Having dinner at Abou El Sid, one of Cairo’s most popular local dining spots for expats, offering authentic Egyptian cuisine in Zamalek, I look around. There are expats all around me. It instantly hit me: Why do so many foreigners choose to leave their countries and decide to live in Egypt. Why leave friends, family, and everything that you are used to, and move here? Why specifically Egypt?
Fueled by my own curiosity, I spoke to a few foreigners who are currently based in Egypt and asked them why they decided to move here, many of whom echoed that it “felt like home.”
Jade Tibbles, Relationship Mentor and Life Coach, moved from the UK to Egypt in 2011
“The only way I can describe why I came here is because I felt I left my heart and soul here after visiting for the first time in 2007 on a family holiday. I then finalised my education and moved here in 2011, at the age of 19.
My experience has been absolutely incredible, I have learnt so much about the amazing culture Egypt has, the hospitality and tradition Egypt holds, the history of the country is breathtaking and the people of Egypt are just absolutely incredible! This country has some of the kindest people I have ever met and I am so happy Egypt has become my home.”
Eduard, Freelance Journalist, moved from Netherlands to Egypt in 2013
“It’s complicated. Sometimes life sometimes brings you to places.
I studied Arabic in Damascus, and I really wanted to properly learn the language. So, my first choice was to go back to Syria, but the situation there was difficult. I chose Egypt because other Arab countries were politically unstable or very expensive, so Egypt seemed like a good option.
I really enjoy living here. I had never lived outside of the Netherlands before, so it was very different and very interesting for me. I felt comfortable as if I was at home through the people I met. Even though there were times when I considered leaving, I was constantly taking steps in my career as a journalist. And now I feel like this is home.”
Mehta Mayah, Healer, moved to Egypt about a year ago
“I’m from Canada. I came to Egypt to pick up the pieces of my ancient magic! The land began to call to me when I was in Ireland and visited Scotia’s Grave, an ancient site that is supposedly the burial place of an Egyptian Queen who travelled to connect with the Celts and fell in love with the Emerald Isle around 1700 BC. She is also the Queen who gave Scotland its name. Sure enough, since I arrived it’s been nothing but magic. I’ve felt the power of the land and the creativity of its people. I’ve met kindred spirits and been warmed by the hospitality shown to me.
At the same time, I also see how Egyptians struggle to channel their power into their own sovereignty. The Western culture with its consumerism, fast fashion, and fast food is polluting the land badly. I see trash everywhere and it breaks my heart. In Canada, we take good care to keep our streets and natural areas pristine. I hope to see Egypt grow strong and clean itself up. This beautiful land must be honoured. I’ve worked with the Blue Lotus since I’ve been in Cairo. This is the sacred plant medicine of ancient Egypt. I believe it holds much power to help heal the wound of forgetfulness in the heart of all Egyptians who neglect to care for their bodies and the Earth, their home.”
Fabian Köhring, Principal Flutist at the Cairo Symphony Orchestra, moved to Egypt in 2020
“I’m 25 years old, and from the region of Thuringia in Germany. I moved to Egypt in September 2020 after living and studying classical music in Vienna for several years to work at the Cairo Opera House, National Center of Culture as part of the Cairo Symphony Orchestra. My colleagues in the Opera House, as well as most people in general, met me with both kindness and curiosity. I had the chance to meet people of different faiths, from different regions and with new ways of viewing things in life.
Without doubt Egypt is quite unlike Germany or many places in Europe. On one hand, you have the immense richness of the several thousand-year-old history of this country, but on the other hand also the present, which is not always as connected and intertwined with that, as some clichés I grew up with, might make us believe.
Living and travelling in Egypt got me a little closer to understanding the rich culture and history of this region, but also made me understand how much I actually didn’t know, or even thought of, about it.”
Yaroslava Belozor, moved from Ukraine to Egypt two years ago
“I am a holistic healer and yoga and meditation teacher, coach, and artist. I found Egypt the perfect place for my work and personal and spiritual growth. I also had an interesting experience here working in the beginning as a school teacher, hotel manager, etc., until I became quite stable with my spiritual and energy work.
Egypt is full of amazing people who are living and working here. I came with my retreat to Dahab a couple of times and decided to stay because of the nice weather, people etc. I visited Turkey, Cyprus, Greece… But in the end, I turned back to Dahab in Egypt because Egyptian land has history, knowledge, ancient wisdom, and amazing energy in certain spots like Siwa, Dahab, Saint Catherine, and I got the chance to feel that a lot. I also quickly became popular here in certain communities.
I’m in love with Cairo even though it’s crowded and noisy. But I feel like I belong to this place, if you understand what I mean.”
Carole Borie, Travel Blogger, moved to Egypt in 2018
“I’m French, and I’ve been traveling abroad for the last 10 years. I moved to Egypt three years ago because I met my husband. I started two small businesses, one was a handicraft makramia shop, and the recent one was Pixel Travel Egypt, where I take pictures from my travels around Egypt and transform them into digital paintings. I then sell them through travel posters, postcards, and stationary items to support tourism as much as I can.
I wanted to create something that the expat community and tourists can bring back home; something that is high quality, not heavy, and unique.
Every few months, my husband and I travel out of Cairo to different cities in Egypt. We found our balance by traveling once a month around the country and we really love it. Of course there are challenges, but there is no perfect country in the world.”
Support independant Media
Subscribe to our newsletter