Those damn Fowegners

I have known lots of foreigners living in Egypt throughout my life. For some reason- not that I minded of course- I was always surrounded by them. But lately I started wondering about them: What makes a foreigner- and by that I mean someone of European or American/Canadian/Australian descent because we know what the arabs and the refugees are doing here- come and live in Egypt? I mean I get the ones who visit, but why live here? So, I decided to put my anthropologist hat on, and take a closer look at the foreigners that pass by me, and make sweeping generalizations about the whole population. The results astounded me. My research-which wasn't scientific at all- has shown that there are three different types of foreigners that come to live in Egypt, each with their own habits, traits and even neighborhood. So without further ado, I present you with my findings:

1) The "I am here to make money" Foreigner: This is my favorite type of foreigner, because they come to Egypt full of purpose and they know exactly what they are doing here. This group includes foreigners who work for MNC's and Oil companies, Embassy officials, journalists who are sent here by their chief bureau, People who do whatever it is that Elijah and The Arabist do, and those are studying here because it's a way to get a specific job (like learning arabic in order to join the State Department or be a more hireable regional journalist or doing their masters in Polisci/Islamic Studies/Forced migration/whatever that will get them that cushy job in an American Think Tank or NGO). They are usually very smart and have their whole life planned ahead of them, which is refreshing to encounter in a country like Egypt. They live in Zamalek/Garden City if they don't have children and in Maadi if they do. They summer in Sharm Al Sheikh and el Gouna,  their favorite drug is Life, the desire for success and Alcohol, and their favorite egyptian book is "Beer in the Snooker club" by Wagih Ghaly- that is if they read books written by Egyptians at all. They hang out at extravagant Zamalek parties and sometimes the Ace club, they work out in the CAC campus and they know what's going on in Egypt more than the majority of Egyptians do, which is funny considering that they represent a tiny minority of foreigners here, especially compared to the "I am here to find myself" foreigner.

2) The "I am here to find myself" foreigner: Kind of self-explanatory, but let's give it a shot anyway: Those are the foreigners who tell you that they come to Egypt as part of some journey "to find themselves", but in reality are just looking to put their lives on hold for a bit and not grow up and be responsible like their fellow friends back at wherever they came from. They are usually mid twenties to early thirties, and they come to Egypt as part of a regional spiritual trip or an exchange program, and kind of never leave, mainly due to how cheap living in Egypt is compared to their life back home and the fact that here they get to retain the kind of adolescent social life they have enjoyed so much in college. They either have random jobs that offer shit pay and for which they are totally under qualified with their B.A. in 18th century Southasian philosophy (Check Nile FM, the daily news, the Ibn Khaldoun Center) or they do as every other foreigner who needs a job in Egypt does and become stringers for obscure newspapers and random news agencies, who usually don't require of you more than having the ability to write in half-decent English. Since they don't make that much money, they live either in  Mohandeseen/Agouza or in a houseboat in Kitkat, and they summer in Dahab and Nouiba3. They lead a very communal social life, with nights that boast events such as one of them coming back from a trip to Lebanon (of course) with lots of Alcohol or scoring a really good kind of Hash through their Bawab, and they will call each other and have a "gathering" whenever one of those life's little victories rears its shiny little head. They are usually major drug-fiends, so their favorite drugs include whatever you got on you, and they don't have a favorite egyptian book because they usually don't read (Paulo Coleho and Dan Brown are notable exceptions), opting instead to downloading episodes of "The Office" and "Weeds" off of the internet and watching them high as a kite. They used to hang out at the Greek Club, but ever since their new minimum charge policy of 45 pounds a person got implemented they stick to Estorel and Stella Cafe, and if they show up at L'aubergine for example they will have one beer only, unless you are paying, and then you shall discover their love for whatever is the most expensive shit that bar carries. The "I am here to find myself" foreigner has no shame, mainly because they believe themselves to be children of the Universe and that the Universe owes them something. So they will at first surprise you by their habit to ask the Universe for whatever it is they need, and when that naturally fails they will further surprise you by asking you for whatever it is they need. But other than that they are very nice people, and they eventually leave after spending between 3 to 6 years of their life in Egypt (unless you happen to marry one of them, you stupid dumb sucker), which makes them a much better breed than the final type, the " I am Egyptian" foreigner.

