Focus on Egypt

Wide Open World, Sunday, June 29

Series: Wide Open World

by Terri Taylor June 28, 2014

Each week this summer in WOW (Wide Open World), Tenth kids are focusing on a different country where one of our global partners works. Students are sent home with a sheet profiling our partner and his work and another sheet helping them connect to that country’s culture. We encourage families to pray specifically for the partner family of the week and to help their children further explore. This week we will highlight Egypt. Children ages 4 through grade 6 are invited to join us in the Catacombs at 6:30 PM every Sunday throughout the summer as we explore what God is doing around the world.

Focus on Egypt

Mention “Egypt” and you probably conjure up images of the sphinx and the pyramids surrounded by a sea of sand. Most of Egypt (95%!) is desert. In fact, the capital city, Cairo, receives less than half an inch of rain in a whole year! In contrast, Philadelphia gets 41.5 inches of rain a year. Because of the large desert, almost everyone lives along the banks of the Nile River. If you want to glimpse Egypt’s desert, check out this video clip

What's it Like to Live in Egypt?

The big cities in Egypt have apartments, houses, and cars that are very modern, and, though they don’t wear shorts, many people wear western clothes. But in the villages in the southern part of the country (called Upper Egypt) people live in much the same way as they have for centuries. There the homes may be mud and brick and most people work as farmers and wear traditional dress. For men this means a long robe called a galabia and a skullcap. Women wear long sleeve dresses and veils.

When not in school, village children help their families by herding the sheep or goats or caring for the water buffalo. You can glimpse Egyptians using water buffalo to irrigate their fields here. You might also enjoy hearing these street musicians.

Egyptian families are close knit. People feel just as close to their cousins as we do to our brothers or sisters. They show older people great respect and boys protect their sisters, often going with them when they go out in public. It’s very important not do anything that would cause shame to your family. 

Food in Egypt

Egyptians eat bread–usually flat bread–every meal. The biggest meal is midday. Often it includes a dish that has lentils, rice, and macaroni cooked together with a tomato sauce. Fava beans are the traditional breakfast food, but they are sold by street vendors and people eat them night or day.

Ful Medames (commonly eaten at breakfast)

2 cups small fava beans soaked overnight Extra-virgin olive oil
Salt 3 lemons quartered
1/3 cup chopped parsley Flat bread

Simmer the beans in unsalted water for 2 to 3 hours till tender or use canned beans. When the beans are soft, reduce the liquid. Mash a few of the beans and return them to thicken the rest. Add salt to taste. Serve in bowls and pass the oil, lemons, and parsley for people to add. You can also top them with boiled eggs, sliced cucumbers, onions, or tomatoes. Eat with flat bread.

Religion

Did you know that for 1000 years most Egyptians were Christian? Even today the Coptic Church of Egypt is the largest group of Christians in the Middle East. That sounds impressive, but only because the Middle East has so very, very few Christians. In Egypt today, nine out of every 10 people are Muslim. Last January, Egypt adopted a new constitution. It promises that Christians can freely practice their religion. Unfortunately though, for years, Christians have been mistreated and many forced into the lowest jobs. Most are very poor. Your parents might be interested in learning more about the Coptic church by watching this recent segment from 60 Minutes

Webquest

Go to this site, and see how to write your name in hieroglyphics.

Go to Time For Kids and find out how to say “good bye” and “thank you” in Arabic.

Read this page and find out what unique food McDonalds sells in Egypt.