Lesson 10 Briefing Paper
For your travels to Egypt, I have developed this briefing paper for you, to assist in informing you about their culture, social customs and manners as well as their business customs and behaviors. Egypt is located in North East Africa bordering Palestine, Libya and Sudan. The ethnic make-up of Egypt is Eastern Hamitic, 99% of the population is Egyptians, Bedouins and Berbers and the other 1% consists of Greek, Nubian, Armenian, French and Italian. The written and spoken language of Egypt is Arabic.
Islam is the religion that the majority of Egyptians practice. There are certain obligations for Muslims which are to pray 5 times a day, at ...view middle of the document...
If the family you are visiting has children, a small gift for them is acceptable as it shows affection. Always use your right hand when giving gifts or if it is heavy be sure to use both hands and they will not open the gift when you give it to them.
When dining, please wait until the host tells you where to sit and only use your right hand to eat. If you can, take second helpings of the dinner as this is considered to be complimentary to the hosts. Do not use salt and when you have finished eating, leave a little bit of food on your plate to show you have finished or they will continue to give you more food.
It is important to know about Egyptian family values and honor as well as social class. One of the most important parts of a relationship is honor. A right and obligation to an Egyptian is respect and esteem for other people. A person’s honor is enmeshed with the honor and reputation of their entire family. As a way to display their honor, it is required that Egyptians show hospitality to their friends and guests and also requires that you dress and present yourself was well as your finances allow. You must also be sure to respect to the elders and those yielding authority. In Egypt, your word is everything and to renege on your word will result in dishonoring you and your family. Egyptians also highly regard nepotism; it shows that they are putting their family above everything and everyone else.
Next I am going to address social etiquette, before you will be able to handle any business relations, you must first develop a personal relationship as Egyptians will only do business with people they know and respect and are necessary for long-term business relationships. A person’s social class is apparent in Egypt; it decides a person’s access to position as well as power. The social class that an Egyptian is born into also mandates how their everyday life will be as well as the opportunities that will be presented to them throughout their lives. The three social statuses in Egypt are the same as in the U.S., upper, middle and lower class. The status of an Egyptian isn’t determined by the amount of money that they have but from the background of their family and there is very little social mobility. Networking is very important so be sure to develop relationships with as many people as you can as they tend to follow the “it’s not what you know but who you know” philosophy.
It is considered rude and bad etiquette to show the soles of your shoes or feet. If you have to refuse an offer from an Egyptian, place your right hand over your heart as this symbolizes gratitude and humbleness and this is viewed as a polite rejection. Although Egyptians tend not to be superstitious, some see the palm of a hand as a symbol to ward off evil. You may see status of hands with an eye painted into the palm facing outwards in front of homes with the idea that this will protect the home from evil and jealous people. This is way...