3) The "I am Egyptian" foreigner: That would be the type that drives me up the freakin wall, the foreigner who comes to Egypt, claims to have fallen in love with the country and wants to stay here to fix it. They exhibit certain similar traits to the "I am here to find myself" foreigner, only their condition is slightly more extreme. They usually have serious identity issues ( especially if they come from the US and super especially if from the south), and need a purpose in their lives that will give their lives meaning and piss off their parents (which is really their goal to begin with). They will go on diatribes about how this other foreigner you both know doesn't get Egypt like he/she "gets Egypt", and they will have dick measuring contests over who loves Egypt more. True story: I once encountered two such creatures once, roommates, the first said that its true that if you drink from the Nile you have to come back, while the other countered that this is not true, because if you drink from the nile, you never really leave Egypt, cause you leave your heart there. I informed both of them that they are both wrong, because as an egyptian would tell you, if you drink from the nile, you will end up in the hospital, because that shit is super polluted. Anyway… Their favorite american author is naturally Noam Chomsky, their favorite topic of conversation is the different Zionist lobbies in Washington and they say Inshallah and habiby every 20 seconds. Where they live is a tricky proposition, since they do follow a certain migration pattern that is depended on how "egyptian" they've become. They start by living in Zamalek their first year here, and then they will move to Downtown the following, citing the fakneness of Zamalek and the cultural richness of Downtown as their reasons. Their third year they move to a Houseboat in Imbaba ( they will say Imbaba with the same pride reserved for being hardcore egyptians, as if Imbaba isn't the area opposite of Seqouia), followed by a Bonus phase that not everybody takes of moving to Mukattam and discovering how awesome it is to take a Microbus to work(" Sure, I get sexually harassed and grabbed, but it only costs me 50 piasters for a ride. It's awesome"), before finally setteling in Al Haram, either in a street off of Faysal, or if they are truly willing to go the distance to prove their egyptianness, Omraneya. Their favorite Egyptian Author is naturally Ahdaf Suweif, because they are retarded and they think her orientalist drivel is actual literature (Alaa, I know she is your Aunt and everything, so please please please get her an Editor. In the Eye of the Sun is needlessly 450 pages man. There are 200 pages of her talking about her make-up and removing her hair using Halawah. I am serious man, someone needed to say it!), they will claim that their favorite singer is of course Oum Kalthoum, even though they usually don't understand what the hell she is saying, and their favorite hangout is the Ahwah (Shisha cafe) in front of their house if they are males and the houses of their middle-class Hijab-wearing egyptian housewife bestfriend if they are female. They rarely hang out with other foreigners- unless they are just like them, and even then it gets tense due to the aforementioned dick-measuring contests- and they would never be caught dead being seen in Zamalek or Maadi. Their favorite summer spot are Alexandria and Ain el Soukhnah, and they end up usually working as teachers in Language schools that just started a bullshit but overpriced American Diploma program and they needed any foreigner who look like a teacher in order to seem legit to the parents of their students. You can also identify them through their facebook albums, because at some point in their lives they passed by Gaza and took pictures with smiling Palestinian children, which they will show you while naming the children and telling you anecdotes of how cute and smart they are and how they formed a connection and told him/her that they never want them to leave, in denial of the fact that they are just one of the 30,000 foreigners that passed by those kids that year alone, and that they probably forget all about him/her ever existing, let alone their names. Oh, and their favorite drug is HASH, of course, cause, really, what's more Egyptian than that?

Did I miss anything? Let me know in the comments section! 

Comments

  1. anonymous says:

    You did forget something indeed: The warning sign. My computer got half of my hot chocolate.

  2. what about the I-wanna-live-in-a-muslim-community type ? i can understand if you never ran into one of these!

