Hospitality is every Egyptian’s middle name. I swear I’ve been lifted to an unbelievable level of good manners here, and I’m enjoying it much more, now that I’m getting used to it. Our first year back, we lived in our city apartment. All of my husband’s huge social circle beat a path to our door, welcoming him home and greeting his new foreign wife. I cringed whenever the doorbell rang, but now it’s getting easier, as I’m learning the rules guiding everyone’s behavior. For example, Islam encourages nicer replies to any greetings received, and often this inspires beautiful rounds of compliments and blessings. It’s lovely, but so much sugar is rich for my etiquette-challenged blood. There are huge numbers of correct responses to correct greetings. Also, speaking to different classes of people requires an unending variety of appropriate titles to address your guests, particularly in gatherings with people whose names are found (or needed) in your contact list!
Submitted to the Speakeasy Grid, week #151 at yeahwrite.me – This week the prompt is the sentence, “Life had once been defined by linears and absolutes,” to be used as the first line in the post, and some reference to be made to the photo “Water Well,” by Odon Czintos. Like to learn more? Click this logo to join us:
In Egypt, “Who you know,” not “what you know,” is paramount. People move the system, not technology. Social protocol and etiquette opens Egyptian doors, just by minding your manners, never forgetting yourself, and never crossing your boss. The “Good Old Boy Network” is a well-connected web, where successful social climbers are celebrated like heroes. If you forget this, you’ll soon be driving a tuk tuk, or it’s back to Grandpa’s village and the potato field for you!