love our gad3ana. No, I’m not being too optimistic, and yes, Egyptians like that still do exist.

If we stop -even for a little while- arguing that the good Egyptians are gone and start becoming those good Egyptians, our country will start looking better again.

Okay, enough cheesiness. I’m done. Please help me add more items to this list.

  • Anamaria Pascalau

    I’m not Egyptian, but traveling there, made fall in love forever with Egypt, not only for it’s history and places to see and things to do, but with the people, so kind, friendly and warm. Life is not easy but still they find a reason to smile, and say Alhamdulillah even when things are hard. Nothing impressed more that, when during Eid, I’ve gave a woman that was begging some dates and she insisted on giving something in return, she melted my heart and made me cry, I wished I could have understood what she told me.

    • Mayar Attawiya

      Anamaria, we love you too!