  3. Clean-Machine says:

    Man this reaks of the Seen & Heard, analytical judgemental bullshit fued you had with them last week. Who cares where they eat, drink, sleep live.

    Why judge them? Wait until Seen & Heard here about this, they are gonna have a field day with you, which makes me think, that is just what you want cause i guess you loved the attention.
    But they are not really interested in finding out who you are, they could care less. Even though I know who you are, and i know for a fact that you know a few of them and you guys don’t even know you are talking to one another.

    I am not one to say whether or not you love Egypt, but I don’t think you do. Categorizing folks like that is just plain ridiculous SM. Let them live, let them be. leave them a alone.

    You forgot, which one are you, since you consider yourself one of the few converts to Zionism?

    @ Ahmed, of course he left out the “Live in a Muslim country foreigner” on purpose, cause he knows that is just tabooooooo!

    NOT A BAD POST, but shame on your wanting to live the adolescent life beyond your time to the point where you ridicule the very people you worship.

  4. die Bitch!

  5. Your Spam Filter is a piece of shit says:

    your spam filter is a piece of shit

  6. Frenchman says:

    :) Funny… and a tad too easy. Why would you ever travel ? Then again every foreigner in every country falls into one of these categories: the American come to France, the Japanese in Spain, etc… Oh, you forgot one very important one, and very universal too:
    the quest for the loved one.

    What better reason to learn the language and culture ?

  7. Frenchman says:

    …AND one can be a combination of ALL 4 : a professional/aid worker/journalist come to learn the language for career plans/to “find” themselves in a difference environment and be immersed in Egyptian culture which they feel in love with/ connect with their loved one. Sometimes they even are more balanced: they both LOVE and HATE different aspects of Egypt.

    One more thing: as much as I agree on your opinion of Dan Brown, “the Secret” and Paolo Coelho, Adhaf Soueif is different. She is actually a very good writer and I wished the Eye of the Sun had 200 MORE pages.

  8. “favorite drugs include whatever you got on you”

    Well, that fits me to a tee. I prefer opiates, such as the majestic 40 mg Oxycontin or pharmaceutical morphine, but I’ll ingest whatever you give to me. In fact, I’m my friends’ official drug guinea pig. If they pick up a bag of random green pills with no markings to google, they come to me and say “take two of these and see if you die.” Then I relay the effects and we all enjoy them. Sort of like a medieval food-taster, only with narcotics. And no pay. Except for the sweet, sweet high.

    Damn, now I’m jonesing for some Oxy powder to blow up my nose. Be back in ten minutes.

  9. Liberal says:

    Sandmonkey only likes the ones come here to make MONEY

  10. this is completely random, but can someone click on this link so I can see what it does? Supposedly, clicking it helps my character on an MMORPG I’m playing.

    click here: http://s7.gladiatus.com/game/c.php?uid=149123

  11. Reading the post, I did not feel you were judging them; it was more of documenting your research findings …. cute:)

    Yeah .. I agree with Frenchman (comment 7) .. you forgot the love bugs.

    There is also another category that I come across and I absolutely resent – The I-made-a-mistake category.

  12. Well I’ve read the article and been through the website and this sandman dude has a lot of sociological issues, my best guess is that he’s had some pretty rough times in Egypt, managed to leave, converted, hates Islam, deep-rooted problem, whatever. Anyway I’ve lived in Egypt for 5 years and speak Arabic fluently. I’m Half Egyptian half French, born and bread in London. As I mentioned above I’ve lived in Egypt and know very well that it’s a dictatorship, managed very badly and some of it people are closed mined but it’s not as bad as you people make it out to be, I mean I went to Detroit and Arizona, man what a dumps, ok NY is nice but only in places, nearly got mugged in California. What I’m trying to say is get over it sandman you only live once enjoy it and stop the hate, if you don’t like Egypt don’t go, And no I’m not religious.

    P.S I know these comments have nothing to do with article just the general mood of the site. Viva Socialism, Castro forever!! 

