5 things you didn’t know about Egypt

When you think of Egypt, you probably automatically think of pharaohs, pyramids, and creepy dog-faced gods – but there’s so much more to this country than the Ancient times! Forget sarcophaguses and hieroglyphics, modern life in Egypt is pretty cool too.


1. People play Tetris with parked cars

There’s a serious lack of parking spaces in the major cities of Egypt, but something good came out of it! To allow others to fit into parking spaces, Egyptians often leave their handbrake down and doors open to allow other people to move their car forward and backwards. Talk about camaraderie!

2. You’ll be accompanied by an armed guard

Although a major tourist destination, Egypt still has a couple of problems that make traveling for tourists a little difficult. To ensure the safety of foreign visitors, tourists traveling between Cairo and Luxor are only able to ride a ‘tourist train’ – which is just like a regular train except for all the compartments are guarded by armed police officers.

3. Rival football teams share a stadium

Like many cities that have two football teams, there is an intense rivalry between the al-Ahly and Zamalek football clubs. Unlike other cities, however, these two teams share the same stadium. Needless to say, the fans can get a little territorial – with the government having to post high numbers of Central Security Force troops whenever the two teams play a derby game.

4. The week begins on Sunday

We all may hate Mondays, but the first day of the Egyptian week is actually Sunday. The Egyptian weekend used to be on Thursday and Friday, allowing Muslim citizens to partake in Jumu’ah prayers. However, it was then moved to Friday and Saturday to allow for both easier communication with international financial markets and Jumu’ah.

5. Foreign films are highly censored

Egypt has a huge film production industry, producing about 100 films a year. But the country also gets movies from other countries – although these are often heavily edited to remove material that is considered offensive. Banned movies include Bruce Almighty, Oliver Twist, and, uh, The Prince of Egypt.

If you want to know more about daily life in Egypt, check out the Travel & Leisure Guide over on Just Landed to see what life is like after mummies became omms.

Rosy Parrish

Rosy Parrish grew up in Britain and now lives in Madrid. She divides her time between teaching English, writing about expat life, and befriending dogs in the street.

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