Ma a salama
|Mah ah sah-lah-mah
|Hal tatakallamo alloghah al Enjileziah / Alarabiah?
|Hahl tah-tah-kah-lah-moh ahl-oh-gah ahl Ehn-jill-ehz-ee-ah / Ah-lah-rah-bee-ah
|Do you speak English / Arabic?
|My name is…
|Hal beemkanek mosa’adati
|Hahl beam-kah-nehk moh-sah-ah-dah-tee
|Can you help me?
|I’m looking for…
|Na’am / Laa
|Nah-ahm / Lah
|Yes / No
|Assayed / Assayedah / Al Anesah
|Ah-say-ehd / Ah-say-ehd-ah / Ahl Ah-ney-sah
|Mr / Mrs / Miss
|Alyawm / Al aan
|Ahl-yorm / Ahl Ahn
|Today / Now
|Ghadan / Albareha
|Gah-dahn / Ahl-bah-reh-ah
|Tomorrow / Yesterday
|Haza / Zalek / Huna / Hunak
|Hah-zah / Zah-lek / Hoo-nah / Hoo-nahk
|This / That / Here / There
Above are a few common Arabic phrases to help you get around.
The national language of Egypt is Modern Standard Arabic, of which, 68% of all speakers speak Egyptian Arabic, 29% speak Sa’idi Arabic, Eastern Egyptian Bedawi Arabic is spoken by about 1.6%, Sudanese Arabic is spoken by about 0.6%, Domari and Noblin are spoken by about 0.6% and the last 0.2% are spoken as Beja, Siwi and several others.
However, Greek, Armenian, Italian, French, German and English are all spoken widely by immigrants and foreign expatriates.
Egypt’s state religion is Islam, of which 90% of the population follows, and of these, Sunni is the main branch but Mu’tazila, Shia Twelvers and Ismailism are prominent as well. Sufi orders are also not uncommon. Christianity is also very frequent throughout the country with about 9% being Coptic Christians, including Coptic Catholics, Coptic Evangelical and Coptic Protestant denominations, and 1% of Christians are non-Coptic. Judaism is also common in the country.
It’s important to note that Baha’ism also exists in the country but often face persecution alongside other smaller faiths, these religions are not recognized by the government, as is the case with atheism and only recently saw changes to allow members of unrecognized faiths to obtain ID from the government whilst leaving the religion field blank.
Museums, Galleries & Architecture
Due to having one of the oldest civilizations in the world, Egypt’s architecture varies greatly and structures as old as five thousand years old to ones as young and recent as constructed in the 21st Century are visible. There are over 60 museums though out the country, the biggest of the three which are the 6th of October Panorama, the Egyptian National Military Museum and the Egyptian Museum, the last of which contains over 120,000 items from Egypt’s history and cultural identity.
One of the most prominent and dominant nightclubs in the country, the After Eight in Cairo produces live music for seven nights a week from the likes of Dina, Sahra, Reggae Bus and the Wust El Balad Band. Space is limited and its couples only so make sure to make a reservation! The nightclub also functions as a fully-functional restaurant.
Active and bouncing, the Tamarai in Cairo is one of Egypt’s biggest nightclubs and is widely thought of as one of the city’s penultimate after-dark locations. The club embraces a modern yet relaxed feel designed by internationally renowned architect Shahira H. Fahmy and brings both liveliness and comfort into the mix to allow all of the club’s guests to feel welcome.
Moving into Sharm El Sheikh, the Crystal LIVE Lounge brings a stylish and sophisticated aura about through the use of some of the international stage’s top vocalists, musicians and performers. The club also offers a range of VIP services such as a first-class waiter service, happy hour and champagne cocktails to allow those willing to let go of a little cash to enjoy a wonderful night out.
For those looking to revisit their native homeland of England or for those wishing to experience the British atmosphere, The Half Crown in Sharm El Sheikh brings forth a brilliant English pub style with typical drinks served in a venue in the United Kingdom. The pub is ideal for the homesick, the lovesick and those looking for a good night out with friends alike.
The currency used in Egypt is the Egyptian Pound which is divided into 100 Egyptian Piastres and uses the international currency code EGP. 1 EGP is equal to about $0.14 or £0.09.
Coins come in varieties in 5, 10, 20, 25 and 50 Piastre amounts as well as in a 1 Egyptian Pound coin.
Bank notes are available in 5, 10, 20, 50, 100 and 200 Egyptian Pound amounts.
