Family life is very important to Egyptians. Their concept of family includes in-laws, uncles, aunts, grandparents, nephews, nieces and cousins.

Marriage is an important relationship in Egyptian life and Egyptians are allowed to marry cousins. Arranged marriages are common among Egyptians, although today members of the younger generation tend to choose their partners. In rural areas a new bride tends to be subordinate to both her husband and her mother-in-law. Her status rises when she has children, preferably boys.

In Egypt, a Muslim man can have up to four wives, provided he can look after them and treat them fairly and well. Egyptians indulge their children and a large family is considered a blessing from God.

Egyptian women are, by law, financially independent and can have control in financial and some legal matters. In other legal matters such as inheritance and witnessing, a woman counts as half a man, and her legal rights are limited in many spheres. Egyptian women keep their own name when they marry. Although the enrollment rate for women in university remains relatively low, it is changing.

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Egyptians fear the evil eye, which is believed to bring bad luck. Envy is often associated with the evil eye. It is considered rude to show open admiration for another person's possessions.

In cities, the majority of Egyptians live in apartments due to the scarcity of land. Ornate furniture, colourful wallhangings and expensive ornaments are popular. Shopping and visiting relatives are favourite family activities.

About one-half of Egypt's population lives in rural areas. The men wear pants and a full shirt-like garment called a galabiyah and women wear long flowing gowns in bright colours. They generally live in houses consisting of three small rooms and a courtyard which they share with their animals.

A small minority of Egypt's rural population are Bedouin nomads who follow migration routes in the desert, herding camels, goats and sheep.