The Odyssey



Chat Transcript - November 23, 1999
Noon EST/9am PST

Welcome to The Odyssey Live Chats from Cairo, Egypt! Several high school students, ages 13-17, will be joining us live from Cairo, along with Trekkers Kavitha, Jasmine, and Monica.

<Moderator> Welcome to the World Trek Live Chat! Kavitha and Jasmine are with us right now - ready to answer your questions. Keep sending them in - we'll do our best to get to as many as we can...

<Moderator> We're ready to begin! We've got four Egyptian high school students with us right now - Mohammed Wasfy (18) Shams Elkady (17), Osman Zorkani (18) and Mike Youssef (17). They're ready to answer your questions!

<GDOD (CHICAGO)> What do you do in your spare time?

<Osman> I have a motorcross bike, and I often go out to the desert on weekends to practice my skills. And since the desert here(Sahara) offers some of the most amazing dunes and tracks, its loads of fun!

<Mohammed Wasfy> I usually use the internet or play games on the computer. I also play soccer with my friends at school.

<Mohammed Wasfy> I also study: International Relations, (IB)I.T.G.S, (IB) Math Studies, (IB) English, (IB) Arabic, (IB) Business.

<Ashley (Oceanport, NJ)> Do you have internet access at your high school? At home?

<Mike> Yeah, I have internet access and at home, I was born in Jersey!!

<Osman> Yes, access to the internet is available in school as well as at home. The only problem is that it can be really slow sometimes.

<Osman> Yes there is access to the internet in school as well as at home. But the only problem is that it can be really slow sometimes.

<Claire (Oceanport, NJ)> Are there any American music groups that are popular in Egypt?

<Mike> Some popular music here in Egypt is dance, lots of people go to clubs. Personally I enjoy Dave Matthews band, Ben Harper, and Lenny Kravtiz, I like many types of music, I'm easy when it comes to music.

<Osman> The only music thats American and people like to listen to, is R&B or Rap music. Techno and Dance music is whats really in here!

<Claire (Oceanport, NJ)> Mike, what part of New Jersey are you from?

<Mike> I'm was born in New Brunswick, New Jersey, what about you?

<Ashley (Oceanport, NJ)> How is Egypt different from life in American movies?

<Osman> Well, how much do you know about life here?

<Shams> In most of the American movies that I saw, I found that they show Egypt as a undeveloped country where camels are.

<Mike> interesting questions!!! Egypt has totally different cultures and customs which American movies don't even touch on. Their life here is totally different than that in American movies.

<Shams> They usually describe Egypt as an old country, ancient and doesn't have any kind of technology.And that is really different from reality.

<Mohammed> Egypt is a country with tradition and culture. Egyptians are conservative and that's totally different than what I see in American Movies.

<Sarah(San Francisco)> Have you all lived in Egypt your whole lives?

<Osman> I've lived here for about 13 years, before that I was traveling living in many areas in Europe.

<Mike> I've lived in egypt for about 7 years now, before that I lived in Kenya, Sudan, Oman, and the U.S.

<Mohammed> I lived in Egypt for 9 years. I was born in Alexandria but then I moved to Kuwait when I was 2 months and lived there for 9 years.

<Shams> I've lived here all my life, 17 years, I was born in Cairo and I didn't move to any where else.

<Connie (Oceanport, NJ)> What misconceptions do you all think Egyptians have about America,if any?

<Mohammed> Lack of culture and tradition.

<Mike> Well do to our not so friendly ties with nearby Isreal and the support that the U.S. is giving them, our conceptions towards Americans are not friendly, but once havening meet them and talking with them we realize that our conceptions turn out to be missleading.

<Osman> Many of the locals think that Americans basically have no culture, and that they do whatever they desire.

<Shams> Most of the Egyptians think that life in U.S is easy, and people do every thing freely.

<Karina(San Francisco)> What do you like best about Cairo - what's your favorite part of town?

<Mike> My favorite part of Cairo is the cafe shops, where i can get a nice hopply booply (shisha) - thats tabacco smoked through a water pipe!!! Shisha is part of the Egyptian culture, its relaxing and very enjoyable.

<Osman> It also gets you to relax your mind and your soul! :)

<Mohammed> The best thing about Cairo is that you can do anything. Life is easy here.

<Mike> Right on, Mohammed!!

<Connie (Oceanport, NJ)> So, in other words, we all have the same needs and wants, no matter what nation we come from? If we can talk to each other and get to know each other, then greater understanding of each other will result?

<Mike> hahahaaa, I guess Connie's right, well it depends... Egypt is a country with very sensitive people towards sensitive issues, what can I say, we're Middle Easterners, so I don't know if all of us would get along!

<Mohammed> Yes, at the end of the day we all have the same needs and wants. Yes, of course, because information is being exchanged and information is knowledge.

<Osman> Thats for sure, the missconceptions about each other's countries is only a result of the misscomunication we have together. And by learning more and more about each other we will soon realize that we are the same people!

<Moderator> Well, our time's up. Thank you to Shams, Osman, Mike and Mohammed for joining the Trekkers Monica, Jasmine and Kavitha and classrooms around the world. We'll be back in one hour if you'd like to join us again!

<Mohammed> It was nice talking to y'all! hehe!

<Mike> Thanks! I hope you guys learned a little something about Egypt!!! Ishta, Sallam

<Osman> Arright, thanks for having us! Ciao

<Monica> They all left in a flash of pizza stuffed mouthed goodbyes...


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