Egypt’s economy is primarily based in Textile, Food processing, Tourism, Chemical, Pharmaceutical, Hydrocarbon, Construction, Cement, Metal and Light Manufacturing industries but also sees Crude Oil and Petroleum exported greatly, producing another additional source of revenue. However, it’s important to note that Food processing has, due to increased desertification of agricultural areas, declined significantly and continues to decline.
Egypt’s banking system works remarkably similarly to that of the western world and incorporates Current Accounts which produce less interest but more flexibility with withdrawal amounts and Savings Accounts which restrict the frequency of the user’s withdrawals but in turn provide higher interest rates. It’s important to note that the interest rates for Savings Accounts in Egypt can be two or three times the rates provided by their counterparts in the west.
Tax in Egypt only includes Income Tax and Social Security Tax.
Income Tax is imposed on Egyptian Residents earning money from the Egyptian Government or an Egyptian Public or Private Organization or Company. An Egyptian Resident is considered to be anyone who has resided in Egypt for over 183 days (roughly six months) in a calendar year. The earned money may include an employment income, business and/or non-commercial profits, profit from immovable properties. This starts when EGP 5000 and above is being earned each month ($720 or £430, tax is applied at a rate of 10%. At EGP 20,000 ($2900 or £1700) this jumps to 15%, and again at EGP 40,000 ($5700 or £3400) to 20% before reaching the top rate of 25% at EGP 10,000,000 ($1,400,000 or £850,000).
Social Security tax is imposed at a rate of 14% up to EGP 912.50 ($130 or £78) and all amounts exceeding this are taxed at 11% instead up until EGP 1200 ($170 or £100).
Due to the high quantity of the crops produced in the country’s Nile Valley and Delta, Egyptian Cuisine frequently makes use of vegetables, especially legumes, and may see additions of bread, alcohol and seafood on the side. It’s been quoted as especially good for vegetarians due to the high reliance on vegetable dishes.
Citizens from any of the following countries may stay in Egypt for up to 3 months without a visa:
There is a monopoly run on the Landlines in the country by Telecom Egypt, controlled by the government, however, a new company is also being set up to counter this. There are three companies that offer Mobile phone contracts with many of these contracts including 3G and 3.75G coverage.
There are eight major service providers which sell services to over 220 smaller ISP groups with the highest connection speed available as 24MB ADSL. Wireless connectivity is also being set up to try and establish a widespread information network across the country. Although the connectivity is incredibly good, it should be noted that the Egyptian Government had briefly shut off the connection in January 2011 and is capable of subsequently pushing further censorship.
Egyptian TV has two main channels, three satellite channels and six regional channels with the first main channel being in Arabic and the second one being in foreign languages, prevalently English and French.
Radio is nearly fully government controlled and uses 44 short-wave frequencies, 18 medium-wave stations and four FM stations, there are over seven regional stations which broadcast in 33 different languages.
Weather & Climate
Generally speaking, Egypt has a hot desert climate, but it can be cooler around the northern coastal strip due to the Mediterranean oceanic winds and can see temperatures as low as 2 degrees Centigrade (35.6 degrees Fahrenheit). The desert itself, however, is much, much hotter and can see temperatures rising as high as 41 degrees Centigrade (105.8 degrees Fahrenheit).
Alexandria, located on the coast, for example, tends to be around 14 degrees Centigrade (57.2 degrees Fahrenheit) in the winter months between December and February, and during the summer months between July and September tends to be around 27 degrees Centigrade (80.6 degrees Centigrade). The summer months can see absolutely no rain whatsoever and the winter months can see as much as 53mm of precipitation per month.
Luxor, located along the Nile in the desert, has hotter temperatures of around 33 degrees Centigrade (91.4 degrees Fahrenheit) in the summer months between June and August, and sees temperatures at around 14 degrees Centigrade (57.2 degrees Fahrenheit) during the winter months between December and February. Typically the city sees no rain all year around but may occasionally see 1mm of precipitation between September and November.
Children are not expected to have any additional documents to travel that an adult would not need. However, it’s important to note that Egypt, depending on where you are staying, may not be suitable for children as the locals can be fascinated by foreigners and are known to attempt to stroke the hair and faces of women and children, especially blonde-haired foreigners, with little regard to personal space.
All imported pets must be approved by the Government Veterinary Authority in their country of origin, this varies from country to country. Pets will also need to be implanted with a microchip compatible with international standards, an APHIS form 7001 issues within 10 days of departure from your vet and all necessary vaccinations including:
Education can be broken into four levels and all are free at a public school level:
Kindergarten is not compulsory but parents may choose to opt in their child as early as four years old.
