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The majority of people have various ways of viewing cultures. Because
of close-mindedness and lack of cultural education, people have a difficult time
interacting with different societies. I feel that people shouldn't stereotype
because this might lead to misjudgment. For example, I have personally
experienced this type of stereotyping of my Egyptian culture. Although people
view Egypt as a plain desert with camel riders, my experience from living there
shows Egypt to be a developing civilized country with a great history .
People think about Egypt in this manner because of the media. The
news primarily exposes the uncivilized parts of the country. For instance, the
well known news broad-casting channel CNN showed the circumcising of a young
girl on the television screen. This is a harsh way to introduce a culture to
people. Often, CNN shows cases of the Egyptian desert with camel riders. This
narrow perspective influences the society's view of our culture.
Another example is an article in the National Geographic magazine
about Egypt (written by Peter Throux in April 1993). The writer described the
country as smoggy, dirty, over-populated and with traffic problems. The article
introduced Egypt as a superstitious culture which was graphically proven in a
picture shown in the article. This picture showed the head of a woman with the
body of a snake. This picture gives the reader the impression that Egyptians
believe in black magic.
Whenever the media introduce a culture, they should mention all the
positive and the negative aspects of that specific culture. For instance,
whenever you watch a program about the United States of America back home, you
see only sky-scrapers and big luxurious cities. This doesn't portray the entire
In reality, Egypt is a mixture of well educated and uneducated people.
I have lived there for many years and from experience, I think it's an
interesting country. Egypt has the Nile River which supports the cities around
it with water and green areas. In Egypt, the government encourages the people
to move away from the cities and start agricultural communities with great
facilities. This encouragement helps provide more agricultural areas and more
jobs for the Egyptian people. This enrichment has stabilized the currency for
six years and has also improved the growth of the national income. In Egypt,
there are the "pyramids" which are symbols of the Egyptian pride. Temples,
churches and mosques show a great art of design. These buildings are not just
constructions, they are decorations and a history for all generations. This
history has motivated the Egyptians to continue their modern progresses. It has
also influenced the Egyptian traditions.
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passed down many traditions. These traditions emphasize respect for elders and
In conclusion, my view is that culture has it's good and bad qualities.
The negative ones in the Egyptian culture are the traffic, extensive paper work
(with certified signature), hard-to-find housing and beggars. This occurs
because of the over population problem. The Egyptian government is trying to
fix this problem by doing everything possible.
I wish every person could view the Nile River at night, the historical
sites (such as the pyramids) and the beaches of the red sea, to fully understand
the beauty of nature in this part of the world. Egypt is mentioned in the holy
book Quran as a secure country with generous people living in it. I wish
everyone could see the world with an open mind, rather than with an eye of
ignorance and prejudice.