Egypt during Ramadan

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May 29th, 2003, 10:34 AM
  #1
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Egypt during Ramadan

We are thinking of going to Egypt this Nov. with our family. It looks like it will be Ramadan while we are there. Is it good time to go or should we try to change the date of travel ?
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May 29th, 2003, 02:35 PM
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sandi
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While Muslims fast during the day (and break fast every evening) life goes on as usual. With few exceptions, most businesses are open.
However, whether you're working with a travel agent or plan to book once there, you should double check that the things you plan to do can go on as scheduled.
We had a Muslim tour guide while on one of our African trips, and until he declined having a meal with us, mentioning that it was Ramadan, one would not have known. He went about taking us where we were scheduled as if it were a normal day.
However, if you are flexible October is a good time. The closer you get into December more and more Egyptians travel and this is hi-season.
 
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May 30th, 2003, 06:39 PM
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We were in Egypt for 2 weeks a few years ago during Ramadan. In many ways it was more comical than inconvenient, especially in Cairo. Although the traffic is always said to be horrendous, with horns blaring constantly, it seemed our taxi drivers were more "on edge" not having eaten all day. We knew it was Ramadan immediately when we arrived, as every Egyptian mentioned it. Excuses for poor driving, tempers, etc. would always be blamed on the fasting. It gave us an interesting view of this part of the Muslim culture.
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May 31st, 2003, 02:17 AM
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I was in Cairo during Ramadan in 1993. It was kind of "dead" during the day, but in the evening/night, when the natives were breaking their fasts, the atmosphere was very festive. Just beware of the people giving you flower garlands, especially at the bazaars, because they'll want money for it.

I was told to be discreet if I were eating during the day.
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May 31st, 2003, 03:27 AM
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To world explorer - hard to imagine Cairo traffic being worse than it was when we were there during a non-Ramadan time.
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May 31st, 2003, 08:50 AM
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I was going to say exactly the same thing Gail. When my mother and I got back to Paris from Egypt and were taking a taxi home from the airport, my mom joked, "What's wrong with the driver? He is staying in one lane and driving so slow!".
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May 31st, 2003, 01:19 PM
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Sandi,

Even if it had not been Ramadan and the group was at a buffet lunch together you would know that your driver was Muslim when he would have likely refused to share the same serving utensils as you.

At a couple hotels I was at in the past, there were two separate sets of serving utensils, one for the Muslims and another for the Infidels.

Also, my father-in-law, a Christian of Assyrian descent, was a teacher in Iran. His fellow teachers brought him a new coffee cup one day that he accepted as a gift. The coffee cup was clearly distinguishable as it was larger than the others and he took this as a gesture of respect. Months passed before he figured out that they only did this so that his Infidel lips would not accidentally touch any of the cups of the Muslims.

Yet when Americans single out Muslims for security purposes, etc., at airports and other places, all of a sudden the Muslims develop this profound sensitivity that they are somehow being picked on. Incredible.
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Jun 6th, 2003, 01:54 AM
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As a American Expat living in Cairo for three years you will find Ramadan different but worthwile seeing especially if you are a night owl.
All major hotels operate on their normal schedule but also have other meals for the locals that you can take part in. The Iftar or breakfast takes place right after sunset. It is a hugh buffet in all hotels for a set price. Everyone starts to eat at the same time just as the sun sets.
The local dinner is the Sorhar and starts at 11PM to 1AM and always includes entertainment.
Also special drinks are featured but theu are non-alaholic.
As a tourist you can live life like normal or partake in the Ramadan meals. Drinks are served to all non residents as normal. The traffic is bad in the two hours before sunset but if you wait to travel untill after sunset you have the roads to yourself!
Enjoy
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Aug 7th, 2003, 02:20 AM
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cairo is dressing her best beauty dress during ramadan especially nights
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