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PostPosted: Sun Apr 27, 2014 8:11 am  |  Posted from: United Kingdom
  

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I learn this morning from reading this forum that our Brian Yare came a cropper at the WB ticket office, so, for my very short introduction to the Arabic language, we shall see if we can give him and a few other some very simple advice, which not only will they learn four very simple Arabic words, but at the same time, gives expression, and most of all attitude.

La. = No.
Ana. = Me.
Inter. = You.
Mish Munken. = Not possible.

Picture this, Brian in Luxor market getting hassle as he walks along his way.

"Hey mister, you want to buy........".
Brian gives an expression of surprise, that this person has pointed him out as a tourist. Brian immediately looks around him, thinking that this person is talking to some one else. The first Egyptian man Brian casts his eyes on. Brian then say the word "inta" to him. The Egyptian pedestrian without thinking (who automatically thinks Brian speaks Arabic) will say "La,la, inter."

At this point, Brian's gives an expression of dis-belief to the pedestrian and any other Egyptian in this area, and follows this through by fixing this same glazed expression on Mr Hassle and his shop etc. It is now at this very moment that with a theatrical wave of his hand to Mr Hassle and his shop, Brian says "mish munken". I am certain that at this point, it will be the Egyptian pedestrians who will be laughing at Mr Hassle and not you. Mr Hassle has learnt a sharp lesson in not bothering you in the future, as you walk merrily along your way, perhaps humming a tune by that Andrew Lloyd Webber,......."take that look off your face, I can see through your smile,..................".


This method should not be carried out by a lady, and certainly not by anyone away from Luxor. Remembering that Luxor is very different from the rest of Egypt.

What I have tried to show here is that Arabic, expression and attitude is all part of this language, and is certainly more so in places like Luxor. (Now you know why they hate Cairo people so much.)


Good luck, Brian.


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PostPosted: Sun Apr 27, 2014 8:54 am  |  Posted from: United Kingdom
  

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probably being totally thick - but why shouldn't this work for a woman - and what is their alternative…

Sx


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PostPosted: Sun Apr 27, 2014 9:14 am  |  Posted from: United Kingdom
  

Egyptian Pharaoh
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Subversion wrote:
probably being totally thick - but why shouldn't this work for a woman - and what is their alternative…

Sx


This is far from being a totally thick question Subversion, and needs careful explanation, and will give details later today, when I have more time, though I expect Glyph might put in a few words to help, until then.


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PostPosted: Sun Apr 27, 2014 10:30 am  |  Posted from: Egypt
  

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Can you translate 'ah-ha for me, as I'm not 100% as to it's validity ?... :cool:

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"The Salvation of Mankind lies in making everything the responsibility of All"
Sophocles.


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PostPosted: Sun Apr 27, 2014 10:37 am  |  Posted from: Egypt
  

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I am completely clueless regarding A4's entire post, so don't ask me anything about it.


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PostPosted: Sun Apr 27, 2014 10:41 am  |  Posted from: Turkey
  

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A woman should NEVER speak to a man in the street unless she knows him. I find it interesting that when walking in Luxor on my own the hassle is generally very half-hearted and a polite 'shukran' does the trick. However, if I am with some one else the hassle is much more full-on. Still doesn't work though as I'm impervious to it - trained in Turkey 25 years ago!!! 8)


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PostPosted: Sun Apr 27, 2014 1:48 pm  |  Posted from: Egypt
  

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Are all to well bred for the translation of 'Ah-Ha then ? or is it just an urban myth ? .... :cool:

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"The Salvation of Mankind lies in making everything the responsibility of All"
Sophocles.


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PostPosted: Sun Apr 27, 2014 1:52 pm  |  Posted from: Egypt
  

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No not an urban myth, remember talking to someone on the phone and they were giving me details about something I kept saying ah ha and was asked afterwards by someone who was listening why I said such bad words.


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PostPosted: Sun Apr 27, 2014 3:49 pm  |  Posted from: Egypt
  

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So we are saying that 'ah ha is arabic for f*** off ? which is quite dangerous as it rhymes with al** 'just a minor point of diction.. :cool:
Ps: 'mind you, I do love a bit of rhyming slang.

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PostPosted: Sun Apr 27, 2014 4:56 pm  |  Posted from: United Kingdom
  

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What does "Ya Howella" mean then ? I always was told that meant Feck off...
Me, I have never even had to use an "Imshee", except to a really annoying young kid many moons ago...
I do have a few well chosen Arabic insults in my repertoire. . . :cool:

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There's a time for everyone, if they only learn
That the twisting kaleidoscope moves us all in turn.


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PostPosted: Sun Apr 27, 2014 5:05 pm  |  Posted from: Egypt
  

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Piece of advice: If you don't know what a word means but have an inkling that it isn't nice, ask a friend privately what it means if you must.

One time when I was in college we were eating dinner in the cafeteria and a word that itself is not obscene but just a technical phrase but still referring to something that could be considered obscene came up in the conversation. One of my friends at the table did not know what it meant and started asking, "What is a blankety blank?" Well, of course, no one wanted to explain it and the friend got more and more demanding, with an increasingly loud voice, "I want to know what a blankety blank is!" so that people at other tables could hear it. Quite mortifying for all of us.


