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Moving to Cairo! Would love some advice

Hello everyone!

My name is Amanda. I'm dutch and I'm planning to stay in Egypt for a year with my elderly mother and my little dog.

I'm actually half egyptian (my dad's from Caïro), and I've visited family in Egypt for my entire life. So, I've got a good general idea of what it's like in Egypt. I want to live there for year to spend more time with my egyptian family, get to know the culture better and to learn the arabic language (I know some words and phrases but not enough to hold a conversation.)

I'm a visual artist and also plan to paint a lot and get inspired by the rich Egyptian culture and history. I'm not interested in getting a job there, since I'm planning to paint more than anything anyway and I got sufficient funds.

The thing is my dad has got many concerns about my plans. Sadly, he can't come with us because of his job in the Netherlands. He says it's dangerous and strange for two women to live alone there. He's scared we'll get into trouble because of misunderstandings etc. He loves me a lot and wants me to be safe, and I get that! I just don't want fear to stop me from doing the things I want to do in live.

I'm planning to ask my family for advice, but I'm also interested in hearing the objective opinions of other egyptians and expats who actually live in Egypt!

Is my dad right? Is it dangerous for women to live alone in Egypt?
What are the things I need to consider? Where're the best places in Caïro to live for foreigners? I know there's maadi, but I can't afford a villa I'm afraid. Can I walk my dog? Do I need a car? Will I be able to get by with just english for a while?

I'm planning to leave the end of september, stay with my family and/or a hotel who accept dogs until I find a safe appartement.

I'd love to hear from you guys!
-Amanda

Cairo Forum