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Teaching in Cairo and Hijab

 
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one234



Joined: 28 Nov 2008
Posts: 3

PostPosted: Fri Dec 05, 2008 7:56 pm    Post subject: Teaching in Cairo and Hijab Reply with quote

Hi,

I am going to be leaving for Cairo next month and I am starting to look for schools that may be hiring now. I've contacted one or two schools by email and would like to contact some others, but I would like some help before I do that.

A little about me. I am an American Muslim with a Bachelors and I have previously worked in a school in Cairo as a teacher assistant.

I have three questions:

I would like to know what schools don't have a problem hiring non- Egyptian Muslims who wear hijab. The school I worked for before was an 'Islamic' school, so there was no problem with my clothing, but I do not plan to work there again. I have heard that some schools prefer to hire those that fulfill what they expect the Westerner to look like.
Also... should I arrange interviews before I arrive or should I wait till I am there next month? What is the salary I can ask for when I go job hunting?
I have read here that those that are married with Egyptians get lower salary offers. Is that still true?
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justcolleen



Joined: 07 Jan 2004
Posts: 646
Location: Egypt, baby!

PostPosted: Mon Dec 08, 2008 7:54 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Email your CV with a picture of yourself, hijabed, attached in the upper right-hand corner. It is standard fare in Egypt to include a picture on a CV, so this is not unusual.

Arrange as many interviews as possible before you go. If you're married to an Egyptian you will be a "local hire" and ineligible for all of the benefits that would come to someone who was hired out of the country (air fare, etc.). You could, however, apply for citizenship if you intend to stay for any length of time and that would entitle you to all of the benefits Egyptian employees enjoy (sick days, etc.), plus a work visa would be a non-issue. The salary you can expect will certainly be higher than the salary paid to Egyptians, but it will be low by western standards. Note that Cairo is an expensive place to live.
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M.M.



Joined: 18 May 2008
Posts: 24
Location: St. Louis, Missouri USA/New Maadi, Egypt

PostPosted: Mon Jan 12, 2009 10:02 am    Post subject: Hijab and teaching Reply with quote

I am also an American Muslim and also married to an Egyptian, in addition to being an overseas hire. I was NOT hired as a "local" with lower pay and less benefits!! I do wear hijab (though a majority of the Egyptian muslims I work with don't) and was hired with this being known. I recieved a $300 welcome bonus, 2200LE monthly housing allowance, RT airfare (summer), medical insurance, cash, tax free salary, etc. I do have residency through my husband (5 years), and it's a GOOD thing I do!! My school STILL has not processed my work visa (gotta love the Mogamma and "system" here) so although I'm a legal resident, I'm essentially working illegally. Their problem, not mine!
Best of luck,
M.M.
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veiledsentiments



Joined: 20 Feb 2003
Posts: 16127
Location: USA

PostPosted: Mon Jan 12, 2009 3:11 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

But MM, you will admit that it completely depends on the employer and most will push you to be local hire unless you are hired from overseas. You are the exception, not the rule. But, Mabruk!!

How long have you been working without the work visa? Of course, even if you weren't married to a local and on a residency visa, it wouldn't matter. I know people who have lived in Cairo for over 20 years on a tourist visa. An hour or two in the Mogamma every few months and they happily renew it over and over and over. Laughing The first time I went to renew mine, they gave me a one year tourist visa.

Even the best of employers can take up to a semester to get the work visas pushed through the quicksand of the Mogamma. But, if it is longer than that, you do start to get into the area of working illegally. It would only become your problem if they stopped paying you... you wouldn't have any legal recourse against them.

VS
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M.M.



Joined: 18 May 2008
Posts: 24
Location: St. Louis, Missouri USA/New Maadi, Egypt

PostPosted: Mon Jan 12, 2009 5:00 pm    Post subject: working with hijab Reply with quote

Hi VS!
I can't say that I'm the exception, not the rule, simply because I don't know! I guess I see it like this: If you're experienced, qualified and most importantly, GOOD, don't settle. Negotiate!!!! If they want you, they'll work with you. If one school doesn't, chances are, another school will. You might not get everything you want, but you'll know when the right package comes along.
IF I had been in Egypt when I accepted the job, I would have been able to tour the school, visit classes, etc. At that point, I might not have taken the job. I took the job sight unseen--a big lesson learned!! Wink
M.M.
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veiledsentiments



Joined: 20 Feb 2003
Posts: 16127
Location: USA

PostPosted: Mon Jan 12, 2009 5:10 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Ah... so you were hired from overseas. That is the difference.

Even AUC... if you are hired in country, you will NOT get a foreign hire contract - whether you are married to an Egyptian or not. You get salary only... no negotiation possible. Been there... done that.

From what I have seen over the years, being married to an Egyptian and applying from within the country, you get local hire only. I would say that 'justcolleen' is correct... unfortunately. And I fear if you change jobs, this is exactly the problem that you will run into.

VS
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M.M.



Joined: 18 May 2008
Posts: 24
Location: St. Louis, Missouri USA/New Maadi, Egypt

PostPosted: Mon Jan 12, 2009 5:24 pm    Post subject: Teaching in Cairo and hijab Reply with quote

Hey VS,
Yeah, I've heard the same. I would never accept such a "deal" and would opt either to relocate or not work at all. Too many choices, and I'm not really one to settle for a "local hire" deal We're not a wealthy family (typical newlyweds, lol) and I've worked too long and hard for my credentials. On the other hand, Dubai and Kuwait have some AMAZING offers if things don't pan out here in Egypt.
I'm looking at another school, not in Maadi, and will see what they can offer (depending on how young their nursery goes). They seem interested (met the executive sec'y at a CITA conference). I'l let you know!
M.M.
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veiledsentiments



Joined: 20 Feb 2003
Posts: 16127
Location: USA

PostPosted: Mon Jan 12, 2009 5:56 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Good Luck!!

VS
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mishmumkin



Joined: 01 Sep 2007
Posts: 896

PostPosted: Wed Jan 28, 2009 5:40 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

VS is on the money w/ this one, M.M. Consider yourself very lucky! Smile
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M.M.



Joined: 18 May 2008
Posts: 24
Location: St. Louis, Missouri USA/New Maadi, Egypt

PostPosted: Wed Jan 28, 2009 5:44 am    Post subject: teaching in Cairo and hijab Reply with quote

I was just offered a contract as a foreign hire at another school, but since I don't have a car (and it's not a nearby location), I turned it down. So, this tells me it can happen, even if it's rare. Smile
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M.M.



Joined: 18 May 2008
Posts: 24
Location: St. Louis, Missouri USA/New Maadi, Egypt

PostPosted: Wed Jan 28, 2009 6:33 am    Post subject: Teaching in Cairo and hijab Reply with quote

Oh, I also want to add that because of the great information on this site, I l learned prior to the interview that this school has an AWFUL reputation, and was therefore armed with a list of questions that would address the problems others complained about. I still didn't feel at ease with the answers I received, although the package offered to me was decent. I have it pretty good where I'm at, and have found a good nursery for the baby that's on my way to work. While things are far from perfect here at my school, it's an easy job. Wink Always looking for new opportunities though!
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veiledsentiments



Joined: 20 Feb 2003
Posts: 16127
Location: USA

PostPosted: Wed Jan 28, 2009 3:11 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Good to hear that you got the childcare problem covered. Cool

VS
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