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.
Yana (not verified)
egyptian con artistsFri, 2009/02/06 - 13:30
I am British born from a Yemini family, I was married to a Saba who was a security man in a hotel in TV street Luxor. He took thousands from me, and when I said enough, now you should think about using the money to come to England he got very nasty, it turned out he had spent the lot on other women while I was not there. he would also go out with men who were gay, when I said this is bad, he told me its ok its in the Koran, but I have read the Koran and nowhere does it say this, these men are very bad, but charming, I am now trying to make it up with my family, he almost made me lose my family. I know not all egyptian men are bad, but the good ones marry very young, so they are not available to any young woman over 20, I hope other women take warning from this. Yana, Coventry, UK.
Tom (not verified)
re :your experience inEgyptTue, 2011/11/15 - 12:10
I'm researching a documentary about women who are victimized in Egypt. Would you be willing to talk to me about your experience off the record? If so please email me and we can talk. Thanks.
stronggirl (not verified)
Reply to TomSun, 2012/05/20 - 04:58
I have just been reading through this site and saw your post that you are researching a documentary about the terrible situation of whats happening in Egypt with foreign women. I was hurt emotionally and ripped off by a man in Luxor. I may be willing to talk to you if you want?
Look forward to hearing from you.
Anonymous (not verified)
hello, tom, i am available,Mon, 2012/05/21 - 08:49
hello, tom, i am available, please, check 4me at email@example.com
Roy (not verified)
Egyptian con men.Sun, 2009/02/15 - 10:22
Come on ladies, I have been going to Luxor for years, it is a wonderful place full of antiquities, Valley of the Kings and so forth. No matter which hotel I stay in I see women making a fool of themselves, one called Jan, 65, fell for a Saeed, for heavens sake he was a young lad of about 22, she threw money at him, and bought jewellery etc, when she found out he was married with a little daughter, she went berserk, she almost got him the sack from his job. If she had concentrated on seeing the sights, it would never have happened, ladies please, go to Luxor enjoy it but don't go looking for young men, if you do and get stung, it is your own fault. No one can blame these guys for taking whats on offer, and personally I find most Egyptians very respectful and polite.
Roy Birmingham, UK.
Rhea (not verified)
reply to RoySat, 2010/07/24 - 18:41
Well you would Roy - You are not a woman!!!
Dave (not verified)
Con men.Sun, 2009/02/15 - 13:35
I have been following this site with interest I agree with Roy,
I stay in a nice little christian run hotel in Luxor twice a year, I could write a book with things I have seen, young and older women falling madly in love with the staff and others outside, as soon as they go home their 'Boyfriends' are with the next woman. My interest is only Egyptology, and what Roy says is true, if these women were to study the sights there they would find them far more interesting than a quick fumble on their last night. One woman I often see there is in fact writing a book about these goings on, she has more sense than to fall for their charms, and because she isn't interested they chase her like mad, it all adds to the fun, but women should use their heads and enjoy the holiday, and forget the men, most are married anyway.
Hani (not verified)
Older womanTue, 2009/02/17 - 17:53
I lived on Luxor al my life, I giev love to many old women, they paid for it by takeing me out for expinsive meals, bringin clothes, and end of time here givin moneys for me. Also they send monys from UK, Irland and Danmark, when i has enouf to built a house I will marry good girl and setle. You womans dont plame us for this, we are poor, my salery for 50 huours in hotel is 300 le a monthes.we shares out tips and maybe i gets nother 100, I can maakes 1000 le from womans and give them lovin and say they are my heart, they hapy I hapy so were the harm? if they make serous then i leve them. Luxor f ful of these womans young , old, but we have litle respects for them. keep comin I will find you.
I wonder ...Thu, 2009/02/19 - 16:23
The same claims you make can be used by criminals to justify their crimes ("we are poor, no harm done, ...etc").
I wonder if you will tell the "good girl" how you made the money for her wedding and home. I wonder if your father, mother, uncles, aunts, brothers and sisters are aware of your line of "work", and how you make the money.
If you are ashamed of what you are doing, and hiding it from your family (present and future) then it is wrong, and you should stop doing it.
habibe (not verified)
reply to HaniFri, 2009/09/04 - 07:14
I i sit here and read your commet its sickness me that you have no respect for your self or others and to be honest with you you make your self sound very very cheap.And no only that you are giving other egyptian men a bad name your mother would be ashamed of you if she knew what you was up to because i no if you was my son i would be disgusted.It seems to be like you have no experience about live and 1 thing that you need to realise is that no amount of money can buy love neither can it buy happiness.And believe me you what goes around come around.It is vile to see that you can treat different women in this manner you promise them your unconditional love call them your habibes etc.... .I hope god will punish you for the way you treat women inshalla.Here is some home truths that may help you when you decide to change your life around : you have 5 fingers none are the same size every 1 is different , your heart is a amazing thing it beats a million times a day and still allows you to fall in love , in your heart you have a door and you should always leave that door to your heart open has a lot of people will walk in and out of your live but only your true love will leave foot prints in your heart. Hani the best advise that i can give to you is wake up and smell the coffee and give your head a wobble life is for living not for playing with peoples heads and dis respecting them you should stop taking life and women for granted and starting vauling life and women more nobody knows what tommorrow will bring will live for today and pray for tommorrow you should live each day as it is your last . I hope that my reply will make you stop and think that how you are treating women is wrong and that you should change to better your self you should treat every 1 and everything as you would want to be treated and give people respect and you shall get respect back i wish you well and that you listen me has god as my witness inshalla .