  13. Clean-Machine says:

    @ TAM, who Nailed it big time!!

  14. “As I mentioned above I’ve lived in Egypt and know very well that it’s a dictatorship, managed very badly and some of it people are closed mined but it’s not as bad as you people make it out to be”

    “Viva Socialism, Castro forever!!”

    Kinda put’s your opinion in perspective with those pearls of wisdom!! LOL
    I hear Cuba is accepting applications for fools who believe in their failed policy. Only thing is, no ones taking them up on their generous offer!?! Imagine that!! Yet Cuba’s citizen’s are risking shark infested waters on inner tubes to escape Castro’s utopia for the US. What fools, they must be Republicans!!

  15. OMG

    You forgot, which one are you, since you consider yourself one of the few converts to Zionism?

    You forgot that not all people smoke drugs or are alcoholics.

    Just because you can’t spend a day or two away from it that doesn’t mean that everyone is like you…

    No wonder you failed the entrance exam to the Elite Special Egyptian Intelligence Services ..

    How’s that for inside scoops?

    Sorry to be a buzz kill SM, but would you like me to say your name out loud on here?

    Please entice me….

    Curious to whom you piss off with your snark about Egypt yet?

    Have a nice day, as you put it!

  16. “what about the I-wanna-live-in-a-muslim-community type ? i can understand if you never ran into one of these!”

    Who does not!

  17. Listen to the crybabies. “If you don’t straighten up SM and fly right, I’m going to give out your real name!”

    LOL!!!

    Viva La Spongebob! Krabby Patties Forever!

  18. Mohamed says:

    Sandmonkey,
    So for you a good foreigner is someone who’s a racist looking down on Egypt and Egyptians including yourself, and anyone who might have any good will towards this country is a dillussional idiot? And what’s so “stupid, dumb and sucky” about marrying a foreigner?As far as I’m concerned they’re like 10000 times better than your average fake, superficial and spoiled egyptian girl.
    Jeez, what a jerk.

  19. al prazolam says:

    At least we know you have a guide book to xenophobia in you—–sheesh dude drop a xani , have tantric sex or do something to relieve that pent up angst.

  20. Motives and agendas aside (on both sides of the comments section), SM is totally correct in his anthropological assessment.

  21. CarpetCaptain says:

    That pretty much sums it up.

    I do agree with Froggy and Marwa Rakha that there is a small percentage that is wandering the wrold aimlessly hoping to find someone to make their lives miserable fulltime.

  22. And its the Mavi’s of the world that will land the short straw in the SM hands, as if she is just begging me to drop his real name because no doubt he is expendable to you!

  23. When did half the people here lose their sense of humor and start calling Sandy racist & xenophobic for making a funny post about foreigners in Egypt? And “threatening” to tell people his real name is super lame. First, he probably doesn’t care about it as much as a few years ago. Second, I’m pretty sure most of us long-time readers already know it.

    zazter fails epically

  24. I think you missed the “I’m here to study” foreigner….ie what I was and probably will be again. I find the culture of the Middle East absolutely fascinating and the people amazing….I felt so welcome in Egypt that I felt comfortable. I was studying Arabic while I was there, although its still complete crap and I need to go back and work on it…..but I’ve thought about living there and it would be more as a learning experience and to open my eyes to yet another portion of the world. Technically I did live there for 4 months and it was wonderful, although I think I missed the bad parts since I was still settling in as I was packing my bags. There are those of us who may want to settle out somewhere, not to fix it or make money or to “find ourselves” but to find the world…..to find the other people we’re surrounded by….brought closer and closer by globalization. Its interesting to see how others live and function in their every day lives. Maybe I’m an odd foreigner, but I’m a foreigner everywhere I go nonetheless..

  25. I think there should be a category for the wannabe NGO workers, and you should put the wannabe journalists, embassy staff and Arabic students in there as well. Definitely not in the “make money” category – I don’t really know if this element is that common – and somewhat in the “find themselves” camp but with more ambition.

