CAIRO - 29 July 2017: Adapting to a new culture may be challenging, but also enriching, because it triggers questions about one’s identity and values. Perhaps Egypt is one of those countries where many say they have “found themselves.”
The trick is not to lose oneself in the process, according to Dionne Görtzen, a 31 year-old Dutchwoman who has lived in Egypt since May 2015.
Dionne Görtzen in a bar in Dahab – Facebook
Görtzen stood outside a bakery and a traditional café in Dokki, Cairo to speak about her biggest challenge in the country. Traditional cafés are usually male-dominated, where chairs are placed on the sidewalk, and customers play backgammon and chess, while served “mu’assel,” a strong, unflavored tobacco mix used in shisha.
“The happiest of all is the one who makes people happy” in Arabic, written by a friend on Dionne Görtzen’s leg - Facebook
The German teacher found many Egyptian friends who match her lifestyle, and while she respects others who do not live the same way, it is still hard for her to comprehend the niqab (face veil); although, she acknowledges that some women wear it out of their own free will.
Dionne Görtzen in Ras Sudr, Egypt - Facbeook
It all boils down to acceptance, she told Egypt Today, adding that it is more difficult for a foreigner to integrate in a European society, because of all the social conditions one is expected to meet.
Stay tuned for a series of interviews on her rich experience in the land of the Pharaohs.
Görtzen’s first video: http://www.egypttoday.com/Article/9/14225/ET-Travelers-Dutchwoman-in-Egypt-helps-change-stereotypes