Living long term in Cairo region
September 9, 2016 11:18 AM   Subscribe

I have recently completed a move to Egypt, from Canada. I will be here at least two years. I would love any suggestions folks here have about Egypt, advice for new arrivals, getting set up/integrated towards long term living, old memories of visits, last minute travel recommendations, foods/places/people not to miss, and more.

I have seen some great previouslies, but tips, words and memories of 6th of October City and surroundings are of particular interest for me.

Thanks in advance for any recommendations, considerations and suggestions on all aspects of living/integrating in or around Cairo/6 October City (weblinks and blogs, in addition to personal notes will all be greatly appreciated). I would also love recommendations for out of the way places to see or visit in my time living here in Egypt (anthropology/political science/history graduate and interests).

Any internet related considerations? Power saving tips? Are there questions I may ask folks I meet so as to elicit good conversation? Any topics I should hold off on contextually? I have a developing cultural literacy (which led to some things being a little momentarily confusing, like how many people have and seem fine with dogs). I have a working basic vocabulary, I am doubtful my listening will be up to standard (bi but min fadlick), though I love learning languages and I am hopeful I will continue to improve (tips on this wholeheartedly welcome).

Also appreciated are generalized last minute travel/packing suggestions.
posted by infinite intimation to Society & Culture (2 answers total) 2 users marked this as a favorite
Do you know about the zabbaleen?

I have a close friend who grew up in Faiyum. His pictures and videos amaze me (he grew up along a canal that's thousands of years old, and it winds through acres of date palm plantations and villages). I envy you, because I think about going to that area all the time. One day, I will!
posted by late afternoon dreaming hotel at 2:32 PM on September 9, 2016 [1 favorite]

I've spent about 2 1/2 months total over 2 years at the Hilton in 6 October City in 2013 and 2014. The area in general is wealthier than Cairo proper. The Mall of Arabia was the biggest mall in Egypt but they were building a bigger one closer to the hotel when I was there, it's probably finished by now. Lots of American restaurants in the mall, Chili's, Dairy Queen, McD, Burger King, etc. as well as Asian and Mediterranean food. Stick with the local cuisine. Lots of well irrigated farm land around, so fruits and vegetables are fresh and super tasty. Except for the irrigated areas everything is sand. Back to the mall, the local equivalent of Walmart is Spinney's and you can get all your groceries and department store needs met there. They even had an aisle of Christmas decorations in December but it was more Santa Clause and less Jesus of course.

I only ever saw one demonstration and it was a peaceful on the anniversary of the overthrow of Morsi. There are posters of General Sisi everywhere. I never felt unsafe but security is everywhere. We always had a private driver or an escort from the Arab Academy. Expect your bags to be looked through and being required to go through metal detectors at the mall or hotels. Also you vehicle will be inspected with a mirror and your trunk gone through. I mostly stayed withing the hotel grounds and didn't do much exploring except to visit the pyramids and have dinner on the Nile. On a clear day (rare, as sand was always blowing) I could see the pyramids from my balcony.
posted by Grumpy old geek at 6:32 PM on September 9, 2016 [1 favorite]

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