Egypt

Egypt

Etymology

Old English Egipte “the Egyptians,” from French Egypte, from Greek Aigyptos “the river Nile, Egypt,” from Amarna Hikuptah, corresponding to Egyptian Ha(t)-ka-ptah “temple of the soul of Ptah,” the creative god associated with Memphis, the ancient city of Egypt. [online etymology dictionary]

Places to Meet People

Places to Meet People

Afternoon Coffee Mates – This group is for all people who are stressed in work or life and just in need of having few moments out of their routine by sharing new decent polite friends a cup of coffee somewhere afternoon. [meetup]

Cairo Book Club – The experience of reading a good book has always been the most magical thing I have done. But, the experience of talking about a good book and exchanging ideas and opinions was always something I thoroughly enjoyed. [meetup]

Cairo Meeting for People with Anxiety Disorder – The idea is to call for people who suffer depression , emotional crisis , anxiety disorder or whatever pain that you have that makes you unable to communicate with happy people anymore. [meetup]

Cairo Movie Club – Ever saw a great movie and was dying to talk about it with someone but couldn’t find anyone? Then this is the place to be.. We meet up, watch a movie and then talk about it. [meetup]

Maadi Cultural Meetups – We can’t deny that Maadi is a lovely place in Cairo. Although this group isn’t solely for Maadians but we chose Maadi to be our base. Being so green, quiet, multi-cultural and authentic, it’s a district that somehow reminds us of the beautiful spirit of Cairo that other places are starting to lose. [meetup]

Online Content Creators in Egypt – The reason we decided to create this group is to bring together Egypt’s cleverest minds and to create Cairo’s first Meetup for online content creators and digital marketeers. [meetup]

Real Egypt – Want to meet people who share an interest in seeing more of Cairo and Egypt? Join us for social activities and events. [meetup]

World Explorer (Egypt) – Are you excited by travel? This is a chance to meet with fellow travel enthusiasts and share your experiences with others. We will also sponsor lectures on travel-related topics (airline reviews, travel ethics, environmental travel, adventure travel etc) and provide a forum to ask each other advice and plan for future trips. [meetup]

How to Find a Date

How to Find a Date

Cairo.Dating – Cairo Dating is the perfect place to meet Egyptian Singles. You can simply make an account and start dating. This online dating is much easier comparatively, because you do not have to go any were and by simply sitting in front of your computer screen you can have a date. [cairo dating]

Date in Egypt – The first dating site in Egypt. Free online Dating site, fun and simple to use. Now Thousand of singles are just a click away! [facebook]

Egyptian Dating – The Web’s favorite place for Egyptian dating worldwide. Whether you’re new to this or finding out about LoveHabibi for the first time, signup free today and connect with other people from Egypt looking for free online dating and find your very own LoveHabibi. [love habibi]

Walking Tours

Walking Tours

Cairo Free Walking Tour – For the first time in Egypt we offer you Pay-what-you-like tour. Our tour runs daily at the busy center of Cairo, Tahrir square. your Tour guide will take you first to the Egyptian Museum. The tour covers the 2 floors of the museum with an expert Egyptology guide. [free tour]

Emo Tours Egypt – Cairo free walking tour and cairo by Night exploring the City of Cairo While you get on the Horse Carriage and passing by one of the most richest areas in cairo & pass by Nile Corniche Later after the ride is over you will have a free walking tour in most famous areas in downtown of cairo where modern Malls and Clothes Shops are located then Visit the Most famous Square in Egypt which is El Tahrir Square then have a Ice cream and Enjoy your walking Tours with Emo Tours guide then External Visit to Cairo tower. [emo tours egypt]

Ramses Tours – Experience the fascination of the Eternal Cities on our walking tours! You’ll see it all as our professional guides take you to spectacular ancient Cairo and Alexandria to get in touch with locals , understand the real Egypt. You will see the masterpieces of history, Cairo’s Tahrir square , Kan Elkalili Bazaars and charming traditional backstreets ! We’ll tell you the history, the legends, and the astonishing secrets of Cairo and Alexandria. [ramses tours]

