Monday, February 05, 2007

Contimplating moving back to Egypt! Any input?

So guys, a quick history on myself. I was born and raised in Alexandria, till i was 14. Then moved to the USA (Michigan) because my father got married to an Egyptian woman that lived in the U.S (My mom and dad were divorced since i was a kid but remained good friends) So i came to the USA, Went into 10Th grade in high school and after high school went to NORTHWOOD UNIVERSITY, My dad then moved back to Egypt, around 1998, and i decided to stay here alone! My mom and dad came and visited a couple of times but i never went back to Egypt till September of 2006, .I was there for a month

I am really thinking of moving back to Egypt. Even with how dirty some places are and how unorganized the country is, and all the negative things i thought about it..I LOVE IT, the warmth of the people there, the smell of Alexandria, the hustle and bustle..All my family and fiends..I just want to go back. People are telling me I'm crazy to want to move back to EGYPT, but something is telling me i need to go back. Its not that easy though, I am the kind of guy that "makes that money, spends that money" I like nice things so i'm always spending money.. so i haven't saved much to be able to go back with allot of Cash. My family isn't Rich but they are Middle Class, i do have some connections in Egypt. All my family is there and i miss them, and since visiting something has been sparked in me, and i do feel there is opportunity to succeed in Egypt.

For work I'm hoping to go back and do something in the Automotive field, and hopefully my Marketing and business knowledge i have acquired in the USA will help me. I have a Business degree, and allot of experience in the Automotive industry, and my strong points are in Sales, Marketing and Advertising.

As for what i want to do for EGYPT itself i have many ideas that i will try to implement, i am just sick of being one of those Egyptians who left their country and complain about it from the comfort of another country. The other day i was listening the old song Ala Baly and it brought tears to my eyes...i put it on the MYSPACE page i made for Egypt
I'm hoping to get some input from some of you guys on my decision to move back


Shahira said...

well i know it's such a hard disicion takin into consideration that makin money here in egypt needs looooot of patience, determination and LUCK.. but at the end of the day this is your country, the place where you belong, so i guess you should come here and give it a try and if, ba3d elshar, nothing worked, move back to the states... good luck dude with whatever dicision you take

Asrar El Banat said...

Nice place u have here (referring to blog)!
Well.. I lived abroad for some time too.. But opposite 2 your story.. I decided to move back alone..(It was only 4 a year before my parents joined me). I couldnt take being away from Egypt anylonger.
This may be cheesy..but there's something about it.. something that brings you back..
So many things suck.. but i love it..& will always do.
PS: that song still makes me cry..
Now, to thing away from emotions: Dont return until you have something to hold on to. Look for a job before you return. (You will have alot of opportonities with your background ,although I'm not sure if the good ones will be in alex..most probably Cairo.)
Also, like shahira said..have plan B. If egypt gives you its back..(unfortunatly it sometimes does..moody place) have something in the states to fall back on.
Best of luck.

Modern Pharaoh said...

Shahira and Asrar Elbanat..Thank you very much for your input!

I would definitly be looking for something in Cairo and not realy Alex.

"The Evolutionary" said...

Dear MP: You are young enough to be my son, or...I am old enough to be your mother ;-). Though I was not born Egyptian or Muslim, I have been Muslim for 25 years now alhamdulilah and Egyptian in my heart. I lived there for a long time and always remember the saying...One who drinks from the Nile must return. I feel in my heart and soul it is MY country now too. From a "mother's" perspective, I would absolutely vote you go back. On my last trip to Egypt I met many "shabab" who told me how they are dying to go to America. I discouraged them and begged them to stay put. Although Egypt has many problems, it is YOUR country. What will become of it if the wonderful youth choose not to stay, or return? They deprive their homeland of the chance to take some benefit from them. I know it's not easy to change things there, but with all of you young people trying, it's bound to happen one day insha Allah. Habibi, this (USA) will never be your country. You will always be a "foreigner" here. And Muslims arent at the top of the fave list here as you know. Dont even hope to raise serious Muslim children here. This country has a way of sucking you slowly into assimilation. Before you know it, you may no longer recognize your children--or yourself, as an Egyptian and/or Muslim. JFK once said..."Ask not what your country can do for you, but what you can do for your country". The pendulum swings both ways. If you give your country your best, in ways you may never imagine--even subtle ways, your country will do for you. If you can earn a decent income there, I would pack my bags today before tomorrow. My husband I are are just tying up lose ends here and will return, insha Allah, soon. As an American born and bred, there's no other place I'd rather be on this earth than Egypt. Go home, Habiby, to your land and your people. God speed! (Sorry this was so long.)