    There are two broad categories of expats. Those on multinational or embassy or NGO salaries (those that include nice housing, cost of living adjustments, etc.) and the poor, often itinerant English teachers, freelance journalists, extreme sports instructors, etc.

  26. Foreigners are just like any group of people, some good .. some suck ..

    Interesting to read how their objectives and personal goals define their lifestyles and their intellectual interactions; nevertheless I fail to see any derived conclusion of your – non scientific, extra cynical- categorization. I know you didn’t aim for a “descriptive analysis” so perhaps you can entertain us with what to make out of this good dissection of the foreigners realm.

  27. I got five correct on the German questionnaire. Did anyone else find some of the German questions to be bizarre? When I first read the ones about Willy Brandt, the Bundestag, and juvenile crime, I paused for a moment because I thought they HAD to be trick questions.

  28. Woops, wrong post.

  29. I think SM forgets that Egypt has a long, long history of foreigners coming to settle here, many for several generations. Until WW2 many Frenchmen and Italians came to Cairo for a better life, Armenians came fleeing persecutions, European Jews came because, for many, Palestine was not cosmopolitan enough. And indeed most came for money, but I bet that they didn’t stay for the money alone (like 99% of people presumably do in Dubai.) Some have professions that draw them to the region, and really it’s either Cairo or Beirut in that case. Many foreigners like your country, warts and all, and don’t particularly feel they have a home to go back to. Plus we are addicted to fuul bi zeit harr and can’t get it anywhere else.

  30. CarpetCaptain says:

    Egypt is and and always has been a country that welcomes everyone whether you’re there for fool and ta’amia in medan el ta ha’arir or steak in the marriott. The Egypt I know always had open open arms for everyone. Granted SM made some anthropoligical assumptions which some might agree or disagree with, I don’t think they were inaccurrate he did them with the the best intentions and to the best of his knowledge.

    Is Egypt’s recent history of hosting foreigners a little more sophisticated? Hell yeah, we have to be retarded to discount that. Having said that if you were to summarize and group I don’t think his views are either racist, minimalist or moronic as some have impliied.

  31. Let’s see a few categories of urban Egyptian professionals in Egypt:

    1) the “I could live elsewhere but here my degree gives me a status I probably wouldn’t have abroad, plus I have access to daddy’s house/car, a maid and a nice apartment that I could never afford in a million years anywhere else” type. They shine among Egyptians, but foreigners are like kryptonite to them. They live in Zamalek, Mohandeseen or Maadi and have no idea how the rest of Egypt lives. Probably members of some hereditary expensive club. They often despise “new money” and dine out. They usually try hard to avoid talking about politics, except on anonymous blogs where they can safely feel like rebels. They donned an iPhone the first month it was out.

    2) The good willing do-gooders. Had a privileged education through merit and came back to try to fix their country. They live in the same areas as (1), but also downtown where rents are cheaper, especially if they work for NGOs that offer cheap salaries. They hate gadgets and do yoga/meditation, eat organic, vegetarian stuff. I like them, except they tend to be judgemental of whoever is not in their intimate circle of friends.

    3) the “I couldn’t afford to study at AUC and/or abroad, and I’m trying o do my best with what I was given at birth” regular non-pretentious, decent Egyptians. Non-judgemental nor cynical and yet have a genuine sense of humour. They like to cook, eat at home and invite foreign friends. They may live a bit out of the favourite trendy areas of 1 & 2.

    … (to be continued by anthropologists)

  32. ;D How about some of your medicine ? Let’s see a few categories of urban Egyptian professionals in Egypt:

    1) the “I could live elsewhere but here my degree gives me a status I probably wouldn’t have abroad, plus I have access to daddy’s house/car, amaid and a nice apartment that I could never afford in a million yearsanywhere else” type, male (women have other pressures and issues to deal with). They work in multinationals/internatinoal organizations where they were hired to fill national quotas and because they’re native arabic speakers (their only competitive advantages).

