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Egypt Expat Forum for Expats Living in Egypt Welcome to the Egypt Expat forum. This is the place to meet like minded expats that have made Egypt their new home. This forum is ideal for Expats that have moved to Egypt and people that are thinking about making Egypt their new home.

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  #71 (permalink)  
Old 24th July 2010, 05:05 AM
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Hi I am thinking of moving to Alexandria to take up a teaching position. I am bringing my 14 year old daughter, we are American. Is this a safe place to live? Will we like Egypt?

Carol
Hi Carolin

to answer your questions.

is it safe ? have you worked in Africa or Gulf before - if so then Egypt is very different...very safe with an abundance of police and security - but for a western women there are issues and you need to have your head screwed on.

will you like it ? thats relative to expectations and your expat experience - USA it aint and modern certainly not but people are fine and if you search then you can get everything you want - nearly.

Jim

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  #72 (permalink)  
Old 24th July 2010, 01:06 PM
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Hi Carolin

to answer your questions.

is it safe ? have you worked in Africa or Gulf before - if so then Egypt is very different...very safe with an abundance of police and security - but for a western women there are issues and you need to have your head screwed on.

will you like it ? thats relative to expectations and your expat experience - USA it aint and modern certainly not but people are fine and if you search then you can get everything you want - nearly.

Jim
Hi NO I haven't lived in any of those places. I have traveled through Europe though and lived in Australlia for 6 years. Could you tell me what the issues are?

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  #73 (permalink)  
Old 24th July 2010, 01:14 PM
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The issues for women here and more so single blonde women are
THE MEN
You will be constantly hassled by men asking if you want a special friend, rude remarks when they pass you by and this doesn't get any easier no matter how long you stay here. Men telling you that you are beautiful and they just want to be your friend help you learn Arabic show you round.
My advice is... if you want to meet Egyptian men you will do so in the course of your work and there will be work colleges who will introduce to Egyptian men and this is the safest way to meet them.

Maiden




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  #74 (permalink)  
Old 24th July 2010, 01:42 PM
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Originally Posted by Carolinat2 View Post
Hi NO I haven't lived in any of those places. I have traveled through Europe though and lived in Australlia for 6 years. Could you tell me what the issues are?
Ok and I stand to be corrected by more experienced residents of Egypt. I have worked to date in 29 countries worldwide and all have different pros and cons.

Generally its fair to say that Arab, if I can generalize, opinions of western women are inconsistent with Arabian women in these lands. I have worked throughout the Gulf and generally western women are respected but some do not maintain the rules of dress code and attitude required in Muslim countries thus the minority are branded as indicitive of the whole.

I find Cairo not a typical Arab country and all folk I have met are welcoming and polite but my colleagues all have ahve had issues with their wives and teenage kids and I am talking of some 40 plus in number European wives . However being close to the American University here dialogue in coffee shops with students has confirmed some harrassment but of a low key nature generally best ignored.

Shopping malls exists for sure but not on every corner - TV is limited quality - eating out no problem - taxis in abundance everywhere - groceries are limited in variety.......etc

Coming here from Doha to CAiro was a shock as I expected a capital city in a modern environment. Sharm el Sheikh is certainly modern and not being to Alexandria yet I can not give an opinion.

However if your international experience is limited to Europe and Australia then I suggest a short vacation here before a commitment - its not like where you have been by a long way and its not just language either!

Hard Rock Cafes does not mean the modern world is here !

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Old 24th July 2010, 02:03 PM
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Ok and I stand to be corrected by more experienced residents of Egypt. I have worked to date in 29 countries worldwide and all have different pros and cons.

Generally its fair to say that Arab, if I can generalize, opinions of western women are inconsistent with Arabian women in these lands. I have worked throughout the Gulf and generally western women are respected but some do not maintain the rules of dress code and attitude required in Muslim countries thus the minority are branded as indicitive of the whole.

I find Cairo not a typical Arab country and all folk I have met are welcoming and polite but my colleagues all have ahve had issues with their wives and teenage kids and I am talking of some 40 plus in number European wives . However being close to the American University here dialogue in coffee shops with students has confirmed some harrassment but of a low key nature generally best ignored.

Shopping malls exists for sure but not on every corner - TV is limited quality - eating out no problem - taxis in abundance everywhere - groceries are limited in variety.......etc

Coming here from Doha to CAiro was a shock as I expected a capital city in a modern environment. Sharm el Sheikh is certainly modern and not being to Alexandria yet I can not give an opinion.

However if your international experience is limited to Europe and Australia then I suggest a short vacation here before a commitment - its not like where you have been by a long way and its not just language either!

Hard Rock Cafes does not mean the modern world is here !
:-) No I suppose having a Hard Rock cafe does not make it modern. I have to accept a teaching job or not accept it, unfortunately no time left to vacation there before a commitment. The school that has offered me a position has a few Americans, Brits, and Canadian teachers. The school also offers accomodation is a nice part of Alexandria with the school 5 minutes away. I have read many posts and it seems safe to live there...by the way where is DOHA?....I am coming with just my daughter, we are both blond hair and blue eyes. My concern is mainly that I have read that teenage boys "taunt and touch" does this mean push around or bully or is that even an understatement? I have read that there is some verbal (no problem we don't speak Arabic and wouldn't knopw what they were saying) What I don't want is an unsafe environment with kidnapping, targeted because we are American, where we cannot walk down the street without feeling unsafe....that would not be fun. My daughter is very easy going and nice, I need her experience there to be safe. I don't mind about TV being poor, we don't really watch it. I do care about internet for communication and I hope that is up to par. What do you think would be a comfortable salary there?