Modern Pharaoh said...

Evolutionary: This was great advice, and very touching as well! You make many great points! Thank you so much for the encouragment! :)

Maryanne said...

Another mother-type to weigh in here. I'm technically not Egyptian but moved here in the late 80's with my kids and Egyptian husband and then decided to stay on when my husband died. So you know already what my vote is. Egypt WILL drive you crazy when (notice I don't say if) you come back and try to deal with Egyptian business, but the hope for business here is kids like you who know new ways of doing things. My husband was 15 years away from Egypt and plenty of times he would lose patience with something, usually in the business world, much more quickly than I would. But if Egypt is in your blood, it is there and you need to find room for it some way. Both my kids went off to college in the US and are there now doing grad school, but my son came back to work for a while between BA and MA and I know that my daughter wants to come back when she's ready professionally. Even a lot of their friends, foreigners who went to school here and left for college, feel the need to return. There truly is something here that nourishes the soul even when it may frazzle the nerves.

"The Evolutionary" said...

Hey--I LOVE the new look. Chic awyyyyyyyyyy. Mabrook!

Anonymous said...

I picked up your blog because I subscribe to Google Alerts about Northwood University. My advice is lead with your heart and your head will follow. There will come a time late in life when you are in the rocking chair at the nursing home reflecting on the choices you made and if you didn't return to Egypt...

I loved the Coexist graphic at the bottom of your blog. It is the best I've seen. Where can I get a copy of if? I am Director of Communications for Northwood University and I would like to put it up in my office.

Good luck to you.

Modern Pharaoh said...

Hey (Anonymus) to get the graphic just RIGHT CLICK and SAVE AS.

Thanks for the advice.

"The Evolutionary" said...

MP--can I snag that co-exist graphic too please?

The Usual Suspect said...

Follow your heart.

You sound like you've already made up your mind MP- you don't need anyone else to tell you what to do-just follow your heart. If you don't, you will forever be wondering "what if".

Yalla, bi salamet Allah.

Give Egypt my love when you get there.

Urban_Infidel said...

You can always come back if you want, right?

I have wanted to go to Egypt since I was little. One day I will!

masreya said...

hi ya pharaoh.

contemplating moving back to egypt? I'm in a similar situation to yourself, spent childhood in the west and contemplating coming back to egypt.

Everyone thinks we will be making a sacrifice when on the contrary we will have more to gain in terms of socially and also materially. 1USD is 5LE...go spend. You live in egypt as a western raised person and you get all the top jobs. You realise you're also gonna be on every old woman's radar as an eligible bachelor. An american egyptian in egypt is worth way more than american egyptian in america.

I can see this stuff. Sure i see all the other crap, like the corruption. But that won't necessarily apply to you being a middle class muslim egyptian american male. You're pretty much immune to most of the crap that goes on here so sacrifice it won't be!

I see in egypt masses of potential in terms of charity work, in terms of business, in terms of development and i want to be part of that. It's exciting. There are things you can do here that you can't do in the west.

It's funny, everyone here in egypt is dying to emigrate and get the hell out of here and peole like us wanna go back. Noone is content eh

it's your decision. My situation is a bit more tricky than yours but the decision is the same.

here's hoping, we all make right decisions

The Anti-Wahhabi said...

