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.
Ronnie (not verified)
Did you pay for thisFri, 2009/04/10 - 17:01
Did you pay for this business? If you did, be careful, when the money runs out, he will be looking for a younger Egyptian wife, no matter how well you think you know his culture.
Anonymous (not verified)
YupSat, 2010/02/06 - 16:59
Exactly what I was thinking.
Daniela (not verified)
how can you convince an Egyptian man to sell your skin for himMon, 2009/08/10 - 17:45
I really hope my story can be read by all wimen speaking English, Spanish and Arabic, who chatting in SKYPE, YAHOO, PERFSPOT, TAGGED, FANBOX, HOTMAIL, and who knows the other....
In 5 months I was convinced by a cute man called Hazem Husienne Mohamed Husienne ELHARTY, born in 19 of November 1976/if is true/in Cairo, working like captain-crime investigator in Ministry of Justice from Cairo, gratuated the Military Academy and the Faculty in Law...(???). He convince me he cannot live without me, but cause he is officer, he cannot came in my country, so, better to sell or rent my house, to let my child here, and to move in Cairo, to marry him "orfy" cause a foreign women dont allow a marriage with an officer, but after 2 years, he will find a solution to run abroad together....finnaly, the ideea was to find a job and an appratment, and to wait for few times by week his visits....WHAT?!? WHAT?!?Afeter Rammadan....but when I discover he is married and he have 2 children (few weeks ago), even he said he will go to jail cause he have huges debts to the bank cause he buy an laptop to can stay with me 24 hours by 24 hours....he still insisted to me to came with 2000 euros at least to spend together in Hurghada or Sharm El Sheik one month, to married faster....He have many ID in YAHOO (I find around 7), SKYPE, and so on; he just created a new one few days ago, and I discover it cause he keeped the same password.Let me your contacts dates at firstname.lastname@example.org to tell you more, and to show you the photos with him. His phones numbers are: 00222602238, 0020224054905, 0020112013729, 0020101687477. If somebady knows Arabic, please let me know, I have the cell-phone of his wife, too.
Anonymous (not verified)
I know hazemSun, 2015/07/26 - 19:00
I saw your post online where you have mentioned about a man named hazem who wanted to marry you. I am very curious to know more about your story as I am going to Egypt in 2nd October 2015 to meet a man whom I have known for 5 years now coincidently his name is Hazem too and I remember my hazem having a number that ends with 7477, in 2012 I was told by Hazem that his sister is pregnant and in December 2012 she gave birth to twin boys. And now his sister is pregnant again. Please send me any pictures that you have of him.
I really hope that we are talking about two different hazem, but nothing to lose to double check right?
Please help me with his pictures, email me at email@example.com
Safiyyah (not verified)
It happened to meTue, 2009/10/13 - 23:53
I just want to share my pain. I've been told it will help me to heal faster. Hopefully,this too will be a warning to American women resident or vacationing in Egypt. Beware of those seductive Egyptian men who are just looking for for a visa to get to the United States. You love them and do everything for them to get here.Then when they get here......as soon as they get their permanent green card in hand and apply for their three year citizenship... they present you with divorce papers. I was warned but I allowed his words to convince me that our marriage was for real. This happens too often. I was an American Muslim (I have stopped practicing). The lies and deceit shot a hole through my soul. I understand he is planning to come visit Egypt very soon. I guess to celebrate his good fortune with family and friends with the thousands of dollars he saved. May Almighty God help me to recover from this pain and May Almighty God cause him to repent and save others form this pain. It is a terrible thing to abuse a woman like this. I will say only that he is known as Hany from 18 Azhari Street in Beni Suef.
Anonymous (not verified)
plz keep practicing islam, uThu, 2009/12/24 - 07:53
plz keep practicing islam, u have converted to islam because of Allah not a person whoever he is, so the person is not there any more but Allah is there and will be always there for u, so dont lose faith or u will be the only one to regret it and suffer from it, i swear to Allah that im saying this for your sake not anything else. may Allah bless you, take care
Anonymous (not verified)
western woman it is you who are to blameSat, 2010/02/13 - 11:39
you know what, all you white slags out there? it's your fault. every egyptian man knows you're easy and will accept them without doubts or dignity. you walk around egypt in skimpy clothing, drink act like animals in clubs turning egyypt (which is a muslim country) into a hedonistic hellhole. no wonder they find you an easy target...if you dont have respect for yourselves how will they have respect for you??
i don't feel sorry for any western woman who falls for an egyptian man who only wants a visa out of you...you go for them because of your OWN values...for example I am a muslim woman from the uk, i went to cairo and I met a muslim egyptian man and now we are engaged...I told him about coming to england but he would like to be with me in egypt only with his family in cairo. you choose men who easily drink, have sex with girls etc so they are already lax in morals because they have let go the one thing which should be important to them...their morals.
i on the otherhand chose a muslim man who didn't flirt with me or try it on but we started talking in a morally acceptable way and now i am so happy with him
Rhea (not verified)
To anonymous who think western women are to blameThu, 2010/08/05 - 13:46
Well I hope you dont think you are shiny white, nobody who uses language like you do should feel proud of theirself. It is disgusting the comment you have made. The majority of western women do not walk around in skipy clothes or drink like you say. Dont forget Egypt is a tourist resort and without the western tourists would be a lot poorer. So in future before you pat yourself on the back and open your mouth, please put you brain in gear and think very carefully first. You might think you have the perfect life and that you yourself are perfect, but I have always found people like that fall a lot heavier and believe you me you will fall, everyone with you attitude does. And I can assure you it will hurt bad.
Anonymous (not verified)
I agree it is all very wellThu, 2010/09/30 - 15:10
I agree it is all very well to tar us all with the same brush but I am a teatotal brit who finds it distressing to see drunks of any nationality behaving badly.
Anonymous (not verified)
You are "engaged"? Come backMon, 2010/10/11 - 22:26
You are "engaged"? Come back in five years and tell us how you got on. Out of the mouths of babes come innocent words. I'm not saying you might not have something genuine but someone who hasn't been through a few years of marriage with an Egyptian, good or bad, is not an experienced expert to be telling others what the secret of success is.