With the advent of the Internet and its social and news media, one would believe that stereotypes no longer have a place in our lives. The opposite, however, is true about the stereotypes that still persist about Egyptians [and many others].
As an Egyptian, I’ve been both cursed and, sometimes, blessed by many.
Here are some Egyptian stereotypes you’ll be able to relate to:
1. Egyptian women are all great belly dancers
I know this sounds absurd, but many people think it’s a rite of passage.
Oh, you’re 18, tighten the strings and move your belly.
Even though belly dancing is deemed as a form of high art by some, it is also condemned by many. Just because I’m Egyptian doesn’t mean that I have a closet full of belly-dancing costumes.
2. Egyptians are nerds
Now, while this is a good one, I have to disagree.
Instead of calling them nerds, many nickname their friends ‘Mustafa,’ which is a common Egyptian name.
This stereotype may originate from the fact that many Egyptian parents prioritise education and expect conformity to strict standards when it comes to grades. It’s as if we were the Asians of the Middle East. No. Wait. That’s a stereotype! Oh, well.
3. Egyptians are all tanned/dark-skinned
If I had a dirham for every time someone was surprised I’m Egyptian because of my skin colour. Borderline racist, guys.
We come in all colours, shapes and forms.
4. Every Egyptian is a know-it-all
I do have to admit that, when asking for directions in Egypt, you will barely find anyone that says “I don’t know.”
That’s only because we want to help. If we don’t know, we don’t know. We don’t spout wise advice at the drop of a hat [so, don’t expect us to].
5. We’re all crazy for Molokhiya with Araneb
Many of us enjoy this heavy-on-the-palate meal, but don’t expect me to whip out a knife and fork at the mere mention of it. Rabbits are cute.
Have you encountered any of these? Do you think these are bogus? Tell us all.
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