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Love Letter to Egypt: Chill, Wild, and Everything in Between

July 2, 2024
Talat Harb Street. Photo Credit: Asharq Al-Awsat.

I have been to many cities, but none compares to Cairo. I have traveled to different countries, but none rival Egypt. Egypt has a special place in my heart. 

I don’t love Egypt solely because it is home to the longest river in the world, or its beautiful beaches by the Red Sea and the Mediterranean. It is not even because I was born, raised, and have lived my whole life here. 

What I love the most about my country is its people. Take Egyptians out of the piece of land we call Egypt and put them anywhere, they would make it Egyptian. Egypt is an essence.

Humor Amidst Havoc

Egyptians can be spotted anywhere in the world. When I hear loud laughs and hilarious jokes, it is because Egyptians are gathered. Seventy-year-olds, 25-year-olds, and 5-year-olds alike are cracking jokes and ridiculing themselves. You would find them all at an Egyptian wedding, breathing life into a party, filling it with happiness, dancing, and ululating.

Amidst the worst of scenarios— being lost in unfamiliar streets, facing inescapable inflation, or dealing with below-average medical care— Egyptians find the bright side. Our ability to make the best of the worst situations through humor and lightheartedness is unmatched. Foreigners I have met have compared the high spirits of Egyptians to an intoxicated high.

The City that Never Sleeps: Cairo

Cairo is bustling. Noon on a Tuesday is as vibrant as 2 A.M on a Friday night. Egyptians work and live around their own personal clocks. You can see people sitting in cafes, playing music in cars, walking down the streets, shopping, or eating at all times of the day. 

It does not matter if the lights are off. You can still hear laughter, TVs playing, and speeding cars in the distance wherever you are. You won’t find yourself stranded in the street or calling for help to no avail. Egyptians are always around for support, regardless of sex, religion, color, or creed.

Help at Hand

Walking down Egyptian streets, everyone looks like your cousin, uncle, or grandma. Egyptians ooze familiarity; they’re approachable, friendly, and helpful. You will find them lending a hand with a flat tire, carrying bags up the stairs for an elderly person, or comforting a child who fell off their bike.

Our caring nature extends to generous hospitality. I have never visited a relative or a friend without having to ask them to stop force-feeding me. Egyptian homes always take care of their guests, showering them with food and drinks, and sometimes even offering a bed for a nap. It could be a personal experience, on account of my love for sleeping, but it has been a recurring event. 

It’s Different, but the Same

Living in a buzzing city, coastal city, rural village, oasis, or Bedouin community in the desert, Egyptians share the same positive and upbeat behavior. Bedouins have their own culture, revolving around unique customs, traditional dress, music, and poetry. Egypt’s urban centers like Alexandria or Cairo adhere to a more modern international lifestyle, mixed with Egyptian traditions. 

The dialects and clothes may differ from one region to the other, and the customs and traditions can be distinct, but at the heart of it all, the children share the same innocence and absolute hilarity, and the people share a smile. 


I might travel abroad for work or education. I might want to go on a Euro trip and experience different cuisines and cultures, but at the end of the day, Giza is where my heart is. Egypt is my home.

I wouldn’t want to be away from the noisy, microbus-infested streets for long. I wouldn’t give up on the chance of hearing a commotion outside my window, watching a random fight between two people –and 10 people breaking it up– and witnessing the resolution marked by forehead kisses. 

Egypt is chill, wild, and everything in between.

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