A word of caution for female tourists visiting Egypt: be careful of the many of the men working in tourist areas in Egypt.
Although the vast majority of Egyptians have a high sense of honor and good conduct, it seems that tourist areas seem to attract a relatively high concentration of people with lax morals, who would exploit tourists in many ways. It can manifest itself as persistent aggressive begging, peddling cheap goods, charging 10X the normal prices for services and goods, and what this article focuses on: exploiting female tourists.
Looking at the bulk of the comments on my notes on compulsory army service in egypt they are mostly from non-Egyptian women who married (or intend to marry) an Egyptian man, and army service has become an obstacle.
So, once you here the word "habibti" (meaning "my love" in Arabic), and before you call him "Habibi", let alone go down the marriage route, read on below for more information.
The exploitation happens in many forms, but is normally centered around one of the following:
Easy and Free Sex
Many tourists come from countries where sex is more freely practiced outside of marriage. Youn g Egyptian men working in tourist areas who
are not married see this as an opportunity, and are met with acceptance from the female tourists.
A source for Money
Many Egyptian men who practice this scam view the "wealthy" tourist as a source of income. They keep asking their "girl friend", "fiance" or "wife" for money for various excuses, just like a professional scammer would play a confidence game on a victim.
An Opporunity for Immigration
Some of those men want to get out of Egypt, and see their marriage as a way to gain residence and citizenship in a Western country. The economy in Egypt has been stagnant for decades, and poverty, lack of opportunity and the high cost of marriage lures some youth to trying these tricks.
Why it works?
There are several factors that work in favor of the Egyptian scammers here.
One factor that helps is that most Egyptian men look desirable to Western women, being of darker complexion than their compatriots. The fact that the foreigners are white blonds work in making the women attractive and desirable for Egyptian men.
Another factor is that the woman is coming to the tourist place to have a good time. It may be a break from stressful work or study, or perhaps a past relationship. This helps blind her to what is happening.
Yet another factor is the cultural differences which also create temporary blindness.
Moreover, those workers being away from their village or city of origin, where they would be observed by their extended family and friends tend to make it easier for them to engage in sexual relationships and scams without being scrutinized by acquaintenaces, and no stigma is attached to these behaviors.
Finally, the scammers have perfected their techniques over the years, and are very skillful at what they do.
Blacklists have emerged on the internet, to warn potential female tourists from known exploiters. These have all the faults of user contributed content on the internet in that they can be innacurate, biased, or even rigged by rivals or pranksters. However, in the absence of any other information, they can be useful, provided they are taken with a good deal of skepticism and research and common sense applied.
- An overview article on what a "black list" is, at Arabia.pl.
- Dezy House: Blacklist for Hurghada, in English.
- Dezy House: Blacklist for Sharm El Sheikh, in English.
- Wanted List of Egypt.
- Egyptian Blacklist on Topix.
- KunstKamera blacklist.
Happens everywhere, not only Egypt
Before someone gets the impression that Egypt is a cesspool, and Egyptians are crooks, let me say it is neither.
The problem above is not limited to Egypt by any means. Any country where tourists come in to spend money has its share of exploiters. The above black lists have a Turkish one, and a Tunisian one, and there are lots of stories about French, Italian and Spanish men exploiting women tourists as well.
Of course, there is also the Russian bride fraud targeting well to do men in the West.
So, the problem is universal, although this article focuses on female tourists to Egypt.
There are many non-Egyptian women married to Egyptian men happily, so over-generalizing from the cases mentioned, or from workers at tourist resort is wrong. Chances are you will be happy with an Egyptian as a husband if you met him in a more natural settings, e.g. while studying or working, and getting to meet his family as well.
The "artificial" environment in resorts, being on holiday, and surrounded by some scammers lend itself to the disasters described.
So, beware ...
- Marwa Rakha: Relationship Warning: Do not get involved with Egyptian Men (also here).
