Kids from Egypt

  • Continent: North Africa/Middle East
  • Climate: Hot desert! In summer, temperatures average more than 100 degrees.
  • School:
    • School attendance is required for six years, generally beginning at age six or seven. However, many do not attend; literacy in Egypt is less than 60%.
    • Besides lessons in reading and writing, the school week includes religious education. Muslim and Christian children receive separate instruction.
    Play:
    • Shooting marbles is a popular pastime, and one that—like tic tac toe—may have been passed down from ancient Egypt.
    • Soccer is the number one sport; tennis, squash and wrestling are also favorites.
    Family:
    • Egyptians generally live in nuclear family households, but close to extended family; in a city, related families may live in the same apartment building.
    • In most families, girls help with indoor chores, such as laundry, while boys help with outdoor chores, such as shopping.
    Signature foods:
    • Fool medames, a dish of seasoned fava beans; the number-one dish in Egypt today, it has been eaten since ancient times
    • Koshari, a stewlike dish of lentils, rice and noodles topped with spicy tomato sauce and fried onions
    Interesting animals:
    • The bushy-tailed jird, a fast-climbing desert gerbil with big ears and a distinctive plume-like tail
    • The little green bee eater, a tiny bird with a bright green body and turquoise face; it usually removes the stinger from a bee or wasp before eating it
  • Unique holiday: One of the oldest festivals in the world—dating back 4,500 years—Sham el-Nessim (“Sniffing the Breeze”) marks the beginning of spring. Families celebrate this national holiday with daylong picnics.
  • Did you know? Egypt is home to the Nile, the world's longest river. Its shores are home to both modern cities and ancient ruins. About 200 species of fish, 350 species of birds and the famous Nile crocodile all depend on this great river.

For more information, go to the Fact Monster page about Egypt.


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