Friday, August 7, 2009

You know you're not an EXPAT if...

I've been very frustrated with Cairo lately - well Egypt in general and have been looking for expat groups to join. You know, to meet with other people in similar circumstances (people born and raised in other countries but now call Egypt home) who I can vent my frustrations to. Let's stop right here and examine the definition of the word expat. Expat is short for EXPATRIATE and according to Wikipedia the term is defined as being "a person temporarily or permanently residing in a country and culture other than that of the person's upbringing or legal residence. The word comes from the Latin ex (out of) and patria (country, fatherland)."

A country other than their upbringing or legal residence. OK. I understand that, why don't other people? Why are all the expat groups and websites dealing with Egypt full of Egyptians then (and 99% Egyptian men)? I know as I write this I will get tons of hate mail and frankly I don't care. But we all know the reason and it is for one thing only. To pick up foreign women. I know that by now someone reading this is saying "hold the phone" - I join expat groups to learn about other cultures. Well that's all well and good and you should join the "learn about other cultures" groups and not EXPATS groups. Admit it guys - you join expat groups to pick up women.

Don't believe me? Try creating a fake profile on some site. Call yourself Ann, say you are from Iowa, upload a picture of an attractive woman, and then sit back and wait for the messages to start pouring into your private message inbox. And they will by the dozens. Within days you'll get all kinds of messages from Egyptian guys wanting to be your friend, wanting to teach you Arabic, wanting to be your private tour guide, etc. Guess what guys? The women are sick of it.
It's not cute or attractive and not one woman ever saw one of those messages and said "Thank goodness he wrote to me because I had no idea how I was going to learn Arabic otherwise".

My friend "N" gets messages like:

hi i like to have good friendship please i am man, teach music piano guitar violin and play violin in orchestra for 12 years i am very calm lonely need friend so much i live in ***** ,i dont think about sex believe me ,, i can play violin in party at home i play classical and jazz and soft musici am good person and need firendship so much i am christian ,i have 34 ,, pls we can chat by sms if u want *** *** ****thanks alot ,,

Sorry, but this message came to her on a board that was meant to be an expat site. It's not only happening on expat sites. Anyone on Facebook? "S" got a rather amusing private message from an Egyptian man who claimed he was magically drawn to her picture and felt as if they were meant to be together and blah, blah, blah. It was more like an essay. In conclusion the guy told her to contact him if she felt the same way. As if any woman would respond in kind to a mass email that was copied and pasted into just about every profile of a foreign woman in the Egypt network. And they are branching out everywhere - I recently got one in my YouTube account.

So getting back to the issue of EXPATS, bottom line: if you were born and raised in Egypt you can't call yourself an expat by any stretch of the imagination. There are plenty of forums and groups that will offer cultural and language exchange opportunities to all nationalities. But guys - don't use these sites as your own personal dating site or a place to find a wife. If you are looking for a wife, why not join sites where you will find women with a common goal - like e-harmony or yahoo personals? All you will find on chat forums when you come looking for a wife is a bunch of women fed up with being hit on constantly who will, no doubt, rip you a new one.

Get with the program guys! If you are old enough to get married you are old enough to know that posting things on forums like "where should I look for a wife, seriously" is an absolutely sickening (sticking finger down throat and pretending to vomit) way to find an actual wife. Seriously. We all know that things are done differently in Egyptian culture, but honestly most foreign (or Western women) wouldn't take kindly to being "hunted" or "fished" for and do not go about securing long term relationships in this manner. Again, there are plenty of dating sites out there made specifically for that.

For all the women out there who are being bothered here is a little trick that will make it stop: Go into all your accounts (Skype, Yahoo, MSN Messenger, FaceBook, MySpace, emails, etc.) and change your country of origin or location to KAZAKHSTAN. You will never get an unwanted message or chat from any man again. It worked for me.


  1. OFG oh how true you are. i get facebook 'friend' request EVERY DAY from Egyptian men, all because i've joined some group connected to Egypt.

    the best thing to do on facebook is not have a pretty close up picture of yourself! it seems to have worked..!

  2. Awesome post. *standing ovation, applause*

  3. lol funny post but so true unfortunatlly ...

  4. Way to Go OFG you have Hit the proverbial Nail spot on its Nasty head. And this comes from a Males perspective.
    Your Mate (if i may be so Bold) from Australia
    Ausipeet AKA Peter

  5. I get it on Facebook and on my blog.
    Not so much no more since I'm out of Kuwait, but I guess it will soon happen again, sigh ;)

    I can't count the men that land on my blog looking for massage girls in Kuwait....mpf....

    I just ignore them.

  6. Haha, I've gotten a couple of those messages from expat blog, but not too many, and none from anywhere else. Maybe it's the picture of my cats and the fact that the first sentence of my profile states "I'm the wife of ..."?

    But if you'd like an organization that really is expats, with no worries of men hitting on you--try Maadi Women's Guild. Women only, other than a very few men who are selling stuff at the bazaar before the meeting or running the sound system. We meet under the tent at St John's/Maadi Community Church (corner of Port Said and Rd 82) on the third Tuesday of every month. Bazaar starts at 9:30 (all charity vendors) and the meeting at 10. You can also sign up for volunteer opportunities, interest groups, and Bible studies (but even if you're not Christian--this is my first time reading your blog--you're welcome to come).

  7. Hi I am Liz. I live here in Cairo as well and it is quite different I am a convert and moved her with my egyptian husband and we are both Muslim. Ramadan Kareem and I understand your frustrations with how people view you and/or look at you when you are out it happens everyday being american in this country, or even just foriegn. Please feel free to contact me via my email

    yes you read it right NO z lol I learned to spell apparently in a little town in Arkansas lol... just kidding i have had this email now for 12 years. so please contact me anytime.

  8. What is really sick is my profile pic on Facebook is of my kids. I still get at least one friend request a week telling me how cute i am. grrr.

  9. My experience is that all the expat groups are full of nasty expats who you wouldn't want to meet anyway. I prefer to have friends I have something in common with other than just being a foreigner in this country or having the same nationality. If that is the standard you apply you will meet bad people. Find people that share your interests/career etc. and you will find a more normal social life than with any expat.