Wealthy Egyptians give in to Western ways
June 30, 1997
Web posted at: 9:22 p.m. EDT (0122 GMT)
From Reporter Alphonso Van Marsh
CAIRO (CNN) -- Western influences abound in Islamic Egypt, and the signs of culture clash are everywhere.
Take fashion, for instance. Such models as Claudia Schiffer strutted their stuff recently during a fashion show at the Great Pyramids of Giza. Admiring the view were Egypt's young, upwardly mobile elite, who paid upward of $250 a ticket to attend the event.
Then there's the Cairo outpost for an American chain restaurant called TGI Friday's (Thank God It's Friday) -- a reference to the last day of the Western work week.
In Egypt's predominantly Muslim culture, Friday is reserved for prayers. But that's not stopping young, Westernized Egyptians from spending more money in a night than many Egyptians earn in a month.
Piano bars and dancing clubs are hot -- for those who can afford them.
Egypt's rich "learn the ways of the Americans," complains one less-well-off young man. "They've changed into a different breed -- from Egyptians to foreigners in their own country."
Dr. Mediha El Safty of the American University in Cairo also has observed the change.
"Many people are concerned that this Western infiltration will do away with the traditional culture," she says.
Related sites:Note: Pages will open in a new browser window
External sites are not endorsed by CNN Interactive.
© 1997 Cable News Network, Inc.
All Rights Reserved.