    They like to think they’re liberal and to shine among Egyptians, but foreigners are like kryptonite to them. They live in Zamalek, Mohandeseen or Maadi and have no idea how the rest of Egypt lives and struggles. Probably members of some hereditary expensive club. They often despise whoever is not like them. They mostly dine out. They usually try hard to avoid talking about politics, except on anonymous blogs where they can safely feel like rebels. They donned an iPhone the first months it was out, and enjoy fancy status cars.

    2) The good willing do-gooders. Had a privileged education, mostly through merit, and stay to try to fix their country. They live in the same areas as (1),but also where rents are cheaper if they’re male & work for NGOs with low salaries (again, women have other issues and can’t live alone). They do yoga/meditation, eat organic & vegetarian and do not particularly enjoy status toys, although they often have them anyways :) I like these Egyptians, except when they tend to be judgemental of whoever is not in their intimate circle of friends/share their lifestyle & politics. They’re usually the most liberal though.

    3) the “I couldn’t afford to study at AUC and/or abroad, and I’m trying my best with what I have” regular non-pretentious, decent Egyptians. Non-judgemental nor cynical and yet: they have a genuine sense of humour. They like to eat at home, cook and invite foreign friends. They may live a bit out of the trendy areas so might not be in same social circles as 1/2. My favourite ones :)

    (…to be continued by anthropologists)

  33. guzzar from anzar mazar says:

    for number one cut & paste our dearest silicon monkey.

  34. guzzar from anzar mazar says:

    you nailed it frogman kudos :D ……

  35. EgyPeter says:

    Bottom line:

    Egypt needs MORE foreigners (NOT from the Gulf)

    We used to have a ton of them, until Nasser kicked them out and stole their shit…

  36. Thanks for a hilarious post, Sandman.

    I spent a month in Cairo learning Arabic (because it’s a hot language here in the U.S. and I hope to make money from it). I don’t know what the attraction of Egypt is for types 2 and 3, though there was a woman in my class who was a type 3. I’m glad I saw Cairo, but given a choice between living in Cairo and Rio, I’d take Rio without hesitation. The women don’t cover their heads, the beaches are beautiful, the traffic is less insane, and Portuguese is easier to learn than Arabic.

  37. littleTinSoldier says:

    HAHA sandmonkey! very good post, made me smile,
    this post is exactly the reason I read you for almost two years now…

    P.S. it seems to me you managed to piss off some gants…

    P.P.S you should moderate more…

  38. Phahahhaa WOW you pissed some people off :D Nice work :)

  39. EgyPeter says:

    I know it’s REALLY hard to believe, but some good news coming out of Egypt/ME..

    http://www.ft.com/cms/s/0/563b7efa-3e0f-11dd-b16d-0000779fd2ac.html

    Now hopefully Israel and Lebanon can make nice..and maybe now we can get on to something a bit more constructive than fighting.

  40. .unɟ ǝɹɐ sʇsıʇı1ǝ 1ɐɔıuʎɔ’1o1

  41. Regallo says:

    Hello , very enlightening , I suggest you work on a similar classification for Egyptians living in Egypt . I can’t find a reason for a sane person to live here in peace , even if it is his homeland…

  42. CarpetCaptain says:

    “but given a choice between living in Cairo and Rio, I’d take Rio without hesitation”

    So would i JFP and i speak Arabic fluently while Portugese is a tough language to learn. I’ll take a condo in Ipanema over one in Zamalek any day of the week.

  43. Have a look on this video made by EC for the International Day against Torture . http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ffp1Vp36jOM

    other materials in many languages can be found on http://ec.europa.eu/europeaid/where/worldwide/eidhr/index_en.htm

  44. really good sandmonkey but you forgot to mention the foreigners that have an egyptian parent … i have some friends of them and they really a confusing and good to be your next topic

  45. Good Egyptian Man says:

    GIVE PEOPLE BACK THE MONEY

    http://www.surreycc.gov.uk/sccwebsite/sccwspages.nsf/LookupWebPagesByTITLE_RTF/Power+Off+Road?opendocument

    http://www.surreycc.gov.uk/SCCWebsite/sccwspages.nsf/searchresults/13971cb5d203a1a5802572ae00384d6b?OpenDocument

    http://www.mirror.co.uk/archive/2006/11/09/investigate–tarek-mowafi–89520-18065899/

    http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/england/southern_counties/6200583.stm

    One customer left waiting was the father of a terminally-ill Crawley boy.

