A few things you might hear at Eid family gatherings

Eid is a time for big family get togethers. There are always hilarities among the familiar tropes and traditions.

When Mada Masr staff shared their experiences, many were familiar, amid the inaudible chorus that often repeats itself from Eid to Eid.

This writer, not being invited to a family gathering this year, chose to collate a few of them. As the saying goes, “let the free man be the judge.”

So, here are some highlights …

“You’ve lost weight, what’s going on?”

(When you are quite sure you haven’t changed an inch in over a year.)


Or, “You’ve gained weight!”

(When you know you have and you’d rather it didn’t become the subject of family speculation.)


“There is nothing like this or that?”

(A roundabout Egyptian way of enquiring about your relationship status.)


“When will we get rid of you?”

(A slightly friendlier way of enquiring about your relationship status.) 


“You are not intending?”

(A gendered version of the relationship status inquiry, usually addressed to men.)


“Have men become blind?”

(Yet another gendered version of the relationship status inquiry, this time addressed to women.)


“When will you have your second? We want a girl next!”

(Who told you I reproduce for your sake in the first place?)


“Are you still vegetarian?”

(And if you say yes, the follow up might be: “What do you eat then?”)


“May God guide you.”

(Usually uttered at the very perceptive observation that you are lost.)


And if you are into revolution: “What’s up with the revolution? Are you done ruining the country?”

(Cue: self-restraint.)


And if your activist friends have just been released: “You are happy that way? Want anything else?”

And if you are a journalist: “So where is Egypt going?”

(To which you might respond: “I don’t have Sisi on speed dial,” or “Egypt is going to get a haircut.”) 


If you happen to work at Mada: “What’s that? A newspaper? In the internet?” 

(Followed by a deep, befuddled silence, stemming from the pre-historic association of journalism with print publication.)