- Global Voices: "Beware of Egyptian Men" says Canadian Embassy, also by Marwa Rakha.
- Trailing Grouse: Egyptian men marrying women for money.
- Yahoo Answers: Egyptian Men marrying foreign women to get out from Egypt.
- Sex, Sun, Stupidity and Gigolos.
- Amy Robson: n English girl who keeps falling in false love with Egyptian men (she finally returned to Britain).
- Someone searching on KunstKamera: for Honest Egyptian Boys?
- List if sites on Romance Fraud in German, and other languages.
- A movie documentary in the making on holiday romance, specially Hurghada.
- Female Sex Tourism on Wikipedia, has lots of links to extensive articles. While Turkey is listed as a major destination, Egypt, Tunisia, and Morocco are listed as "minor destinations".
- An article from a Canadian perspective: Sex tourism in full boom. Jamaica, Barbados, Dominican Republic and the Caribbean are the major destination for Canadian women.
Anonymousxtu (not verified)
Ummm... women in the west whoSun, 2008/11/30 - 04:46
Ummm... women in the west who see men of darker complexion often refer to them as sh*tskins, and thats not a positive comment.
Whatever ...Sun, 2008/11/30 - 14:14
Can't be true with all these cases of women seeking men with darker skin when on holiday and elsewhere ...
Not unheard of that different women will have different tastes, but you can't deny that a certain percentage are interested in men with darker skin ...
Anonymous (not verified)
its a genetic thingThu, 2009/02/19 - 16:17
Women like the opposites of them and so do men universally, physically usually. Because their body is spotting a potential mate who has different genes and therefore good match for having children with.
Rhea (not verified)
what a load of cobblersMon, 2012/04/16 - 11:38
Look if I see someone I like the last thing I, or may I say my subconcious mind is bothered about his his genes, it doesnt enter my head, do I fancy him - now I might think of that, but I am sorry for women fancying Egyptian men I would say it depends on the man himself
YEHIA (not verified)
nonsenceTue, 2009/10/06 - 21:04
man that is just rude,first let me ask you a question,have you been to Egypt?,i know that there are people like the ones your talking about but not all of them there are very open minded people,i mean i am Egyptian ,and i had a relationship with an american girl,we loved each other ,and i didn`t think of any thing of what you are saying (money,sex),what i am saying is that you can`t judge a whole country by a little percentage of it`s people.
I know (not verified)
Read the whole article beforeMon, 2010/12/20 - 15:09
Read the whole article before making accusations.
Egyptian (not verified)
The writer has a good pointFri, 2010/12/24 - 20:25
The writer did not mean all Egyptian men he is honestly talking
about where and why the Egyptian scam potential gets high !
Anonymous (not verified)
That is good to hear. I amSat, 2011/01/08 - 18:28
That is good to hear. I am going to Egypt tomorrow, have no wish for a relationship with an Egyptian or anyone, but it's so nice to hear there are some sincere men with integrity out there.
lynn (not verified)
egyptian boyfriendTue, 2011/01/11 - 16:36
i have ben to egypt many times and in last 6 months started a relationship with an egyptian man. he is in the army and has only 8 months left to serve, is there anyway he can buy himself out and if so how much would it cost/? also can he apply for a marriage visa and come to uk and get out the army? any info will be brill. ps i have NEVER had the misfortune of meeting a bad egyptian they have always been polite and helpful thanx x
Anonymous (not verified)
Hi lynn, Nice of you to postWed, 2011/01/19 - 06:38
Nice of you to post a good experience of yours which you defend egyptians against these wrong accusations. As for getting out of the army, It was never resolved by money and he will never get out of the country through normal ports if he is still serving because simply he will be asked for certificate of completion of military service. However, one way might seem helpful is that you get to Egypt and marry him, hence he will try to show his marriage certificate which might exempt him from completing the service.
Days go by fast be patient if this measure fails. Hope to know that you two got married and Happy.