Extended families - the essence of Egypt

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Sat, 08 Jul 2017 - 01:48 GMT

families from Upper Egypt – Mahmoud Hawary

families from Upper Egypt – Mahmoud Hawary

ALEXANDRIA, Egypt - 8 July 2017: Extended families are how the people of Egypt keep their practices alive and going through the generations. This is in contrast to big cities where people disperse to live in different places depending on their work, and family circles may end at only parents and children. However people living in rural areas and the Egyptian countryside live near each other in strong bonds that are formed between generations.

Generally it is common to find long compound names like Ali Mohamed Ali amongst the inhabitants of such places, as it is almost a must for the first male grandson to keep his grandfather’s name alive. This first grandson also is granted the title of “Kbeer El Ela”, or the head of the family for his generation.

This patriarch occupies the role of judge between relatives and a public representative for the family in the neighborhood. Thus his orders are a must-do for all family members. He is raised more by his grandfather rather than his direct father, alongside attending meetings for village elders from a very young age. This way, cultural rules are inherited from one generation to another with all the attached values in the best possible way.

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A Siwan girl – Nancy Ragab

Females also learn the best practices of running a successful household, learning alongside their mothers, sisters and grandmothers. It is most important for a girl to learn how to keep a house and raise children before anything else. Depending on the local practice of the village, skills such as learning how to sew, make handmade products may also be of importance.

Girls also learn how to manage small-scale crop cultivation in order to provide the family with meals, unlike men who take farming as a profession for raising funds for the family.



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