Admitting Wrong

Advice, information and discussion about Egypt in general.

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Admitting Wrong

Post by LovelyLadyLux » Sun Apr 21, 2013 6:46 pm

In our culture if we do wrong or lie or whatever (whether deliberate or not) and then admit it with an apology it is viewed as us having personal strength or good moral character. It is then normal or expected for us to forgive the transgression and transgressor. Same in Egypt?

Our culture sees tends to see the giving of an apology as an indictor of us having a good moral being, as a strenth - BUT does Egyptian culture see the entire happening - Lie/wrongoing that requires an apology the same way?



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Re: Admitting Wrong

Post by Miss scarlett » Sun Apr 21, 2013 8:21 pm

Interested in the replies to this one. Last year after returning to Luxor told a caleche man I would not be using him again, after he scammed me a couple of times on my last visit. Of course he denied all the things I pointed out to him. Then a taxi driver showed up wanting to know if he could take us back to the airport on our return. Remembered this scallywag too! After agreeing a price had a particularly unpleasant argument at the airport last time when he demanded more. So pointed out to him what happened last time, and how he had no chance of my business. Again complete denial.

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Re: Admitting Wrong

Post by Zooropa » Sun Apr 21, 2013 8:59 pm

I rather suspect who has been "offended" if its a person then maybe but if you have "offended" the mighty one then maybe not.

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Re: Admitting Wrong

Post by LovelyLadyLux » Sun Apr 21, 2013 10:34 pm

Oh - not even referring to the "ALL Mighty" at all. I'm talking about daily normal interactions. It was actually reading some of Dusak's A-Z that started me thinking on this topic and I've been reading a book on the life of the Prophet Muhammad and his early days in Mecca, tribal ties and concepts of blood war to pay for a transgression. Seems back then saying "I'm sorry" wasn't really a consideration and I'm not too sure that it is today.

Lying seems to be an integral part of Egyptian nature. Almost have to take a Dishonesty 101 class to pass into adulthood and this says nothing of all the treachery when talking about the Gigalos and their rip-offs. No where does anybody ever seem to post that anybody says "Gee I'm sorry I ripped you off for your life savings" or "yeah I know the regular cost of a fare from A to B is 5LE and I'm standing here swearing on the All Mighty to your face that it really IS 100LE and now I'm caught out so I apologize."

I'm also aware in Hindu culture there is no concept of forgiveness. At least it was explained to me by a Pundit that when a person dies and/or just before death there is 'no forgiveness.' The notion is that they should lead a good and honest life during life. If they have transgressed this cannot be forgiven at death unlike some of the Christian religions that can and do forgive all prior to the passing of a person.

Just curious as to the Egyptian psyche. IF a person blatantly lies can they be forgiven? Then this can be expanded to - is it ok to lie to us infidels and is this behaviour sanctioned? Are we basically seen as stupids to be duped? And this blatant lying - how is this behaviour seen and sanctioned by other Egyptians? Is it seen as a weakness to say "I'm sorry?"

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Re: Admitting Wrong

Post by BENNU » Sun Apr 21, 2013 11:00 pm

It is very important to apologise and forgive, but I don't know what it says about you. I know people from other cultures including my own who seem SO proud of admitting they were wrong that they expect you to admire them, be grateful or even feel guilty after such a gesture. It is my experience that in Egypt the wrongdoer will be more humble, and a forgiveness after an apology really means forgiveness or order and peace. I guess it is a religious thing here.

I was about to dine with a friend when he received a phone call and became very aggressive. An employee had stolen from him and it was not a minor crime, it was a lot he had taken over a long time. He told me that dinner had to wait until the man had kissed his foot and he was so upset that I would rather have postponed the whole thing to another day. The man was dragged into the room and thrown on the floor in front of us, where he cried, while he crawled closer and kissed his feet. The air was cleaned, he kept his job, my friend was smiling again and dinner was served.