Free Things to Do

Free Things to Do

Abu Simbel – Even in a country festooned with temples, Abu Simbel is something special. This is Ramses II’s great temple, adorned with colossal statuary standing guard outside, and with an interior sumptuously decorated with wall paintings. Justly famous for its megalithic proportions, Abu Simbel is also known for the incredible feat, which saw the entire temple moved from its original setting – set to disappear under the water because of the Aswan dam – during the 1960s in a massive UNESCO operation that took four years. [planet ware]

Abydos Temple – Dusty Abydos town wouldn’t make much of a rating on the tourism radar if it wasn’t for the incredible temple on its doorstep. Abydos’ Temple of Osiris is one of ancient Egypt’s most fascinating artistic treasures. Its chunky columns and walls, covered in beautiful hieroglyphics and intricate paintings, are spell-binding sights, and even better, you can admire them without the crowds as despite its dazzling beauty, it receives few visitors compared to the temples in nearby Luxor. [planet ware]

Alexandria – The most European of Egypt’s cities, Alexandria has a history that not many others can match. Founded by Alexander the Great, home of Cleopatra, and razzmatazz renegade city of the Mediterranean for much of its life, this seaside city has an appealing days-gone-by atmosphere that can’t be beaten. Although today, there are few historic remnants of its illustrious past – feted in songs and books – this is a place made for aimless strolling along the seashore Corniche, café-hopping, and souk shopping. [planet ware]

Aswan – Egypt’s most tranquil town is Aswan, set upon the winding curves of the Nile. Backed by orange-hued dunes this is the perfect place to stop and unwind for a few days and soak up the chilled-out atmosphere. Take the river ferry across to Elephantine Island and stroll the colorful streets of the Nubian villages. Ride a camel to the desert monastery of St. Simeon on the East Bank. Or just drink endless cups of tea on one of the riverboat restaurants, while watching the lateen-sailed feluccas drift past. There are plenty of historic sites here and numerous temples nearby, but one of Aswan’s biggest highlights is simply kicking back and watching the river life go by. [planet ware]

Egyptian Museum – A treasure trove of the Pharaonic world, Cairo’s Egyptian Museum is one of the world’s great museum collections. The faded pink mansion is home to a dazzling amount of exhibits. It’s a higgledy-piggledy place with little labeling on offer and not much chronological order, but that’s half of its old-school charm. Upstairs is the golden glory of King Tutankhamen and the fascinating royal mummies exhibits, but really every corner you turn here is home to some wonderful piece of ancient art or statuary that would form a highlight of any other museum. [planet ware]

Islamic Cairo – The atmospheric, narrow lanes of the capital’s Islamic Cairo district are crammed full of mosques, madrassas (Islamic schools of learning), and monuments dating from the Fatimid through to the Mameluke eras. This is where you’ll find the labyrinth shopping souk of Khan el-Khalili where coppersmiths and artisans still have their tiny workshops, and stalls are laden with ceramics, textiles, spice, and perfume. Surrounding the market is a muddle of roads, home to some of the most beautiful preserved architecture of the old Islamic empires. [planet ware]

Luxor’s Karnak Temple and the Valley of the Kings – Famed for the Valley of the Kings, Karnak Temple, and the Memorial Temple of Hatshepsut, the Nile-side town of Luxor in Upper Egypt has a glut of tourist attractions. This is ancient Thebes, powerbase of the New Kingdom pharaohs, and home to more sights than most can see on one visit. While the East Bank brims with vibrant souk action, the quieter West Bank is home to a bundle of tombs and temples that has been called the biggest open air museum in the world. Spend a few days here exploring the colorful wall art of the tombs and gazing in awe at the colossal columns in the temples, and you’ll see why Luxor continues to fascinate historians and archaeologists. [planet ware]

