I have always maintained that I am one of the most un-Egyptian Egyptians you will ever meet.
My accent and mediocre-at-best Arabic language skills stick out like a sore thumb, I have never spent more than a month a time in the country, and I’ve even been told several times that I “don’t even look Egyptian”. I never quite know if that is a compliment, an insult or simply a misguided observation, given the fact that with a population of over 95 million, there is hardly one set of distinctive physical features by which Egyptians can be characterised. But in any case, I am, as usual, digressing.
Another not-so-Egyptian trait I possess is of course, my vegan diet. To say that my extended family doesn’t quite understand why I “do this to myself” or why I won’t eat the meat/chicken/fish/bechamel dishes they attempt to serve me, would be the understatement of the century.
While the majority of Egyptian cuisine makes liberal use of animal products, I feel the need to point out that not one, but two of Egypt’s national dishes, are 100% vegan; Koshary and Foul Mudammas. Both are cheap, easy to find, high in plant-based protein and downright delicious.