Living as a minority, foreigner in your own country


Originally uploaded by wispalex

I might be a muslim living in a predominanly muslim-populated country with Coptic Christians making up 10% of the whole of Egypt -until tomorrow, but I’ve always felt like a minority (segregated,alienated)…just like the Coptics…(until I learn how to speak Arabic more fluently perhaps?!?!)…even then I can’t get away with my Oriental features…its just living in Australia as a muslim…you’re part of something of which the rest doesn’t recognise you for…or another words, you’re at home or should feel at home but other people don’t make you feel at home because you’re different in some way…-compehende?

Most of the Egyptians I knew in Perth were Coptics and the reason why they were in Australia was to escape persecution, discrimination faced in a muslim country. Even in Egypt most of the Coptics I came across were my docters, bank professionals, customer representatives at the Australian Embassy and I feel like I was treated better them than by my fellow muslim brothers and sisters here all because I looked different, especially non-European. You just wonder why such racism exists particularly amongst fellow muslims exists, when ideally we’re really suppose to be one Ummah=brotherhood/sisterhood.

What made me bring this up was because hubby and I were watching a talk show debating on Muslims converting to Christianity -whether its right or not. Hubby was of course furious. I’m not going argue or put across my opinion on this, only to say that even with my husband, being Egyptian, living in Egypt most of his life -he’s never ever had any Coptic Christian friends or real interaction with any other than the necessities. We’ve got neighbours who are Coptics but its like the rest don’t really give a damn about them, just like us living in Australia.

But then again just as there are calls to end Coptic discrimination in this country -you also get many Muslim-hating websites to call for the annihilation of all Muslims, regardless of any country, just like another holocaust…Google it and you will know what I mean…

So how can we really stop all this hate???

Here’s more info on Coptic Christians and just some current relevant stories/issues regarding them in Egypt:


~ by nursheikha on August 30, 2008.

3 Responses to “Living as a minority, foreigner in your own country”

  1. I have started following your blog a few days ago and wish it had been sooner. I was in Cairo in July and will return at the end of the year to be with my husband again. I saw the picture on your latest post and noticed the man in black. He was on my flight from Cairo to New York and I did not know who he was. Now I know why so many people were whispering about it. I appreciate the sites you put up with hijab fashion. I would like to learn some new styles as well as fluent arabic so I dont feel like a minority either. Take care for now…

  2. Thanks Rebecca for dropping in and having a read. Not sure how I can fill in the many dramas I had back in Egypt now that I’m home again. Would love to hear your thoughts and experiences with Egypt as well. Just drop me a line here. Salam for now 🙂

  3. This is an old post but I’ll reply nonetheless. I’m a 2nd generation Egyptian American and I had recently come back from going to school in Egypt.

    In my experience for the past 5 years in Egypt, as well speaking with other Egyptians (Christian and Muslim) I have never seen any animosity towards Christians or Muslims.

    I have had a ton of Christian friends. In fact I used to live next to a church in Nazlet el Samman, Giza. No problems whatsoever.

    What exists however is people trying to create tension between Christians and Muslims. Where ever there exists a problem between a Christian and a Muslim, they make it into some religious war.

    I can say this with certainty because unlike most foreigners, I look Egyptian and speak Arabic well, so there’s nothing an average Egyptian will hide from me. I also have dealt with people on every level of socio-economic ladder and the way you talk about Egypt, especially with regards to discrimination, it’s like you’re talking about a different.

    I do not mean to disrespect your experiences, really.

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