Egyptian Football Craze
Why football? Even google knows that when you type the keyword “sports” from an Egyptian location, you actually really mean football; the literal top result is “Other sports in Egypt are basketball, handball, squash, and tennis.” As an Egyptian, by now you’ve gotten used to the sound passionate yells of football supporters in the street, how whole schedules and meetings are altered according to the schedule of a match, and how every young Egyptian boy’s default dream is to be a football player. You can’t help but grow up with the passion of football inside you.
Although the initial response for boys at a young age is that it is effortless to fall in love with football if it’s the easiest sport to play in the street with your friends, their parents enrolled them in football practice, or “that’s what the cool kids do”. We went further to interview an English Egyptian young man with unprecedented passion for the sport whether as a player or spectator, Karim Hosem, we were very intrigued to find out if this football craze is as specific to Egyptians as we like to believe. It turns out we were right! “It helps people forget their problems for 90 minutes and that’s why it’s so powerful“, was Karim’s immediate response when being asked about football. Although his personal passion kick started with his English origins in Liverpool, he believed Egyptian passion was something else; “Both English and Egyptians have an insane love for the sport, England because it’s been around for years and it’s part of the culture. For Egyptians, it’s an escape from the pressure of politics; something that makes us happy, gives us hope, so it has quite a different meaning to us“, explained Karim.
So here you go, a key to effortless ice breaking. When in doubt, strike up a conversation about football just about anywhere in Egypt, and lay back and enjoy the bonding happen.