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  #76 (permalink)  
Old 24th July 2010, 02:10 PM
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No you wouldnt be kidnapped because your are American Inshallah

Yes there is touching here... I have not got one friend who has not been felt up in one way or another..although one poster said that only bad things happen to bad people.. what rot.

Personally I would not bring my 14 year old daughter out here if I was a single mum but I cannot tell you what to do only give you my opinion as a blonde single woman who has lived here for many years.




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  #77 (permalink)  
Old 24th July 2010, 02:24 PM
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Originally Posted by Carolinat2 View Post
:-) No I suppose having a Hard Rock cafe does not make it modern. I have to accept a teaching job or not accept it, unfortunately no time left to vacation there before a commitment. The school that has offered me a position has a few Americans, Brits, and Canadian teachers. The school also offers accomodation is a nice part of Alexandria with the school 5 minutes away. I have read many posts and it seems safe to live there...by the way where is DOHA?....I am coming with just my daughter, we are both blond hair and blue eyes. My concern is mainly that I have read that teenage boys "taunt and touch" does this mean push around or bully or is that even an understatement? I have read that there is some verbal (no problem we don't speak Arabic and wouldn't knopw what they were saying) What I don't want is an unsafe environment with kidnapping, targeted because we are American, where we cannot walk down the street without feeling unsafe....that would not be fun. My daughter is very easy going and nice, I need her experience there to be safe. I don't mind about TV being poor, we don't really watch it. I do care about internet for communication and I hope that is up to par. What do you think would be a comfortable salary there?
Wow what a dilemma...................dont be put off too much by our responses.

Name of the game is common sense. With other teachers from Western cultures you are half way there to being reassured on culture customs etc. And 5 mins walk from work is excellent.

Kidnapping is not a concern however and its more sexual harassment than bullying thats the concern for both of you I regret.

Ignoring them is I am told the best way albeit difficult I am sure. My wife also being blonde and attractive has a tendency to tell them where to go in no uncertain terms...............

Please dont ask anyone as to what is a good salary is here as everyones on such varied packages and conditions - costs are not high to live and with accomodation provided thats great. Dont think they would pay you less than colleagues as you will soon find out anyway.

Doha is capital of Qatar in the Gulf - location of the US army base in the movie Transformers and in fact home to one of biggest USAF bases in the Gulf too.

Dont hesitate to ask any questions.

Ciao

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  #78 (permalink)  
Old 24th July 2010, 02:41 PM
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Originally Posted by 29ncounting View Post
Ok and I stand to be corrected by more experienced residents of Egypt. I have worked to date in 29 countries worldwide and all have different pros and cons.

Generally its fair to say that Arab, if I can generalize, opinions of western women are inconsistent with Arabian women in these lands. I have worked throughout the Gulf and generally western women are respected but some do not maintain the rules of dress code and attitude required in Muslim countries thus the minority are branded as indicitive of the whole.

I find Cairo not a typical Arab country and all folk I have met are welcoming and polite but my colleagues all have ahve had issues with their wives and teenage kids and I am talking of some 40 plus in number European wives . However being close to the American University here dialogue in coffee shops with students has confirmed some harrassment but of a low key nature generally best ignored.

Shopping malls exists for sure but not on every corner - TV is limited quality - eating out no problem - taxis in abundance everywhere - groceries are limited in variety.......etc

Coming here from Doha to CAiro was a shock as I expected a capital city in a modern environment.

Hard Rock Cafes does not mean the modern world is here !
I have experienced a lot of verbal hassle in Egypt (despite not being blond!) but I had experienced that growing up in the Gulf so I guess I learnt from an early age to ignore it. I have never had anything other than verbal comments or occasionally I have been followed down the street but Cairo is such an overcrowded city that I have never felt unsafe - there are always people around. But I have never lived in Alexandria although friends who have worked there have loved it. I just shout at people who are being a nuisance! I don't think I know anyone who has been touched but most females I know have had verbal hassle.

I watch the tv channel Dubai One when I am in Egypt, which gives me a sufficient dose of western tv programmes!

Despite the downsides, I find it an exciting, vibrant, friendly country. I have met some lovely Egyptians who at various times have gone out of their way to help me with queries and problems I had.

Good luck with your decision.

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Old 24th July 2010, 02:49 PM
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I have experienced a lot of verbal hassle in Egypt (despite not being blond!) but I had experienced that growing up in the Gulf so I guess I learnt from an early age to ignore it. I have never had anything other than verbal comments or occasionally I have been followed down the street but Cairo is such an overcrowded city that I have never felt unsafe - there are always people around. But I have never lived in Alexandria although friends who have worked there have loved it. I just shout at people who are being a nuisance! I don't think I know anyone who has been touched but most females I know have had verbal hassle.

I watch the tv channel Dubai One when I am in Egypt, which gives me a sufficient dose of western tv programmes!

Despite the downsides, I find it an exciting, vibrant, friendly country. I have met some lovely Egyptians who at various times have gone out of their way to help me with queries and problems I had.

Good luck with your decision.
Just to finish this off - as advised I have worked around the world but here in Cairo our office staff of local man and women are charming helpful kind and great to work with........................locals in shops are polite and try 100% to help although language is a problem at times.

In fact I adjusted to here quicker than many Gulf countries............exciting vibrant etc are totally correct comments and again Alexandria has good reports as a living location.

Go for it - enjoy the experience and you both will have a great time............there are over 50,000 US citizens here so they cant be all wrong !

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  #80 (permalink)  
Old 24th July 2010, 02:54 PM
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In fact I adjusted to here quicker than many Gulf countries............exciting vibrant etc are totally correct comments and again Alexandria has good reports as a living location.
I experienced a shock though when I first got to Cairo after having lived in the Gulf so I know exactly what you mean. We first moved to the Emirates in the 70s and the country was a lot more basic than it is now, so I thought I was prepared for Egypt...

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