One of my first times in Cairo a crowd of men started shouting and fighting in the street as I passed. Little did I know it had to do with me, until some women pulled me into a narrow alley to protect me. Apparantly from a distance a man had said something disrespectful about me and the men in the neighborhood pushed him in front of me and asked if I could forgive him. Just to provoke I forgave him in the name of Jesus Christ (I have done that many times since) and they were all kissing each other. I think it is pride, tradition, righteousness and what in this part of the world is called respect.

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Re: Admitting Wrong

Post by Zooropa » Mon Apr 22, 2013 5:30 am

Lady, I do not think you can separate the all mighty, whether you were referring to that or not. It plays such a profound part in daily life.

As always, it seems to be the case in my experience that there is a great deal of hypocrisy at work here.

We are told to observe and respect certain behaviours and practices in Egypt because of the devout Muslim faith the majority of the people practice.

This of course should always be the case when you are visiting anywhere.

I have not read the Koran but I gather that charity, chasteness and honesty would be appear to be mainstays of the faith. Where many are concerned those virtues appear to be parked or forgotten about when there is a fast buck to be made, especially where a tourist or new ex pat is concerned.

A fact that Dusak's post highlighted on numerous occasions.

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Re: Admitting Wrong

Post by Dusak » Mon Apr 22, 2013 7:25 am

The vast majority of the Muslim people know the word sorry, but to most, that's all it is, a word used by them not to admit they have wronged, but one to quieten a situation that they have created. Sorry must be one of the most meaningless words that you hear from them on the streets, they know if it is used they believe that this magic word will make things better, that it will 'cheer' the recipient up, but are totally ignorant as to why as they haven't, in their eyes, offended.

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Re: Admitting Wrong

Post by LivinginLuxor » Mon Apr 22, 2013 8:13 am

All you have said in the previous posts equally refers to your own nationalities! A quick "Sorry" never really means an apology, but a way to defuse a situation. And of course, politicians are so moral, so upright that they never ever need to apologise for anything that the lying ******** do!
I might agree with you, but then we'd both be wrong!
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Re: Admitting Wrong

Post by Zooropa » Mon Apr 22, 2013 9:12 am

Stan, you are correct, and whilst it is quite possible you could get scammed or ripped off in the UK its not nearly on the same level as it appears to be in Egypt.

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Re: Admitting Wrong

Post by Remus » Mon Apr 22, 2013 10:15 am

'Never apologise, never explain'.

Why apologise when you can blame someone else? Egyptians seem quite adept at this.

Incidentally, has anyone heard an Egyptian say 'minfadlak' (please) recently?

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Re: Admitting Wrong

Post by DJKeefy » Mon Apr 22, 2013 12:52 pm

Remus wrote: Incidentally, has anyone heard an Egyptian say 'minfadlak' (please) recently?
It's rare you heard this is the past though.
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Re: Admitting Wrong

Post by A-Four » Mon Apr 22, 2013 5:02 pm

I think the reason why many Europeans living in Luxor do not come across the term -Bad-isnickt, memfablac,....... is because most Egyptian people, the ex-pats come across do not come from a general polite society.

Often, in Luxor I have come across ex-pats, who use bold Aracic words or sentances that you would only ever speak to 'street people', and this no matter how they try to project themselves, shows through so easily when they attempt to speak to respectable people, who incidentally, would never engage in conversation with shop people, let alone 'street people'.

Oh-boy, am I going to get into trouble for posting this. :wi .

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Re: Admitting Wrong

Post by Brian Yare » Mon Apr 22, 2013 7:02 pm

Never regret, never forget, and never ******* apologize
:roll:

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Re: Admitting Wrong

Post by dsaxelby » Mon Apr 22, 2013 9:13 pm

When I met my husband his English was excellent but he kept swearing when I asked him to stop it, he apologised and said he never swore in his own language and has not since, a lot of their behaviour it would seem comes from what they have experienced from us Europeans! He does apologise as do I, usually due to cultural differences. (but he does say 'shut up' when I point out his misdemeanours lol...)

