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Women, Single Mother Teachers in Egypt?
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Vanica



Joined: 31 Aug 2006
Posts: 368
Location: North Carolina

PostPosted: Sat Sep 09, 2006 2:20 pm    Post subject: Women, Single Mother Teachers in Egypt? Reply with quote

So this is where the women are!
How are working conditions in Egypt with respect to being a women, and if you have the experience, a single mother? As I said in the pms, I'm looking for a small, non-polluted town because I have asthma, a uni or intl school, I have an Ed.M. Tesol and another postgrad cert in translation (Eng Fr Sp Port It Bcs), school for my 4 year old.
Is there something special about Egypt for women English teachers? It just seems to be my impression compared to the Asian forums.
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veiledsentiments



Joined: 20 Feb 2003
Posts: 15931
Location: USA

PostPosted: Sat Sep 09, 2006 3:32 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Egypt is a child friendly country, but single motherhood 'can' be a problem in Arab countries. Most require written permission of the father to bring them in. (In Islam the children belong to the father)

Your next problem will be that the jobs are in the polluted cities like Cairo and Alex (Cairo being MUCH worse as far as pollution). There are very few jobs in the smaller cities/villages for expats. Possible... but not easy to find as they don't tend to advertise.

Education for your child will require that s/he know Arabic in the smaller places. To get an education that will transfer back to your home country, you would need a job that provides school fees and/or the ability of the child to attend free where you work. Again, this will be rare to find in the less polluted hinterlands.

VS
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stoth1972



Joined: 16 May 2003
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Location: Seattle, Washington

PostPosted: Sat Sep 09, 2006 7:06 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Ok, not to butt into this thread, VS, (I've answered some of Vanica's questions, and she needs some other perspectives besides mine Smile ) but I worked with multiple single mothers (is that an oxymoron??) while in Egypt, both at El Alsson and Choueifat. If anyone had any issues with getting visas, they never mentioned it. In 2 cases, the fathers were MIA, anyways. But, getting visas in Egypt was generally easier than the Gulf countries, anyway. If it were the Gulf you were looking at, you might need some paperwork.

I will follow up with my close friends, though, to confirm this. I would imagine that some schools might raise an eyebrow to the Muslim single mother.

Ok. Enough of my opinion! Hope you get some more input, Vanica. And on the asthma note, oddly enough, one of my single mother friends developed asthma whilst living in Cairo.
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veiledsentiments



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PostPosted: Sat Sep 09, 2006 11:05 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Welcome Stoth!! Always happy to see you arrive with better info. Cool Have you known of any single mothers heading out into the hinterlands to teach? The problem of being a single mother is definitely culturally unacceptable, and although Cairo and Alex residents would probably not bat an eyelash, the smaller towns and villages the OP said she preferred can be very different.

Personally I think I would invent a 'dead husband' story. Laughing

On the asthma situation - which I forgot to mention in my first post. I have asthma and the pollution of Cairo never bothered it. But asthma is a very individual disease and most people know what bothers their particular case. So, if pollution is a personal irritant, Cairo is twice as bad now as it was when my asthma was at its worst. I have more problems with perfume!!

VS
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stoth1972



Joined: 16 May 2003
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Location: Seattle, Washington

PostPosted: Sun Sep 10, 2006 12:50 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

You know, I've never known anyone to venture into the smaller cities and towns. The biggest demand outside of Cairo would most likely be in the resort towns, like Sharm, Hergada (sp), and El Gouna. Have you been there, VS? It's about a 5 hours drive from Cairo, and it's an entire resort that was built by one man, but it actually looks like a little town. They have their own international school, and I've made acquaintances with people who worked there. If you can conjure up how odd your average Cairene expat is, double that, and you've got the staff at these resort town international schools! In fact, I recall meeting one woman who was pregnant out of wedlock, and it seemed ther might have been her supervisor in that school. Crazier things have happened in Egypt, I suppose.

In some of the single mom cases, there was an ex husband, but in many cases, these were women who had a child out of wedlock. I think one woman I worked with was actually raising her daugter's kids, and telling everyone they were hers.

Agreed, VS-not something you want to share, even with Egyptians that you think are quite liberal. A dead husband is better than no husband to begin with.

That's interesting to hear that the pollution didn't affect your asthma. What part of Cairo did you live in? I was in Maadi, and felt that the air was marginally cleaner. It's riding around in the back of a taxi that exposes one to a slew of black air. Nothing like blowing your nose, and seeing evidence of pollution from those taxi rides! ewwww. And the first time it rained? I was wearing a white shirt. Little black droplets appeared on my top. Ok, Vanica, don't want to make it sound worse than it is!

I'll bow out and let some current Egypt residents weigh in on this!
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veiledsentiments



Joined: 20 Feb 2003
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PostPosted: Sun Sep 10, 2006 2:33 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I wonder where Sekhmet is... she is normally a good source of information on the possibilities around Alex.

