by Islam El Shazly

When in Rome do as the Romans do. I was told by a group of drunk foreigners, when I was travelling once, that since I’m in the west at the moment then I should behave like them, and since they were drunk, they wanted me to drink as well. They claimed that when they go to a Muslim country like Egypt or Morocco, they follow the rules of the country.

My response was, well, they don’t. Most of the tourists that come to Egypt have no respect for the culture and traditions of the country, a lot of the women tourists walk around as if they forgot to put some clothes on their way out of the hotel. They were in a rush to catch the bus.

They also drink quite a bit, and have the lovely opportunity to do some gambling while they’re at it.

It’s not entirely their fault. In Egypt for example for a hotel to get a five star rating they have to serve alcohol, however, they do that because they under the impression that all foreigners just want to come here for a binge.

What is the purpose of travelling and going to different lands and strange places?

When we travel we try to learn about new cultures, and every culture has its good and its bad, we try to learn the good and avoid the bad. It’s no hidden secret that Egypt has one of the worst traffic in the world, it’s chaotic and most of the time you have to be  extremely assertive  while driving. You never know when someone is going to decide to cross a 6 lane street as if they’re in their living room, or when the guy on the far left is going to do a 90 degree turn across the street to exit the street on the right.

If that person ends up in Canada for example, he will have to follow their traffic rules to the letter or else suffer the consequences. But it doesn’t mean that he should go drinking! In the same token tourists coming to a country like Egypt should not indulge in chaotic driving, but they should use a bit more modesty in their clothing.

Travelling is a privileged learning experience, not everyone can afford it, and we should make the most of it. Shop, learn, have fun, and be respectful to the culture of the people we are visiting.

When in Rome we should not do everything that the Romans do, because not everything in their culture agrees with ours, especially because we are Muslims.

Surah Al-Hujurat (The Dwellings)>> 49:13 O mankind! We created you from a single (pair) of a male and a female, and made you into nations and tribes, that ye may know each other (not that ye may despise (each other). Verily the most honoured of you in the sight of Allah is (he who is) the most righteous of you. And Allah has full knowledge and is well acquainted (with all things).

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2 Replies to WHEN IN ROME…

  1. Ola says:

    Nice one ya Islam 🙂

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