matter of culture or law?


Feb 17th, 2001, 12:46 PM
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matter of culture or law?

I have been told that traveling to Egypt and staying at the same room in a hotel with my boyfrien who is an Egyptian muslim is forbiden since we are not a married couple.
The check in process includes passport/identification check for both people and as soon as the hotel personel realizes that one of us is muslim they ask for a wedding certificate.
Is it true or not? if it's true, how can this obstacle may be overcomed?
I would appreciate information from travelers that happened to have such experience or local people that are aware of the law-since I have been told that this is a law matter.

Thank you in advance.
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Feb 18th, 2001, 04:38 PM
Been There
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I travelled to Egypt with a local (Egyptian Christian male, not muslim, friend not "boyfriend/intimate" and with other company (2 other females)) and yes, there were problems.

We assumed that it would never be acceptable to share a room (between male and female)but we had assumed we could share an appartment, with two bedrooms, but this was not so. We were asked for our passports at every hotel and, if we could not prove that one of us was married to the "local", we were segragated.

I am sure if you book through a North American tour group, this will not be an issue. However, if you travel independantly, anticipate problems.

I think it may also depend on where you travel - Cairo/Luxor hotels may ignore the issue but it may be more difficult as you travel to non-tourist areas.

To avoid any problems, you might want to reserve at "chain" hotels over the internet - I think it unlikely that the Hilton would refuse you a room, regardless of your marital status.

However, be sensitive to the fact that this is a society that is not comfortable with an unmarried male and female sharing a room. You are in their country and you probably should respect their culture and sensibilites rather than trying to circumvent them. If you are meeting you boyfriend's family, I am sure you would feel far more comfortable with them if you have your own room in the hotel.

I don't think this is a matter of law ... I think, having visited Egypt, this is a matter of cultural sensitivity. It will be very stressful for you to try to argue why you and your boyfriend should share a room. He will get a room at local rates (10%- 15% of what a North American would pay - great system that other countries would employ), you will pay a tourist rate. The cost differential on having one rather than two rooms will be small compared with the stress of circumventing the system.

I would suggest that you do not expose yourself to the stress and censure and assume that it is appropriate, in this culture, for an unmarried male and female (regardless of religion) to have separate rooms.

Sorry ...I hate lecturing
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Feb 18th, 2001, 04:57 PM
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P.S. You may want to publish this on the "European" web site also.

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Feb 20th, 2001, 12:09 AM
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agrees totaly, the fact is, that in the (men's) minds of most ot the moslems sharing a room means having sex. And the Sharia rules says sex between a moslem and a non-moslem is forbidden - in some countries (Iran f.e.) they could send You to death for this.
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