Stoth... I lived in Dokki and Zamalek... and worked in the middle of Tahrir Square. Cool There is nothing like those taxi rides where you are marooned directly next to the exhaust pipe of a bus belching clouds through the window that has no mechanism for closing... ah yes, the adventure of living in Egypt. Not surprising that people question our affection for the place. Not being the type who cares about beaches, I never bothered to go to Sharm or Hurghada... little affection for hoards of sunburned Germans. Laughing

VS
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Vanica



Joined: 31 Aug 2006
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Location: North Carolina

PostPosted: Sun Sep 10, 2006 4:08 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Dear VS, Thanks for writing.
My big asthma problem is also perfume, but the worst is cigarette smoke. I would like to get out of any pollution -- also for my little girl, why give her any risk, since now I have a choice of countries and environments. Having lived in NYC for a few years, I had incredible cultural and educational activities -- but in the middle of an acute asthma attack, one truly understands the old adage .... shooot what is that old adage about health being everything Embarassed

However, ignorance is horrible and can be extremely dangerous to one's health -- my background is ex-Yugoslavia and, well, enough said. So I am looking for an ideal. Here in Quebec when I go into the Laurentians, so pristine and beautiful, wow, the cultural difference is palpable. The good jobs are in the smoggy cities.

In my case, I may have two opposing priorities -- clean environment AND educated population. It's very hard to find the two together. I suppose teaching at an Ivy League school is a possibility -- but I don't see anyone offering me THAT job.
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PostPosted: Sun Sep 10, 2006 11:24 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hello Vanica,

You are in a difficult situation. To be honest, as much as I love Egypt, I don't think it is the place for you. One possibility that comes to mind is Rabat, Morocco. It is a very liveable city with little pollution... in relative terms, of course. Your knowledge of French would be useful there. Learning English is in vogue there these days... language schools and international schools.

There are also universities up in the mountains there which would have even better air quality. (but lots of smokers and perfume in North Africa and the ME in general)

You might want to look around in the North African section of this board. I have only visited there and have had friends who worked for ALC and AMIDEAST there and liked it very much.

VS
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Vanica



Joined: 31 Aug 2006
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PostPosted: Mon Sep 11, 2006 1:08 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Correct me if I am wrong -- Amideast schools uually work evening hours? I never see anything about Tunisia and Algeria -- maybe I have to find a French language forum.
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stoth1972



Joined: 16 May 2003
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PostPosted: Mon Sep 11, 2006 1:13 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

A friend of mine is at Amideast Tunis. She works a mixed set of hours. She was hired from the US, but they were only going to reimburse her for her airfare after a year, and though they helped her find a flat, this wasn't the typical overseas contract. My former colleague of mine who was at AUC until a few years ago tells me that they do hire English Composition and ESL teachers on foreign contracts. I've never seen them advertise, but she and her spouse both worked there, so I assume she knows what she's talking about.
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PostPosted: Mon Sep 11, 2006 3:18 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I'm confused Stoth... are you talking about AMIDEAST or AUC hiring composition teachers? AUC is quite difficult to get hired by and Vanica doesn't want to be in downtown Cairo. Shocked (cough... cough..) If Vanica had been interested in Cairo I would have suggested AUC, although they want extensive IEP and/or composition teaching experience.

AMIDEAST is a language school and none of them offer the same benefit packages as ME universities. Of course, they would require some evening teaching... goes with the language school situation. But as language schools go, they and ALC are pretty dependable and not terribly abusive of their staffs. Not much action yet in Algeria as it hasn't been all that long ago that it was dangerous for foreigners. It may be a few more years until we hear of much going on there for EFL. French may be another thing for you to check out. Tunis is nice, but I hear that it is very expensive to live there.

VS
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stoth1972



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PostPosted: Mon Sep 11, 2006 4:58 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Stream of consciousness...I was talking about both.

Teaching Composition or ESL for AUC, and working for AmidEast in Tunis. Perpahs a tourist trip to Cairo for Vanica would be a good idea before ruling it out?
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PostPosted: Mon Sep 11, 2006 2:50 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

You're forgetting the asthma problem Stoth. The air pollution in Cairo is horrendous now. Shocked

VS
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stoth1972



Joined: 16 May 2003
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PostPosted: Mon Sep 11, 2006 3:12 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Oh, didn't forget. Just thinking that you said you were unaffected by the pollution. Thought she might get lucky! Better to go in the winter, anyway, Vanica. Escape the cold Ontario weather for the not-so-cold Egyptian winter.
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Vanica



Joined: 31 Aug 2006
Posts: 368
Location: North Carolina

PostPosted: Mon Sep 11, 2006 3:18 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I posted a quick message in the Africa forum about Rabat. Perhaps Maghreb is a better idea because my daughter has acquired French as her first language -- although she loved Italy and wants to go back. (And she did throw a coin in the fountain, three in fact. Libya?)
Morocco, however, seems to be very competitive for jobs. And my neighbours from Algeria and Maroc don't have any ideas, but it's not their field and they chose to emigrate anyway.
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