Dating a middle eastern man

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As they arrived to the airport in Alexandria, Beatrice encountered the flavors of Egypt for the first time.

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“It took a while for him to realise he needed to share decisions, something which is very common in the Australian culture.

But we have a lot of understanding about the cultural difference, and this helps us handle things in a better way.” For Alexis, an American non-profit worker married for two years, talking and setting up common rules was essential to overcoming cultural differences.

It was 1968 and Beatrice was faced with the Mediterranean Sea for the first time.

As her husband led her into the boat, she glanced back over her shoulder and said goodbye to Venice, hoping the journey ahead would leave space for some rest.

“We had been married for a year, and it was actually me who persuaded him to come back to Egypt, although he would have liked to stay in England,” she says.

Dating a middle eastern man

Granted a scholarship by the Egyptian authorities, her husband Aly was studying to obtain his Ph D in Mathematics at Liverpool University, where he and Beatrice had met.But is there no experience at the other end of the spectrum?Cairo Scene speaks to six women and delves into their stories of success, struggles, and romance having married an Arab man.“It hasn’t always been smooth,” she says when describing her 45-year marriage.“We have had our difficult times as any couple does; but it wouldn’t have been different if I had married and English man,” she admits.“We had to end up disconnecting from them.” Claire’s story is familiar to many: while visiting Egypt as a tourist in 2012, her tour guide Ahmed and her ‘clicked’.“I had the idea the tour guide is always expecting for the next group of people to hook up, but we stayed in contact for six months every day, and that’s when I realised it was something more important than that,” says the 30-year-old woman, now married for two years and based in Australia, where the couple takes care of their little daughter. “We had once an argument because he was telling me what to do and I said ‘you are not my dad’,” Claire exemplifies.“I had packed my suitcases with my Prada handbags and found myself choosing between buying yoghurt for my daughter or milk for me, as we couldn´t afford both,” she laughs with irony.Her husband, who adopted her daughter, now works as a gynecologist in Cairo’s Dokki, where the couple lives with their two children. I never had any contact for six years, until the baby was born.“Men in this culture are so focused on their friendship with other males, while I am used to being the center of a man’s attention at all times,” she tells Cairo Scene.“But I have been learning that it is ok for him to go out a few times a week to decompress and I try to take that time for myself too.


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