Cultural Dimensions of Egypt

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            Egypt’s religion dictates much of, if not all, the citizen’s culture norms and practices; from family values to meeting etiquette to how men and women should dress. Geert Hofstede would call Egypt’s society as short-termed oriented or a society with great respect to traditions and principles. However, religion isn’t the only thing handing out orders. Social class is extremely prominent in Egypt and depending what class one is born into that will determine the kind of life and opportunities he or she will have in their life. It’s not like in the United States where one can, more easily than not, be born into a poor family, get a college education, and be of higher class than their parents. There is little to no social mobility in Egypt. Much of that is due to, again, tradition and hierarchy; a restrained society as Hofstede would call it. A society constrained of its “joy” at the expense of strict social norms. The rest of Egyptian society see their culture in a more holistic perspective rather than individualistically. They see their culture as sort of a melting pot, Egyptian being one dimension, African, Arab, and Muslim the rest; as opposed to the majority of the community holding religion in a much higher pedestal than their nationality.  Nevertheless, the African country holds an aesthetic civilization; a community of nobility and honor where even the mighty strength of governments don’t shadow value and principles. It’s something one doesn’t see very much in today’s world, at least, in most western parts of it. It shows even the, seemingly, weakest countries are truly the strongest through their virtues and respect for themselves and others. Because strength shouldn’t be measured by the amount of money in your pocket, but the amount of character in your heart.

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Source(s):

http://geert-hofstede.com/dimensions.html

http://www.kwintessential.co.uk/resources/global-etiquette/egypt-country-profile.html

http://www.academia.edu/2007411/Identity_in_Egypt_Snapshots_of_the_Egyptian_Youth

Wanting change, but not knowing where to start . . .

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There’s been many sleepless nights in my life. I can’t help, but to feel sad, guilty, unworthy of my possessions. I just have so much and I know there are people in this world who don’t even have a fraction of what I have. There are people out there starving themselves to feed their families. There are kids living in the streets, working day in and out, to help make ends meet. There are families living in cardboard shacks, tents, dumpsters yet I am living in my comfortably large room with my comfortable bed, with my comfortable clothes in a comfortable neighborhood.

Why is that? I’ve asked myself many times. Why can’t the wealth be spread equally across the world? Why can’t everyone go to sleep with food in their stomach? Why am I living a life a luxury at the expense of another human being? Why must I rob you of your humanity to feel contempt of mine? How can anyone go to sleep at night as bombs are being dropped on innocent families in other countries? For our freedom, you say? Please. But at the same time I can’t blame the next person for feeling that way. Given the capitalistic nature of this United States, it’s what we do best. We seek what’s best in our interest at whatever means necessary. Even if that means having starving kids in all parts of the world. I’m tired of feeling this way. I’m tired wanting change, but not knowing where to start. I’m tired of pretending it doesn’t hurt my heart.

The dahlia lama once said to teach is to reach immortality. If that is the case, teach I will. My first step will be to raise awareness. Share my knowledge. Shed light into oppressed countries so others can see the realities outside their bubbles.

This is where Egypt comes in. Egypt is in the north eastern part of Africa with a population of nearly 80 million people. About forty percent of its population consist of young kids from ages 10-29. Its climate is of mostly hot, humid summers and moderate winters. Desert-like. Its government practices republicanism, but Islam is what truly governs the everyday lives of most Egyptians or Muslims. Some of their obligations as Muslims include to pray 5 times a day; dawn, noon, afternoon, sunset, and evening. Friday is considered Holy day in the Islamic religion thus most businesses close on Thursday and begin the weekend on that day. Ramadan, the holy month for Muslims, consists of fasting from dusk to dawn and family festivities to celebrate the end of the fasting each evening. Businesses usually don’t operate in their regular schedule. Everything is generally at much slower pace during the holy month of Ramadan.

Violence and destitute is also prominent in this mostly humble nation. Especially given the recent revolution a couple years ago. Most of Egypt’s population is of the lower class while the rest are of the upper. An imbalance like this can raise civil disobedience and/or resistance anywhere in the world. It is no wonder the poor people of this country are at unrest. But at the same time, fighting fire with fire has never sheltered a positive ending. Think back to the times of Hitler and World War I. He was only suppressed, never truly silenced. He eventually came back and raised hell like no one has done in centuries. Yes, you and I want change and social responsibility from our leaders, but how? We have to raise our voices and be heard, literally and figuratively. Educate the lower class. Spread knowledge to all corners of the world. And stop giving power to the corrupt. Vote with our voice, hands, and wealth.

 

Source(s): http://www.kwintessential.co.uk/resources/global-etiquette/egypt-country-profile.html

http://www.academia.edu/2007411/Identity_in_Egypt_Snapshots_of_the_Egyptian_Youth

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