Basic Education covers ages between six and fourteen. This includes Primary School for four years and Preparatory School for four years. This stage of education is compulsory and exams are held when the child is eight, eleven and fourteen.
Secondary School is at the second level and lasts for three years between ages 15 to 17. Exams are held when the child is sixteen and again at seventeen.
The Tertiary level covers the last level and allows students to advance into Higher Education.
The overall literacy rate has improved drastically in the last decade and today an average 72% of adults in the country are fully literate (81% males, 64% females). Private Schools are split into four types: Ordinary, which are more individual-centred variants of government schools, Language, which teach most of the curriculum in English but also have French and/or German as a second language, Religious, typically Azhar or Catholic schools and International, which follow the curriculum of another country such as the UK, US or France.
To work in Egypt you will require a Bachelor’s degree in a relevant subject for your chosen subject to teach, a PGCE, QTS or a Teaching Diploma, at least three years prior teaching experience and you must be a native English Speaker. Your qualifications should be obtained in the west (US, UK, Canada, Ireland, Australia, New Zealand or South Africa).
You must have all of the above to be accepted for most positions, additionally although a TEFL and other similar qualifications are not accepted as full teaching qualifications; you will increase your chances if you have these qualifications in addition to a teaching certification.
Always make sure to check our guide to VISA & Work Permit Restrictions.
Food can vary in price, with a restaurant ranging from EGP 30 to EGP 150 ($4.30 to $22 or £2.60 to £13) on average, a litre of water can cost as much as EGP 5.80 ($0.83 or £0.50), a litre of milk can cost as high as EGP 7.60 ($1.10 or £0.65), 500g of bread will set you back EGP 5.60 ($0.80 or £0.48) and 12 eggs will cost you EGP 11 ($1.60 or £0.94).
House prices are comparable in scale-to-price, with a 1 bedroom apartment outside the city centre costing EGP 890 ($130 or £76) and inside the city centre costing EGP 1,700 ($240 or £150), a three bedroom apartment looks more like EGP 2,200 ($320 or £190) outside the city centre but inside the city centre you should expect to pay closer to EGP 3,500 ($500 or £300).
Luxuries vary greatly but you can expect to pay EGP 16 ($2.30 or £1.40) for a pack of cigarettes, EGP 18 ($2.60 or £1.50) for a litre of beer and EGP 60 ($8.60 or £5.10) for a bottle of mid-range wine.
Held in Mokhtar Street Library, the Archaeological Society of Alexandria holds regular meetings four days a week and is responsible for many of the massive advancements into archaeological study in Egypt.
Friends of the Environment is a conservationist group in Alexandria concerned with the state and affairs of the environment in Egypt and are known to hold regular meetings in the sporting club for events, rallies and the like.
Like diving? You’ll love the British Sub Aqua Club of Cairo! The club organizes frequent trips out and dives, allowing for divers of all nationalities and experience levels to participate as well as offering a range of free training courses for all those looking to push their skills higher so that they can dive a little deeper.
With training sessions held at the crack of dawn for two days a week on Mondays and Wednesdays, the Cairo Rugby Club practices in the district of Maadi and owns its own clubhouse and equipment, allowing players of all experience levels to attend and welcoming newcomers and seasoned veterans alike.
Perhaps you’re a little more artistically inclined or see yourself as more of a craftsman/woman? The Cairo Art Guild provides a welcoming community atmosphere for anyone looking to participate in these disciplines and invites new members to try new sources of artwork and crafting prowess every two weeks.
The Technical Diving International Club is located on the coast of the Red Sea and features trained instructors, allowing anyone to progress to a level of mastery in diving or any diving-related discipline, the club organizes regular dives throughout the month.
Egypt is generally comparable crime-wise to most Western countries but crime rates in its cities, especially Cairo, are frequently high. These include petty crime such as pickpocketing and theft but also include motor vehicle theft, kidnapping, robbery, gang violence and assault. On a private level, white-collar crime such as smuggling, embezzlement, kickbacks, black marketeering, tax evasion and bribery are also common in the major cities.
Organized crime continues to be a problem as well as groups smuggle women for prostitution, including forced, into the country as their transit point, additionally, men, women and children are smuggled into and out of the country to work as domestic labourers and drug trafficking is frequent in the cases of cannabis, opium and heroin. Worst of all, on a political level up until recently, Corruption was frequent in the country’s politics and this in turn provoked Terrorism and religious violence, especially against tourists and religious minorities.