Now to my Iranian, this guy my god honestly never met anyone who could lie, twist and spin a different story as soon as blink! He went through 12 different emotions to try and get me to do something, it was fascinating, started writing notes as he went on. To this day on contact he said some rubbish story about why he did not have car insurance (due to his friend) when stopped by police, next contact his story had changed ready for the court no doubt! (to a more plausible one). At the same time arguing with me why my child was not getting in his car! Sorry to him is just another word if it gets what he wants.

At least the English guys usually go red when they lie to me, or shift around lol....
It is what it is.

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Re: Admitting Wrong

Post by LovelyLadyLux » Tue Apr 23, 2013 2:10 am

Actually Dsaxelby that is an interesting point - the body language associated with lying. If we lie this can be associated with different sideways glances, looking down etc. "WE" can sometimes tell when "WE" are lying (if you a good liar you can fool anybody) but generally "WE" can tell when somebody is out and out lying to us.

What is the body language of the average Egyptian if they're out and out lying? Can we read their body language to know they're lying?

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Re: Admitting Wrong

Post by Dusak » Tue Apr 23, 2013 7:55 am

No, because they will never admit to lieing, and they firmly believe that they are not lieing so they produce no noticeable signs of increased body language. If you are an expert in your trade, it becomes second nature whenever it is spoken.

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Re: Admitting Wrong

Post by LovelyLadyLux » Wed Apr 24, 2013 12:08 am

@ Dusak - I believe we tend to call that Sociopathic.

Seems there is not, at a young age, any intrinsic instruction in telling truth from lie. Socially Egyptians see no need to instill the need to tell the truth and to not lie and only verbalize an "I'm sorry" when caught and are unable to lie their way out of it?

Interesting observation re: admitting wrong. Is it only us who feel the need to apologize when caught in a lie or a wrongdoing?

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Re: Admitting Wrong

Post by Mad Dilys » Wed Apr 24, 2013 6:58 am

I have worked in Luxor for nearly 22 years and I never cease to be surprised by the generalisations of others of any nationality.

Let me generalise and put the cat among the pigeons.

Al lot of people born in Luxor base their opinions of Europeans on what they see on television. This they often find confirmed by the behaviour of the tourists they see/meet in Luxor. They generalise and think that all Europeans are like that in their home environment and have little respect for them.

Frankly it seems that most of you, with the exception of Bennu are judging ALL Egyptians by the ones you meet in a tourist area and think that they are like that in their homes and have little respect for them.

It is Us and Them.

Obviously in my work I meet scoundrels in about the same proportion in the UK and in Egypt but I have met an equal amount of kindness, love and friendship in both countries mostly, it is true away from my working environment, in people's homes.

Dare I say "as you sow, so shall ye reap"? 8)
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Re: Admitting Wrong

Post by Dusak » Wed Apr 24, 2013 8:43 am

In my case MD I only referred to the ones that continually say sorry not knowing or understanding the true meaning of the word. I know many Egyptians that do not require to even use the word in its true context as they don't do anything towards me that would require its use. You usually only get this falsehood from the service providers. Only polite and respectful individuals go out of their way to practice good manners, not those that attempt to cover up bad levels of hassle or over enthusiastic touchy touchy moments.

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Re: Admitting Wrong

Post by BENNU » Wed Apr 24, 2013 3:34 pm

LovelyLadyLux wrote:Socially Egyptians see no need to instill the need to tell the truth and to not lie and only verbalize an "I'm sorry" when caught and are unable to lie their way out of it?

Interesting observation re: admitting wrong. Is it only us who feel the need to apologize when caught in a lie or a wrongdoing?
I do not know where you made this observation or what makes it interesting.
I do not know who US or THEM are.

I wanted to reply to this last night, but it made me so sad as a guest in Egypt, and I was hoping that someone else would write the words that I could not find when trying to swallow this. Thank you, Mad Dilys.

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