    Keith Evans tried to buy a quad bike for his eight-year-old son Sean, who has terminal cancer.

    We need to stop more customers getting ripped off

    He said: “How can they take people’s hard-earned cash, especially for their children at Christmas, take it and not deliver the goods, and take off with the money?

  46. Good Egyptian Man says:

    GIVE PEOPLE BACK THE MONEY

    http://www.surreycc.gov.uk/sccwebsite/sccwspages.nsf/LookupWebPagesByTITLE_RTF/Power+Off+Road?opendocument

    http://www.surreycc.gov.uk/SCCWebsite/sccwspages.nsf/searchresults/13971cb5d203a1a5802572ae00384d6b?OpenDocument

    http://www.mirror.co.uk/archive/2006/11/09/investigate–tarek-mowafi–89520-18065899/

    http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/england/southern_counties/6200583.stm

    One customer left waiting was the father of a terminally-ill Crawley boy.

    Keith Evans tried to buy a quad bike for his eight-year-old son Sean, who has terminal cancer.

    We need to stop more customers getting ripped off

    He said: “How can they take people’s hard-earned cash, especially for their children at Christmas, take it and not deliver the goods, and take off with the money?

  47. Good Egyptian Man says:

    GIVE PEOPLE BACK THE MONEY

    http://www.surreycc.gov.uk/sccwebsite/sccwspages.nsf/LookupWebPagesByTITLE_RTF/Power+Off+Road?opendocument

    http://www.surreycc.gov.uk/SCCWebsite/sccwspages.nsf/searchresults/13971cb5d203a1a5802572ae00384d6b?OpenDocument

    http://www.mirror.co.uk/archive/2006/11/09/investigate–tarek-mowafi–89520-18065899/

    http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/england/southern_counties/6200583.stm

    One customer left waiting was the father of a terminally-ill Crawley boy.

    Keith Evans tried to buy a quad bike for his eight-year-old son Sean, who has terminal cancer.

    We need to stop more customers getting ripped off

    He said: “How can they take people’s hard-earned cash, especially for their children at Christmas, take it and not deliver the goods, and take off with the money?

  48. so fuckinnnnnnn true man so fuckin trueeee loool

  49. how about the “im here cz my husband beats me and locks me up, takes away my passport and threatens to kill my kids if i leave the house or contact anyone” type of foreigner, cz trust me there’s are alot!

  50. DocMartyn says:

    Have you ever bumped into Linda S. Heard?

    http://www.habtoor.com/anenemycalledapathy/l-1.htm

    She really has gone, well, very odd indeed. I suspect that she is more Egyptain that anyone else, and could give any Arab a run for his/her money on the ‘I am an authentic Arab” stakes.

  51. CarpetCaptain says:

    “how about the “im here cz my husband beats me and locks me up, takes away my passport and threatens to kill my kids ”

    Believe it or not the Canadian Foreign Ministry had issued a warning against marrying Egyptian men.

    They should issue it about the women too! lol

    relax that was tongue in cheek

  52. Wut about the damn Gulfies? dont they deserve a pararagraph on that post? after all its only a matter of weeks before they drop in for a month or two. May be you can put them under ” Iam here feel good about my self by make you watch as i throw money away on all sorts of trivial shit”.

    Of course most Egyptians are more busy taking their money than feeling sorry for themselves. But just to get more out of that walking oil well they pretend like they do.

    for those of you unfamiliar with the term “FAHLAWA” consider this your first lesson.

  53. [i]“They should issue it about the women too!”[/i]

    Are you trying to scare SM off? You are not helping, you know.

  54. CarpetCaptain says:

    “Are you trying to scare SM off? You are not helping, you know.”

