As Valentine’s Day approaches for the west and most parts of the world, North African nation Egypt will celebrate the event too with chocolates, flowers, and red heart shaped balloons.
Egypt is one of the nations that follow the Valentine’s Day tradition. The kiosks and shops in different cities of the nation are filled with different kinds of heart shaped things. In cosmopolitan Cairo, girlfriends and wives expect romantic gesture such as gift, basket, to be taken out or to walk along the banks of river Nile. In addition, the girls will also buy gifts for their men. In Egypt, the holiday is ‘unofficial’ and because of the cultural taboos, some may misunderstand it for promoting improper romance while it is just a day for fun and showing some love.
The souvenir shops in the country are stocked with different items for the day , the shops benefits from the day because they store flowers , stuffed teddy bears , red heart decorated covers for mobile phones, scarves, perfumes, rings, chocolates, necklaces and various sentimental gifts for the day. With the World Wide Web and social networking sites all the excitement in Egypt is no different people send virtual messages and they sentimental at this period. For people far away the telecommunication companies benefit because they buy talk time and data for a lengthy conversation during this period. Although Valentine’s Day is the known day, Egyptians have their own valentine’s day, which comes on November 4, and it is a story behind two brothers Ali Amin and Mustafa.
According to the story, the write and journalist Mustafa Amin got the idea of the day in the 70s after seeing a burial with no one in attendance and no one was following behind the casket, as it is a custom in the country. It is as if no one cared or loved this man, Egyptians are gregarious and warm, and Amin was sad about the situation and lack of simple gestures such as care, love, and respect. It bothered it that people could forget one another and there came the day for celebrating love in Egypt. He asked his readers to choose a day and the readers chose November 4, this day is popular in Egypt, and people celebrate it by showing kindness, affection, and warm embrace. However, it has masked the real Valentine’s Day; Egyptians still embrace this just like other people across the globe.