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“In Egypt you’ll find that the nightlife is very prevalent”

“A lot of times people forget that Egypt is located in Africa,” says Nour, “so at cultural evenings we’ll be working with the other Africans, setting it up together, and people will ask you ‘Why are you working with the African team?’ I think people know that Egypt is located in Africa, but they tend to forget.” “I think most people associate Egypt with the Middle East,” says her brother Omar.

“Another common misconception is that we speak Egyptian in Egypt, but we speak Arabic,” says their sister Malak. “People think that Egypt only has Muslim people,” Omar adds, “but ten percent of the population is Christian, so that's almost ten million people.” “I think most of them are Coptic Orthodox Christians,” Nour adds. “That's a lot of people, and they live in harmony together.”

There are 100 million people in Egypt? I did not know! Are there also different branches of Muslims in Egypt?
“I think most of them are Sunni Muslims,” says Malak.

What else would you like us to know about Egypt?
“People usually associate Egypt with ancient Egypt,” Nour explains. “It's something we are proud of, all these ancient monuments and temples, but I think there is more to Egypt than just that. It's part of the Mediterranean Sea culture and the Red Sea, and there's a strong present-day culture.” “The city is always awake,” Omar points out. “Even at night-time, you still see people outside, the shops are still open, people are eating outside in restaurants. It’s the city that never sleeps, so that's pretty cool.”

Are you from Cairo?
“Yes,” says Nour, “but I think generally almost everywhere in Egypt you’ll find that the nightlife is very prevalent. And people have very flexible schedules, they really aren't uptight with what time they sleep and what time they are awake, they just go with the flow.”

Are the working hours equally fluid?
“I think people are quite relaxed with one another when it comes to things like that,” Nour reflects. “We were in Egypt and my aunt had to go to her job the next morning, but her sleep schedule is very flexible and there are compromises on both ends, both workplace and worker.” “People still go to work when it's hot,” Omar adds, “but for entertainment, they go at night when it cools down a bit. If it gets too hot and it's Ramadan, they might delay exams or something. If you can't drink, it gets unbearable sometimes.”

Is there anything you miss?
“For me, it’s the basics,” Nour replies, ”family, food, the weather, nothing very specific.” “People in Egypt are very talkative,” Malak points out. “They always try to communicate even if there is a language barrier, they're always willing to try to understand what you're saying.”

Anything else we should know about Egypt?
“Malak has a fun fact for you,” Nour says. “Egyptians were actually the people who created the 365-day calendar year,” Malak tells us.

That’s pretty cool!
"Thank you."

A big thank you back to Malak, Omar and Nour from Grades 7, 9 and 11 for telling us about their home country and sharing their thoughts with us. In the photo, you can see them with the rest of the family in Luxor two years ago.

Interested in hearing our students’ stories about their own countries? You may want to read our other interviews with students from Argentina, Australia, Bolivia, Colombia, Cyprus, the Dominican Republic, France, India, Israel, Italy, Kenya, Lithuania, Nigeria, Russia,Slovakia,Slovenia, Sweden, Turkey, Vietnam and Zimbabwe.