Pyramids of Giza – The last surviving of the Seven Wonders of the Ancient World, the Pyramids of Giza are one of the world’s most recognisable landmarks. Built as tombs for the mighty Pharaohs and guarded by the enigmatic Sphinx, Giza’s pyramid complex has awed travelers down through the ages and had archaeologists (and a fair few conspiracy theorists) scratching their heads over how they were built for centuries. Today, these megalithic memorials to dead kings are still as wondrous a sight as they ever were. [planet ware]

Siwa Oasis – Way out west, Siwa is the tranquil tonic to the hustle of Egypt’s cities. This gorgeous little oasis, surrounded by date palm plantations and numerous fresh water springs, is one of the Western Desert’s most picturesque spots. The town is centered around the ruins of a vast mud-brick citadel that dominates the view. [planet ware]

South Sinai – Egypt’s center for beach fun is the South Sinai region on the Sinai Peninsula. Sharm el-Sheikh is a European-style resort full of luxury hotels, international restaurants, and bags of entertainment options. Dahab is a low-key beach town with a budget traveler heart, which is just as much about desert excursions and adventures as the sea. Up the coast, between the port town of Nuweiba and the border town of Taba, are the bamboo hut retreats that offer complete get-away-from-it-all respites from life. [planet ware]

St. Catherine’s Monastery – One of the oldest monasteries in the world, St. Catherine’s stands at the foot of Mount Sinai, where Moses is said to have received the Ten Commandments. This desert monastery is home to an incredible collection of religious iconography, art, and manuscripts (some of which can be seen in the on-site museum) as well as the home of the burning bush. For most visitors here, a trip to St. Catherine’s also involves a hike up Mount Sinai to see sunrise or sunset. Take the camel path for the easy route or climb the famous Steps of Repentance if you want better views. [planet ware]

White Desert – Egypt’s kookiest natural wonder is the White Desert where surreally shaped chalk mountains have created what looks like a snowy wonderland in the middle of the arid sand. The landscapes here look like something out of a science fiction movie with blindingly white boulders and iceberg-like pinnacles. For desert fans and adventurers, this is the ultimate weird playground, while anybody who’s had their fill of temples and tombs will enjoy this spectacular natural scenery. [planet ware]

Festivals

Festivals

Coptic Christmas – Coptic Christians celebrate Christmas on January 7, and most Egyptians regardless of religion join in the festivities, especially in Cairo and other Coptic regions. The week before Christmas, homes and businesses are decked out with colorful lights and decorations, and there are manger scenes and special holiday bazaars in the streets. Following the midnight mass on Christmas Eve, people gather to celebrate and eat a traditional dish of rice, garlic and meat soup called fata. [travel tips]

Leylet en Nuktah – Ramadan and Eid al-Fitr – Ramadan is a month of fasting during daylight hours in which Muslims refrain from eating, drinking, smoking and sex from sunup to sunset. The mood during the day can be somber, with reduced business hours to allow time for spiritual contemplation. The first day after Ramadan begins a three- or four-day holiday called Eid al-Fitr. After the final fast-breaking (iftar), people often celebrate all night. The next day everyone puts on new clothes to join street festivities with small fairs and open markets while families and friends get together to exchange gifts and sweets. [travel tips]

Moulid an-Nabi – Moulid an-Nabi is a major Islamic festival that marks the birth of the prophet Mohammed. Most cities host parades and processions on this day, and the streets are filled with dancers, acrobats, drummers and musicians. Families join together to greet each other and exchange gifts before heading out to explore the street fairs. Traditional sweets like halawet el-moulid (a type of helvah or candy) and candy dolls called are sold from roadside stands as well as hummus (a puree made from chick peas), the traditional food of Moulid an-Nabi. [travel tips]