    Nope just keeping things in perspective for myself hahaha. I’m heading down there shortly.

  55. Michael says:

    This analysis is perfect! You’ve done a wonderful job of describing the very things that make me annoyed by the 20-something Middle East study/work abroad crowd.

    The only thing I’d add; however, is the follow-up experience of meeting one of them back in the U.S., where they need to let everyone know that they have a cultural edge over regular “American society” because they spent 3 months in Dahab (with other foreigners).

  56. CarpetCaptain says:

    Dead on Michael!

    I recently ran into a chick at the pub who was ecstatic to hear that I was born in Egypt. It was actually quite funny, she went out of her way to convince me that I knew Egypt way less than her. For the record I spent the first 17 years of my life in Egypt and go back at least twice a year. I guess smoking a bit of outdoor Sinai ganja in Dahab makes you an expert.

  57. what about the ones who married an egyptian and got suckered into moving to the homeland to raise their litter?

    I personally am in Egypt due to visa issues for my husband, and because I want to learn arabic and dammit its really hard to do in the US.

    MY favorite place to hang out? Starbucks cuz I’m super FREAKING homesick. But I do love Egypt, not in a “give me 9 months and I’ll be ma3lema” kind of way or anything, but as an opportunity to embrace my husband’s culture and somehow make our future children a mix of the two. And to learn arabic.. not kidding.

    Just wanted to add myself as another facet of the “foreigner in Egypt.”

  58. ok, some of this is true, but i appreciate that any of these foreigners take an interest in egypt altogether….god knows it’s a comparatively shitty choice to their nations of origin. besides, they’re all pretty nice (except the CIA operatives in training) and you like them and hang out with them and we’re all huge fucking cliches anyway. what about the “i got my education abroad and would like to live there but can’t because i’m a middle eastern man who can’t get a work visa, so i content myself with abusing Egyptians whenever i can, especially on the internet?” i know many of those…

  59. OK, i feel that i’ve been discovered :-) (cat. 3).

    But actually the majority of foreigners that have been around for, lets’ say more than 6 months, aren’t that unconditionnaly in love with egypt as they tell you. If they do somehow enjoy the country a lot of them are pissed off, especcialy the girls. Not the pollution, or the chaos or whatever but the Egyptians, their minds and this society often drive us crazy. And it’s more than just fighting with dishonnest taxi drivers or flat owners.
    I don’t think your foreign friends would actually tell you everything they think about egytians – as they don’t want to offend locals. but for instance, if they dared, they would tell you:

    - we think that the zebiba thing is a huge scam. we are convinced that most of egyptians just rubb their foreheads in their living room watching TV (you can’t possibliy have a “natural” prayer mark when you are in your 20′s can you… and why no such marks in other muslims countries?? – are egyptian foreheads more sensitive that malaysians or morrocans??)

    - first we thought it was charming but now we are sick of egyptians never telling the truth about anything (the time they will arrive, the reason why they can’t come, or do this task, the best way to go to this street, etc. etc. – egyptians just tell you anything to make you happy (?). Enough!)

    - it’s true I prefer to go to a shaabi wedding in imbaba or shobra than hanging out in zamalek. It’s true i don’t like to see other foreigners – i can’t help thinking what you said: they don’t know Egypt as I do :) but it’s even more true that i can’t stand upper class egyptians. Arrogant, fat, vulgar, bad educated children, treating bawabs and waiters like shit etc. They act more like khaligis actually. And when you tell an egyptian guy living in Maadi you enjoy walking in Galameya or have a friend that lives in Shobra al kheyma he will either make a face like a bad smell suddenly appeared or would be impressed like if you told him your favorita hangout was Bagdad or Mogadiscio.

    - no I don’t think Islam is such a great thing – i only hang out with muslims that actually smoke hash and drink beer. If they don’t, I’m sure they are a bit fundamentalists and imagine they continuously pity me because they believe I will burn in hell. Well i suppose that the drinkers believe that too, after all they are muslims while i am a drinker AND a christian.

    etc.