Moving to Egypt
Known for its ancient history, desert, great Pyramids and even mummies, Egypt is a country famed as ‘the cradle of civilisation’.
Its rich history stretches back thousands of years to the ancient Egyptians, and it is now evolving more than ever. In recent times, there has been political change following the January Revolution in 2011 which lead to a democratic election. Today Egypt is the most populated country in North Africa and the Arab world with over 92 million people living there. Over 90% of the population is Muslim, with the remaining demographic being mostly Christian.
When moving to Egypt, you should expect little rain. There is plenty of sun so you can go outside and enjoy what life in Egypt has to offer. Here you will find a low cost of living, a rich history, and cheap taxi transportation and good subway systems in cities like Cairo.
When it comes to finding accommodation, there are several options available to you. A lot of schools and companies provide housing in dedicated areas for expats arriving in Egypt. You can also find accommodation with the help of a real estate agent known locally as a semsarr.
Always be sure to inspect the property before signing any agreement and make sure that you have your contract written down – this is a legal requirement so be wary of any landlord who does not want to provide a written lease. Rental agreements may vary depending on the landlord so it’s beneficial to read over the contract in detail.
In Egypt, children must attend Primary and Lower Secondary Education from ages 6 to 14. Government schools are free and offer two options: Arabic schools (taught in Arabic) and Experimental Language schools (taught in English, adding on another foreign language by Secondary Education). There is also the Al-Azhar system which is run in parallel with the public schools and focuses more heavily on religious teachings – all students are Muslim.
International schools are also available – tuition is more expensive by local levels but offer smaller classes and teaching in your native language.
Egypt is a Muslim country and as such religion plays an important role in the culture and traditions of its people. Prayer takes place 5 times a day, and major Islamic holidays are celebrated throughout the country. All places of businesses tend to be closed on Fridays as this is the Muslim Holy day, most companies will also close on Thursdays, making this the weekend.
Egypt has a number of bank holidays that are made up of national, Christian and Muslim holidays. These include Coptic Christmas, Revolution Day and Islamic New Year.
Good to know
A huge significance is placed on family life and respecting the honour and reputation of your family is of great importance.
Whilst you are not expected to partake in religious traditions, you should respect this culture. As such, you should try to be modest when in public and dress conservatively.
During the holy month of Ramadan, all Muslims fast from dawn to dusk and are only permitted to work 6 hours per day. During this time most businesses operate on a reduced schedule – expect a slower pace of life and be prepared to adapt to the new rhythm of the country.
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