Ilona Sābera – portfolio

blogging, journalism, semiotics, short stories


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Confessions of a European in Egypt

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Disclaimer: Please note these are my very first impressions of Egypt when I visited the country in 2010. Since then I have gained more knowledge and experience of Egyptian social, political and cultural issues. Still I want to keep this post as it might describe well a Westerners first glimpse on Egypt’s everyday life.

The first comes the feeling of inability to do anything on your own, like all the previously known signs have become chaotic and not interpretable. This absence of so common for me European (“Western”) rules for the first moment paralyses my independency and any individual action in Egypt, part of so called “Arab world”. My first instinct is to compare the different approaches and trying to find a common way out.

“We’ve lost what you still have,” I am expressing my inner doubts to each Egyptian I meet. The sense of unpredictability is so attracting here, that I am beginning to wonder if European rationalism and a cause-effect approach is really the unique way of reading the cultures. Can I really apply my background and experience dealing with so different origins? Continue reading