It Means So Much: How To Make Someone From Egypt Feel Right At Home

Getting Around By Christine Wardlaw September 6, 2016

People from Egypt are known to be friendly and gracious, and wonderful hosts to visitors in their homes. However, what if you have Egyptian visitors staying with you? Western Union (WU) has some tips to help make guests from Egypt feel right at home when they’re visiting.

Egyptian foul with boiled eggs

Cook Traditional Foods

Nothing makes a visitor feel more at home than traditional dishes from their country. Egyptian cuisine is a rich, spicy, and delicious blend of Middle Eastern and Mediterranean flavors.

Start the morning right for your visitors by serving the national dish of Egypt, Ful Medames. Also known as “ful” for short, it’s a hearty stew of warmed fava beans, mixed with olive oil, lemon juice, and garlic, and can be garnished with hard-boiled eggs, chopped parsley, or other fresh ingredients. Although this meal can be enjoyed any time of day, it’s most commonly served at breakfast.

Egyptians also enjoy flatbread, called eish baladi or eish masri, with most meals. It’s similar to pita bread, but made with whole wheat flour rather than all-purpose flour, and is usually baked in scorching-hot ovens in busy street markets. However, you can recreate the environment at home with an oven cranked up to high and a baking stone.

Garlic is a popular herb in Egypt, so adding fresh garlic in with salads, soups, vegetables, lentils, rice, or beans is sure to be a crowdpleaser.

Dress More Conservatively

Everyday dress for Egyptians tends to be more on the formal and conservative side. Women generally wear long sleeves and skirts, and may wear a headscarf. Men tend to dress modestly as well. It may make your Egyptian visitors feel more comfortable if you also dress more on the conservative side during their stay.

Ask About Family

Family is extremely important to the Egyptians, who tend to have close ties to both their immediate family and their extended family of grandparents, aunts, uncles, and cousins. It’s considered polite to inquire about someone’s health and the health of their loved ones. Showing respect and an interest in one’s family can go a long way toward creating camaraderie with your Egyptian visitors.

Sphinx and the pyramids of Giza

Show Interest in Their Culture

With Egypt’s rich cultural heritage, as well as world-renowned landmarks, there’s a lot for its residents to be proud of. You can never go wrong with commenting on the beauty of Egypt and asking your visitors questions about its culture and history, or recounting tales of your own travels to the country.

Asking questions to learn about popular Islamic festivals (most Egyptians are Muslim) is sure to inspire engaging conversation. However, as is true with any visitors, it’s best to avoid specific topics of politics and religion, and instead focus on the beauty and history of important holidays such as Ramadan.

Making a special effort to help your Egyptian friends feel comfortable and welcomed will surely be appreciated. Do you have stories about your travels to Egypt? Share them with us in the comments!