My name is Ehab Wassily, this is my first blog on this website, so I thought I’d introduce myself. I am a Christian Egyptian, and yes I still live in Egypt although I am a Christian. Of course being an Arab, and I think many Arabs will relate, we come across a hefty sum of questions that are so stereotypical that shows the great amount of misconceptions that people from the west have concerning the Middle East and Arabs. So here is a list of these questions and the answers.
Q: “Oh, you are an Arab, so you must be a Muslim, right?”
A: No, there are other religions here.
- It might come as a surprise to a lot of western people, but there are Christians and Catholics in Egypt, not only because I am an Arab then this automatically means I am a Muslim.
Q: “So, you ride a camel to go to work?”
A: No, we use some 4 wheeled machines; they are called “CARS”.
- I get this question a lot, we are not nomads, we don’t live in the desert, the only place where we ride camels is at the pyramids, and it’s a kind of tourism. We don’t use them for transportation, we actually have “ROADS” and we use “CARS” on these roads.
Q:”Where is your cave located?”
A: Nowhere, because we don’t live in caves, nor tents.
- Egypt is not a big desert centered around the pyramids as a lot of movies show, the pyramids are just a tourism spot, but it is not the whole country. Therefore, we don’t live in caves, believe it or not, we have buildings, houses and homes. Yes, there are areas where people live this way, like in Sinai, or in the desert, they live in tents because this is how they want to live.
Q: “You must know terrorists, or in fact, are you one”?
A: Hell no, Egypt and the Middle East is not a big terrorist training camp.
- Of course there are extremists, as there are extremists in any community, but that is a whole other topic, so I’ll discuss it later.
Q: “So do you wear these white clothes with this thing wrapped around your head”?
A: No we wear this thing called Jeans, suits, oh yes, and shoes.
- Contrary to common belief, we wear normal clothes in Egypt, yes there are traditional clothes in some parts of the country, but the majority wears the same clothes you wear.
Q: “You must be working as a farmer or as a shepherd in the desert?”
A: NO, I am an Architect!!!
- We have farmers, we have shepherds just like any country, but we do have other jobs, we got doctors, teachers or as myself, I am an architect.
Such questions do not come from nowhere, it is due to the media and the misconceptions people have about us, but it is a whole other story, which will be the topic of the next post, the reasons for these misconceptions.