Etiquette and Behavior

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Etiquette and Behavior

Dress is a very important part of respect in Egypt. Wearing shorts, short skirts, and halter tops in the streets is considered inappropriate, despite the fact that many tourists persist in being inappropriately attired. Cover shoulders and knees when you enter mosques and churches.

Beyond this, the relationship between the sexes is very different compared to a non-Muslim country. Public displays of affection such as kisses on the lips between couples are frowned upon in Egypt. This is a country where kissing and cuddling is considered private behavior. Public drunkenness is also discouraged.

Sexuality is not widely discussed in Egypt, and homosexuality remains taboo. Therefore an open gay population is hard to come by, and a general acceptance also isn't prevalent. However, there is a large gay and lesbian population that remains underground. While there's no law against homosexuality, gay men in particular can be jailed and/or prosecuted under Egypt's wide-ranging and ill-defined indecency laws. With discretion, gay travelers can expect to get along fine, as most Egyptians will assume that the relationship is simply a friendship, and public shows of affection amongst men (holding hands and walking arm in arm) is a normal show of masculine brotherhood in Egypt and many other Muslim countries.

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