Sham al-Naseem – “Sham al-Naseem” means “sniffing the breeze.” Egyptians of all religions celebrate this ancient holiday to mark the coming of spring on March 21 by spending the day in the countryside or in parks for picnics; some have their picnic on a boat trip on the Nile. The picnic baskets are loaded with the traditional foods of this holiday, including dried or pickled fish and dishes made with midamis or fuul (kidney beans). Food vendors, dancers and musicians also fill the streets to entertain the public on this festive day. [travel tips]

Public Transit

Public Transit

Bus – Several of the biggest Egyptian cities have bus systems. Practically speaking, you might use them only in Cairo and Alexandria. They’re not particularly visitor-friendly, as numbers are displayed only in Arabic numerals, the routes are unpublished and the buses themselves are often overcrowded to the point of record-breaking. [lonely planet]

Metro – Cairo is the only city in Egypt with a metro system. [lonely planet]

Microbus – The microbus (pronounced ‘meekrobas’), often also called a micro or a minibus, is a Toyota van with seats for 14 passengers. Privately owned and usually unmarked, they run along most of the same routes that buses do, and are a bit cheaper. They also stop anywhere along the route on request, and will pick up riders along the way if there’s a free seat. [lonely planet]

Pickup – Toyota and Chevrolet pickup trucks cover some routes between smaller towns and villages off the main roads, especially where passengers might have cargo. A dozen or so people squeeze into the rear of the truck (covered or uncovered), often with goods squeezed in on the floor. [lonely planet]

Servees – The servees (service taxi) is the predecessor to the microbus (minivan) and runs on the same principle: buy a seat, wait for the car to fill and you’re off. These big Peugeot 504 station wagons, with seats for seven passengers, are now less common than the vans, except in north Sinai and along the Suez Canal and the Red Sea coast. [lonely planet]

Taxi – Even the smallest cities in Cairo have taxis. They’re inexpensive and efficient, even if in some cities the cars themselves have seen better days. [lonely planet]

Tram – Cairo and Alexandria are the only two cities in the country with tram systems. While Alexandria still has a fairly extensive network, Cairo now only has a handful of lines. [lonely planet]

Tuk-tuk – These clever scooters-with-seats, ubiquitous in Thailand and India, have arrived in Egypt. Locals call them tok-tok (turns out the onomatopoeia of their tiny engines works in Arabic too), and they’re especially popular in small towns. They’re typically the same price or cheaper than taxis (E£10, say, for a 15-minute ride), with a pounding shaabi (music of the working class) soundtrack for free. [lonely planet]

Professional Groups & Events

Professional Groups & Events

Agile Egypt – We are a group of agile professionals and practitioners in Egypt who are passionate about agility and software. We are devoted to enhance ourselves, our work environment, and our community to develop better software and provide more value to our clients and business. [meetup]

Cairo DevOps Meetup – This group is for anyone interested in server automation, and raising awareness of how to host and manage servers. Bridging the gap between development and ops is an essential skill, and is the key to demystifying production environment. [meetup]

Cairo ios developers – This is a group for anyone interested in ios development, trying to create a group to teach and learn ios development from each other, all skills and levels are welcomed from beginners to experts, sharing experience, knowledge and having fun at the same time. [meetup]

Startup Grind Alexandria – Startup Grind is an event series and website designed to help educate, inspire, and connect local entrepreneurs. Each month we welcome an amazing speaker who shares their story with our community and tells us what worked, what didn’t, and what they’ll do differently next time. [meetup]

Language Exchange

Language Exchange

Cairo French Language Meetup – I recently started French classes and would love to meetup fellow learners or French speakers to practice the language with. My idea is that we grab a cup of coffee and start chatting about whatever in French! [meetup]

Cairo International Friends Meetup – We can hold a commingled group of expats here in Egypt and locals for language exchange, part and networking. Additionally, we can exchange professional advices on finance and economy. [meetup]

LGBT Groups

LGBT Groups

Solidarity with Egypt LGBT – It’s a campaign to reach out to LGBTQ+ movements and individuals worldwide about the LGBTQ+ issues in Egypt. [facebook]

Resources

Resources

Places in Egypt

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