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Good personal relations and social harmony are at the core of the Egyptian value system, people are more important than time or money. Egyptians can be fatalistic, good fortune is thought of as God’s mercy and misfortune is His will. This is evident in the expression insha’allah which means “if God wills.” Egyptians tend to inject this expression into sentences which denote intention and not using it is seen as tempting fate. Today it has become a ready answer to a question and might mean, “yes,” “probably,” “probably not” or “no” and it can confuse and frustrate visitors.

A first glance at modern-day Egypt reveals a chaotic place, a cacophony of sounds and an overload of smells. The Egyptians call it Omm Eddunia, Mother of the World.  The Nile has remained a bountiful provider in an otherwise barren desert, with most of Egypt’s 82 million inhabitants settled around it. Upper Egyptians, Si’idi, live south of Cairo. Egypt’s desert dwellers are Bedouin, Nubian communities live in the south and agrarian peasants who live in rural areas are called fellah.

It has one of the highest population densities in the world and with the rapid growth in population towns and cities have had to spread, eating up valuable agricultural land. Despite economic reforms Egypt is still considered a poor country. Overpopulation has put a significant strain on resources such as land and water and the economy relies on foreign aid and remittances from overseas workers.

Culture Smart! Egypt is a concise guide to understanding the Egyptian people, with illuminating insights into their national identity. Familiarise yourself with their customs, traditions and culture and experience Egypt authentically.


"Culture Smart has come to the rescue of hapless travellers." Sunday Times Travel

"... the perfect introduction to the weird, wonderful and downright odd quirks and customs of various countries." Global Travel

"...full of fascinating-as well as common-sense-tips to help you avoid embarrassing faux pas." Observer

"...as useful as they are entertaining." Easyjet Magazine

"...offer glimpses into the psyche of a faraway world." New York Times