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PostPosted: Sun Apr 27, 2014 5:11 pm  |  Posted from: United Kingdom
  

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True Glyph' Very true...

Infact you can quite easily insult someone in Arabic, because like the Welsh language, you have to put expression into the word, as A-Four was saying.

If you say to someone that they look tired in Arabic, and say the word "Taban" without the correct expression, you will infact call them a Snake, ( or at least look like the snake)... That is not good.. :td

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That the twisting kaleidoscope moves us all in turn.


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PostPosted: Sun Apr 27, 2014 6:56 pm  |  Posted from: Egypt
  

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Another incident I was going into town shopping and an Egyptian friend asked what I was going for Tops I smiled and said.
What?
I need some new tops.
I meant t shirts he thought I meant condoms.
So it's not always the Arabic that lets you down.
Woe woe is me, when I think back on the mistakes I have made.


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PostPosted: Sun Apr 27, 2014 10:40 pm  |  Posted from: United Kingdom
  

Egyptian Pharaoh
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For the past three years now, there have been few tourists in Luxor, well that's not really true, there has been a steady growth in tourist from the Arab world, and especially 'home grown tourists' from Lower Egypt. This past past year has seen a large increase, though most ex-pats would have only noticed this by the fact that Egyptians seem to use horse drawn cartridges.

Although a tourist myself now, I still love to observe tourists in the souk, I use a restaurant above this area that makes it easy to see reactions, impression and attitude towards fellow nationals from Cairo etc. the young generation has a much different attitude, that quite simply, the very conservative Luxor natives do not understand, especially young, though mature, women from Cairo, they are almost as brash as their male counterpart.However, if these young women came to live in Luxor, their attitude would certainly have to change.

Luxor people are very different in many aspects of life, in their view, a women's life is like that in England during Edwardian times. A lady at that time would never casually speak to anyone in a public street, her son would never smoke a cigarette in front of her, let alone his father. She would never casually speak to a shop assistant, any problem would be addressed by the manager or manageress. As for walking through a fruit and veg market, that would be a big no no.

As an ex-pat woman living in Luxor these days, is far more difficult than it was thirty years ago, you was automatically regarded as a lady. Today, I am sorry to say a new ex-pat woman is regarded as bad, and has to prove herself good, though many understand why this is so.

A dear old friend, who no longer lives in Luxor, would completely react differently towards me in public, in a shop she, on an agreement of price, would give a strange expression of a 'pained' smile, followed by a one word,........shuk-ran. She always regarded such people as below her, but ALWAYS gained respect. She never walked in the street, unless this be a short distance. With regards to taxi drivers, she would state her destination, and not speak at all, pay the charge, but never thank him.

All that I have written above may be seen as patronising to many women who either live alone in Luxor, or wish to in the future, but the message is simple, what you do behind closed doors with your husband is your business, but with more than one man, then you would be regarded as something else, as is the same in any European nation. One thing though that is strange to the average Western woman is that a younger Eastern man is capable of love, admiration and respect towards her providing the same can be shown to him, but with the added fact that, this young man must marry ALSO, a younger woman, as he knows it is his responsibility to continue the family name, which is most important in the Upper Egyptian family mentality.

All the ex-pat women I know in Luxor are all ladies , they understand Upper Egyptian life, and those that are married are respectful, if this was not so then I would never be seen in public with them. It's a sad tale, but you can be 'guilty by association', though you may not realise it at the time, a single woman's life in Luxor is far from easy, especially when every Egyptian man, no matter what his age, see's himself as a Don Giovanni in the eyes of a Western woman.

Many young British women in the late 70's and 80's, saw a revolution in attitude towards them, than the 60's ever did, a true new thinking and attitude, that now women regard as a natural item today in the West, but in the East, and perhaps even more so in little tiny Luxor, I am sorry but they are still back in the Edwardian, and even some would say Victoria era when it comes to respectability, but sad to say, that every Egyptian man, over the past thirty years, has been taught that every Western woman alone in Luxor, is nothing more than a prostitute, and I think a number of persons on this site has come across one or two such people in the past.

I realise what I have written here will be seen as difficult for many to understand, but then it's similar to the fact that Luxor thirty years ago was a simple country town devoid of real culture, and the English language was the only way of making money, these days it is seen as the only way to winning the lottery.

Oh how very difficult these days it is, for a respectable woman to live alone in Luxor, as for learning Arabic, I would say learn the culture first, then then language, and even when you learn this, tell no one, and you would learn even more.


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PostPosted: Mon Apr 28, 2014 4:39 am  |  Posted from: Egypt
  

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A-Four wrote:
All the ex-pat women I know in Luxor are all ladies , they understand Upper Egyptian life, and those that are married are respectful, if this was not so then I would never be seen in public with them. It's a sad tale, but you can be 'guilty by association',


This is a bit of a contradiction with the rest of the post. If they are respectful women, why are they out in public with you? Aren't you ruining their reputation? I don't get your logic. Are expat men token women?


