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Egyptian Life Hacks

When we are not busy jumping on the latest trends from the West, we could take the time to look at time-honored practices from the Egyptian culture that the rest of the world could learn from. Egyptian Life Hacks

1. Baksheesh – or tips of all sizes

When wages and payment for small services can be a mere pittance, the habit of tipping can make all the difference for many. Sometimes a ritual gesture, a larger tip can also show appreciation when someone goes out their way to go the extra mile when doing their job.

2. Family comes first.

Egyptian culture has deep traditional roots, and respect for the family, close, extended and extra-extended, plays a big role in this.

Egyptian Life HacksFamily mealtimes are important, especially on weekends and on special occasions. This gives everyone a chance to catch up, offer unsolicited advice and opinions, and search for solutions. It saves on therapist and lawyers’ fees at least.

3. Kids can live at home until they marry

No self-respecting Egyptian family would dream of kicking their fledglings out of the nest until they marry and make a home of their own. Hey, guys can often even bring their new brides home to join the family unit. Maybe that is why ‘empty nest syndrome’ is such a rarity in Egypt.

Egyptian Life Hacks

4. Women can keep their own family name

Historically, in many societies, women were seen as little more than acquired possessions and fell under the patronage of their husbands. Taking the husband’s family name further cemented the custom.

This is not the case in Egypt and other predominately Islamic countries, where a woman is part of her father’s direct lineage and keeps her birth name. Patriarchy rules!

5. Gameya – or informal credit associations

A tradition dating back over 2,000 years, the gameya has played a big role in the informal economy. While setting up a bank or savings account can be full of hurdles, the gathering of a group of friends, colleagues, relatives, neighbors, cousins of neighbors and anyone else deemed credit-worthy to all put an agreed monthly amount into a pool is based on group consensus and trust.

Egyptian Life HacksEach month the accrued amount is given to one member of the group, based on an agreed rota system. No bank fees and it helps to boost community spirit.

6. ‘Boatmen’ invitations- or 3ozomet marakbiya

Good manners usually mean that hospitality or a convivial acquaintanceship should be acknowledged by issuing an invitation to visit or an offer to pick up the tab. While this may be taken at face value in other societies, in Egypt it is often understood to be a lip-service courtesy. Egyptian Life Hacks

The expression derives from Egyptian generosity, which amounts to someone on a boat inviting a friend on the shore for tea, knowing it is impossible for him to join, making it a convenient way of fulfilling a social nicety without the burden of it coming to fruition.

7. IBM – Insha’Allah, Bokra, Malesh

In our high speed, tech-dependent lifestyles we expect everything to work like clockwork. Our collective OCDC mindset is losing the ability to just go with the flow. Egypt still has a valuable life lesson to offer anyone who needs to learn to reset their priorities and chill a little. God willing, tomorrow and never mind. Egyptian Life Hacks

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