Dude I actually respect the fact that you aren't willing to let your country be trashed by corrupt politicians.

Other immigrants here don't give two shits about their country back home, but you man, you have a lot of love and dedication to make Egypt better.

Good luck on your worthy journey man, may you succeed and help enlighten other Egyptians in the process.

Adrian from Denmark said...

Well, I've never been in egypt, never been in usa and never lived abroad, so I am the last you should take advice from, but since its sunday morning and my brain is still sleeping, there is nothing to stop me from advising in businesses that I know nothing about.

I think you cannot compare an everyday life in the usa, with one month hollyday in egypt, so what you should try to do is to place yourself in a position where you can compare better.
Wouldnt it be possible to find a US company that needs representatives in Egypt, so you could have a one year contract where you worked in Egypt?
After that, you would know much more, and all opportunities would be open for you, and furthermore, you wouldnt feel it as a failure if you return to usa, nor if you remain in egypt.
Me, being a person that hates temperatures below -10 and above 25, would love to stay in US during summers and in egypt during winthers :-)
Wish you all the best in your big decision.

Adrian from Denmark said...

Forgot something.

Imagine where youd prefere to live if you have a wife and 2 kids.
That place is the right for you, because one of the things you are missing is family ties, and nt just country.

Modern Pharaoh said...

@Adrian: Thanks man..I absolutely thought about the idea of Working for an American company in Egypt as we'll see what happens.

Nice to see a Danish guy here..poor Danish.never done anything to hurt any country then you pissed off the wrong group of ;)

MemZ said...

MP, as some one who just fled away from Egypt last week after 6 months of moving back to Egypt, I dont know what to tell you.

maybe my story is different, I was born and raised in Egypt and left over 5 years ago.

Going back was insane, I really can't tell you what made me wanna leave. It could have been the corruption or the horrible business ethic. maybe it was the pollution, or the hostility and snobbishness of the educated and well to do.

Ya there are a lot of great things about Egypt. The warmth, the laid backness, the family, the friends, the heritage.

The question is what is important for you, career and respect or warmth and laid backness. That choice no one can help you with except you.

Modern Pharaoh said...

@MemZ Thanks for the input! Career, warmth, respect, family and all that is what i hope for..i'm hoping to combine all those aspects!

My father did tell me, that Business in Egypt isn't a cake walk and there are alot of SHARKS out there if you open your own business who will try to take you down.
(i was thinking of starting a car dealership when we talked about this)

Shawkat S. said...

Tarek, You may know me from myspace or not.. I am in the same boat as you. i have been here for 8 years now. i went back in may of 07 in alex for a month and i Loved it so much that some times i cry every time i remember the good times. all my family is up there. I am also in the automotive bussiness. i work at honda at the moment. I want to go back soo bad but alot of people scare me away. I am currently saving my money so i can have money when i go back. We only live once, and i am not going to live the rest of my life here.


Chuck Kuhn said...

Go for it, you only live once. I know you've heard this before. I've traveled (except Middle East & Egypt) and my last voyage in 2005 and 06 was Vietnam. Being from USA, I found myself wanting to go and live in Asia for a few months. I miss the excitement and pulse. NYC was my favorite city in USA, but last month I visited Paris and Wow. Follow your heart. I'm planning a trip to Egypt in 09. Mainly to photograph the cities, life & people. to get a sample of my photography and travels. I'm hoping to connect with a guide or someone who would show me Egypt as it really is, from the people who live there. I luv LIFE..

ginnyvaet11 said...

My husband is Egyptian and he wants me an american who spent only two weeks in egypt to move their wife our children. He wants to stay here and work while I am there. He himself does not want to live their but since He wants our children to learn an islmaic cultural background, if anyone has advice email me at so far I have refused a passport, he says he might want me to stay more than a year. I don't even want to go a vacation. We live in Tennessee, lovely and pretty but his whole family is over there. I really do not understand why immigrants come here and then they expect the american wife to want to live there. I was born here and love here.