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PostPosted: Mon Apr 28, 2014 10:23 am  |  Posted from: United Kingdom
  

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Glyphdoctor wrote:
A-Four wrote:
All the ex-pat women I know in Luxor are all ladies , they understand Upper Egyptian life, and those that are married are respectful, if this was not so then I would never be seen in public with them. It's a sad tale, but you can be 'guilty by association',


This is a bit of a contradiction with the rest of the post. If they are respectful women, why are they out in public with you? Aren't you ruining their reputation? I don't get your logic. Are expat men token women?



Well glyph, I thought and expected that once you had cast your prosecuting barrister eyes upon my whole written work, you would have slammed the whole lot of it, so I am quite pleased with the results above,..........so far.

In answer to your above comment, in the West, most men would open a door for a woman, any woman. A husband would carry heavy shopping for his wife. Here in Britain more women now work than ever before, therefore, rightfully see themselves as an equal part when dealing with domestic financial matters, plus a whole basket of life changes for the average Western woman since the 1960's.

Life for the average rural woman, married or otherwise in Upper Egypt has not changed in the past 200 years, and those that come across real rural life in Luxor, will realise that life can be even more extreme. This is why most Upper Egyptian men hate ever going to Cairo, being that they resent the changes that are taking place for the young women there, and further more would never dream of allowing their wives to visit with them.

The men of Luxor realise there are big changers to social life coming to that town and are not holding this back, the Cairo tourists are showing this, but more importantly, young women students from the North, are now at college in the Luxor, and simply do not accept the Luxor attitude to women. I know this, as I have been in conversation with such young people.

From reading your comment here, I think you expect every Western woman who lives in Luxor to go directly to 'black' immediately when married to an Egyptian, to speak to no one in public, and perhaps, be a servant to her husband, and his friends. Things are a changing, fast and even Luxor is going to see changes, and kick start Luxor's attitude into some where into the 20th century.

When I have written on this subject in the past, I have stated that single woman who goes to live in Luxor should read the book on customs, faith, and respect, long before they study Arabic.


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PostPosted: Mon Apr 28, 2014 10:50 am  |  Posted from: Egypt
  

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I think you are absolutely and utterly delusional about what I think. I am drawing my conclusions about how a woman "should" behave from your own post. You say that things haven't changed in 200 years, that a woman should never set foot outside her house and if she does wear black and never talk to a man in public, and you say you meet respectable foreign women married in public. How can you call them respectable when they break the alleged rules you say govern the entire society without exception?

I think your comments are rather generalized, and every rule in the last post that you seem to think holds true I can think of multiple exceptions and other explanations other than the ones you give.

I'll just say one point, maybe every man in Luxor would be afraid to let his daughter be in Cairo, but you know what, the worst thing to have if you are in Luxor is a son, especially one that works in tourism, because their morals are in a deep deep sewer compared to the gutter of the girls of Cairo.


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PostPosted: Mon Apr 28, 2014 11:25 am  |  Posted from: Egypt
  

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Once the use of the computer becomes de-rigueur in Egypt business, then the Girls will become emancipated and stop having their c***s cut off... That will then put the men back where they belong. 'In my humble opinion Not before time to... :cool:

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PostPosted: Mon Apr 28, 2014 12:05 pm  |  Posted from: United Kingdom
  

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It is my belief that you Glyph, are viewing your case from an extreme view point. I have found that few Western women ever become Muslim, and the very few that do become more extreme than an Imam preaching in your average East London mosque. It's the same with your average so called born again Christian.

The problem with Luxor is that the average Egyptian is thick, yes many speak English, but ask the same person to add 5+5+5+5, and it would not be long before the pen and paper would be brought out. This is a big problem when a new ex-pat arrives there, they associate the fact that a person who speaks English is educated and therefore cultured in the knowledge of life away from his or her own country,...........BIG MISTAKE.

You can not expect an average modern Western woman to comply with the strict rules of Islam, especially in the archaic form that is practised in Luxor, it is easy to make a simple mistake, but gradually, a sympathetic husband will guide here through, the general forms of respect to be shown in public.


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PostPosted: Mon Apr 28, 2014 1:06 pm  |  Posted from: Egypt
  

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I'm not viewing my own case! I'm viewing the case you described according to the standards you have said exist in Luxor. I am trying to understand YOUR way of thinking with my descriptions of what I understand you are suggesting and not inserting my own opinion or experience into this current discussion at all.

But please continue your imagination of me as it is quite entertaining. I've read about how I am dressed from head to toe in black all the time in this forum so many times I understand why you think it. Not that anyone here has ever seen me dressed that way or that I have described myself as dressing that way, but never mind. The self-created ideas that people form in their own minds about me are quite detached from the reality but they seem to be quite hard to shake, as you even have bought into them.

As for converts, there are tons of them that marry Egyptians, but they don't tend to marry into the tourism industry but they probably represent the majority of wives actually that live in Egypt otherwise.


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