Life in modern Egypt today especially in the capital Cairo has a hectic atmosphere among the modern buildings, the subway, and the connecting highways and a great culture steeped in ancient history through its small narrow streets. If you loose yourself in Egypt’s capital and wander through the narrow streets you will see a contradiction of ancient buildings, ruins, street sellers, kids playing, western adverts and people dressed in western fashion. With car horns blasting away there will be odors of cattle, donkeys and camels very often seen on a main avenue passing through the city.
Cairo is enchanting, full of museums with ancient artefact’s, beautiful churches, magnificent monuments and of course the famous Pyramids on the edge of the city. The small cafes are cozy and ooze smells of delicious sweet pastries and fresh coffee over the gaggle of locals gossiping or debating. The nightlife is varied and the shopping ranges from modern fashion outlets to local bazaars.
The official religion in Egypt is Islam, however Christians and Jews are accepted but the national holidays all represent Islam, and the official language is Arabic. Life has changed in Egypt’s modern cities like Cairo as they become more liberal thanks to music, art, television, a public transport system, theaters, cinema, sports and restaurants now selling American influenced cuisine. The economy after the uprising is stabilizing and there appears to be a positive outlook to the future of Egypt. Education is important to Egyptians and is still free with choices of private or public universities, and many opportunities for foreigners to learn Arabic.
Outside Cairo the villagers and farmers known as the fellahin live similarly to their ancient ancestors. Some live by the Nile which still resembles the past with its mud brick houses, tents, farmers at work using ancient tools, and the small plots of land housing livestock. The men are seen wearing the same galabiyah robes from ancient Egypt and the women in their veils and gold and silver jewelery from the dowry of their husbands. The electricity towers and roads are the only things to remind us of modern living.
Egyptians are renowned for being welcoming and friendly and as long as you respect their customs and behave accordingly you will remember their hospitality for ever. Tourism has become a main source of the economy in Egypt and the natives want you to have the desire to return. Your appreciation, and knowledge of their country will be highly rewarded so prepare yourself beforehand by learning some phrases of the Arabic language and their lifestyle and customs. This way you will get the most out of your stay in this unique country while gaining some education.