May 07, 2019
Generosity is the foundation of Egyptian hospitality. It is said that you should provide your guests with twice as much as they are likely to eat so that there are plenty of leftovers and your generosity cannot be questioned. A host will encourage guests to eat more and is honoured when they do.
This expectation of generous excess can make hospitality a burden. It would be a cause of great shame to invite someone to your home and be unable to offer an abundance, so many will avoid giving the invitation altogether. The demands during Ramadan are even greater, when family expectations are higher, and it is considered that God will reward your generosity more during this time.
With a struggling economy affecting all social classes, issues such as education, employment and income are growing concerns for families. This can have a big impact on the sense of community and hospitality. Younger generations, who represent 61% of the population are deciding that traditional requirements for hosting can be too much of a burden. Many are moving away from what they consider to be unrealistic expectations. Influenced by their awareness of other cultures and lifestyles, they are accepting that it is alright to invite someone to your home for coffee without needing to provide a lavish meal.
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