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Egypt is a country with an immense cultural mix, In every major city in Egypt you will find traditions that

remain from the time of the Pharaohs , and in other parts you will find pure tribal customs that were brought in by many invaders throughout the centuries. That contradiction and contrast between areas of Egypt, when you compare it with other Middle Eastern countries, is what ma es Egypt seem advanced against some of the others. !et here you will find that the customs and mentality tends to be full of warmth towards visitors and foreigners. I guess this could be the secret why Egypt is considered the most attractive country in the region for travellers. The pure nature of the local Egyptians when they are always there when you need help, or when they invite you into their houses when they hardly now you, or when they smile in your face, ma es a visit to Egypt a wonderful and unforgettable experience. In general, Egyptians are most accommodating and they will go out of their way to help you and respond to any "uestions you have. Most Egyptians re"uire little personal space and will stand within inches of you to tal # !ou will find that whenever you start tal ing with an Egyptian, you will inevitably draw a crowd, and often the Egyptians will start discussing, among themselves, about the correct answer to a "uestion. $lthough most of the Muslims in Egypt do not drin alcohol they don%t object to others drin ing, but doing it in reasonable amounts. In Egypt people don%t eat por , and rarely, when you find a place that offers por , is there much choice on the menu. People here fast at the time of Ramadan, it is the time when they all come close to each other and respect each other, it is the time when they go out till late at night and fast by day. &uring this month, donations, almsgiving and charity would be at its highest rates, it is the time for forgiveness and love. It is a wonderful month. Ramadan is important for Muslims because it is believed to be the month in which the first verses of the Holy Quran (the divine scripture) were revealed by Allah (God) to the Prophet Muhammad ( !"#$%& '())( *rom time to time+ Muhammad used to ,o out from Ma--ah+ where he was born and where he wor-ed as a caravan trader+ to reflect and meditate in solitude( .i-e Abraham before him+ he had never accepted his peoples worship of many Gods and felt a need to withdraw to a /uiet place to reflect on the 0ne God( 0ne ni,ht+ while contemplatin, in a cave near Ma--ah+ he heard a voice call out tellin, him to 1Read23 Muhammad protested that he was unable to read( 4he voice insisted a,ain+ and then a third time+ and Muhammad found himself recitin, the first verses of the Quran( Muslims consider the Quran to be Gods speech recorded in the Arabic lan,ua,e+ and transmitted to humanity throu,h Muhammad+ who is considered the last of the prophets( 4his tradition of God#chosen prophets+ or messen,ers+ is believed to include such fi,ures as Adam+ 5oah+ Abraham+ Moses+ 6avid and 7esus( Muslims believe that over a period of twenty#three years+ various verses and chapters of the Quran were revealed to Muhammad throu,h Gabriel( 4he Quran is comprised of 889 chapters of varyin, len,th+ with titles such as 1Abraham3+ 14he Pil,rima,e3+ 1Mary3+ and 1Repentance(3 6urin, Ramadan+ Muslims fast from dawn to sunset+ every day( 4his means not consumin, food and drin-+ includin, water+ durin, dayli,ht hours( *or married adults+ it also includes refrainin, from marital relations durin, the hours of fastin, (i(e( the dayli,ht hours)( :n the Arabic lan,ua,e+ fastin, is -nown as sawm( Muslims arise early in the mornin,+ durin, Ramadan+ to have a pre#dawn brea-fast meal+ -nown as suhoor( At the end of the day ta-in, the Iftar meal+ which usually includes dates+

fresh fruits+ appeti;ers+ bevera,es and dinner+ completes the fast( .ater in the evenin,+ Muslims attend special ni,htly tarawih prayers at their local mas<id( )ach ni,ht durin, Ramadan+ appro=imately 8>%"th of the Quran is recited in the tarawih prayers+ so that the entire scripture is recited in the course of the &? or %" days of the month( For Muslims, fasting has a number of benefits: 8( :t helps one to feel compassion for those who are less fortunate and underprivile,ed+ since each day Muslims feel ,reater appreciation for what they have as a result of feelin, hun,er and thirst( &( :t allows one to build a sense of self#control and will power+ which can be beneficial throu,hout life in dealin, with temptations and peer#pressure( 4hrou,h fastin,+ Muslims learn to control their natural ur,es such as hun,er and thirst+ and thus are able to better resist temptations for thin,s that are not necessary+ such as dru,s or other unhealthy or harmful substances and behaviours( %( :t offers a time for Muslims to 1purify3 their bodies as well as their souls+ by developin, a ,reater sense of humility+ spirituality and community( Ramadan is a very spiritual time for Muslims+ and often they invite each other to one anothers homes to brea- the fast and pray to,ether( A ,reater sense of ,enerosity and for,iveness is also characteristic of this time( As with other duties in :slam+ fastin, becomes obli,atory (i(e( one becomes accountable) after the a,e of puberty(

Eid EL-Fitr
After the end of Ramadan+ Muslims celebrate a very festive and <oyous holiday+ which is -nown as )id al#*itr @eed ul fit#urA+ the *estival of Brea-in, the *ast( 0n the day of the )id+ Muslims attend special con,re,ational prayers in the mornin,+ wearin, their best clothes and perfumes( After the completion of prayers+ and a special sermon+ Muslims rise to ,reet and hu, one another+ sayin, 1)id Mubara-+3 which means 1Holiday Blessin,s(3 .ater on+ Muslim families visit each others homes+ and have special meals to,ether( 'hildren are often rewarded with ,ifts+ money+ and sweets( .i,hts and other decorations mar- the happy occasion(