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>Tne customs and traditions in both the united States of America and Egypt

Tne customs and traditions in both the united States of America and Egypt


An American teacher :Dwayne Voegele contacted me: Soher Mostafa an English teacher in Egypt to have partnership in a project between the two schools of the two teachers . After exchanging emails between the two teachers, it was realized that the end result that the two teachers put forward is to broaden the idea of the students towards two worlds that might be ambigious to them and to create a better view of those worlds . We wanted to change the concepts of our students towards those countries and change any wrong idea about both countries .

Age range
10 - 16
eLanguages Team
Project stage
In progress
Last update
14 years ago
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An email from the American teacher to Soher

Hello Suher, Thank you very much for the reply! I wasn't sure if you would read your e-pals e-mails. Speaking of which, do you mind if we switch to our normal school or home e-mail addresses? It might make it easier to write back and forth. If so, my school address is: If you would rather continue to use our e-pals addresses, that is also o.k. And thank you for sending along the information about your other projects. You have done some great work. I'll include a link to my teacher's web page. If you click on the "Global Studies" class link, you will see another link for projects with other teachers from around the world. May I ask, where is your school? I tried to find it on your profile but I could not. I'm sorry if I missed it. I liked the project you did with the other American teacher, Steven. I also really liked your project about the environment. I also teach a class called, "Environmental Studies." It is a team-taught class. It is taught by a Social Studies and Science Teacher. Winona is located on the Mississippi River. We also have many streams and other bodies of water around us. The environment is very important to me. That might be one possible idea in the future. But I'm open to just about any projct idea. Is there anything you want to work on? When would you like to start and end the projct(s)? Our school is run on a four period day schedule. That means the classes run 80 minutes long. What a normal school does in one semester, we do in a quarter, which is 9 weeks long. My classes are only 9 weeks long. I hope that is o.k. to work with. Thank you again. I hope we can find a way to have our students work together. Salaam, Dwayne August 27, 2008

A reply from Soher Mostafa to Dwayne Voegelie :
Hi Dwayne, It's wonderful again to deal with a learnt teacher like you and I'm again very happy to recieve your second email . My school is located in an area called Giza . Giza is a governorate and my city is called Six of October city . Its latest news is that it became a governorate . It is quite nearer to the pyramids area . The school's name is Elnasr experimental Language school . It includes different stages: kgs , primary stage , preparatory stage and secondary stage . We will work together with the secondary stage . I 'll write to you from here I mean yahoo mail as epals inbox doesn't have big areas for emails . Yet if you like to work from there it's ok . I really want to know who you are as I always like to know the persons I'm dealing with . Will you describe your self psychologically and send me a photo of you . Also you don't have a profile on epals I couldn't find one . Would you mind stating the objectives of our future project if we will have one . Could you please tell me about the topics you are more interested in to choose one for our project . I'll be waiting eagerly for your reply . All the best Suher
A message sent to the American teacher Dwayne by Soher from Egypt.
Dwayne, I'm happy to hear from you again . I loved the topics you exposed but I have certain reservations concerned with number 5 and 6. I don't like really to be involved in a political talk therefore ,our topics might be concerned with postings relating to the students'life .Why don't our students talk about their countries' habbits , geograpgy location and the ancient history of both countries . It will be great for them to broaden their ideas about the world . There is something interesting which can be done which is writing emails and carrying out essays and literary works like poetry , drawings and articles . All these ideas will add great effect to the project . I meant to let our students work and create together . One of my dearest wishes is to visit America with my students and be aware of its usual life but if you arrange such visits ,it will be hard for me as the ministry will not provide the fund needed for that and of course I can't afford the travel costs of the visit . Hence ,our work will be done through the internet and our project will be published on a site specialized for being a project site . It belongs to the British council and you can create an account for yourself there . The coming days are specially special because of the coming of Ramadan . Have you got an idea about Ramadan in the Muslim calender ? It seems that my long email will bore you to death not your email . Is it right ? What do you think of my English ?and what do you think of Arabic as a language ?you seem that you know some Arabic greetings. To what extend do you know Arabic ? Your family is great and your wife and kids are beautiful . As for me I'm married with a son and you looked at me on the link I sent you . I've got to go now . Best regards to you and your family . Salaam Soher
A reply from Dwayne: the American teacher to Soher from Egypt
Hello Suher, Thank you for the reply. I did NOT get your reply. I'm not sure why. The address you used appears to be accurate. I was anxiously waiting for a reply. I'm vey excited about working together. Again, I was worried I had offended you. I would have written sooner but I also don't want to bother you with too many e-mails. ;-> Yes, we can keep away from politics if you like. I'm sorry if I spoke about too much already. Yes, we can talk about the other topics. About students travelling to see each other. That's a long way off. Let's not worry about it for now. I hope it wasn't too forward to suggest it. I really want to visit Egypt and the Great Pyramids one day. I was probably getting too excited in my writing. I only know a few words in Arabic but I want to learn more. Matter of fact, I'm considering studying Arabic and/or Middle East Studies at a graduate level sometime in the next few years. For the last seven years I have taken my Global Studies classes to visit our local Islamic Center. Matter of fact, the local university professor I work with on those trips, Dr. Ahmed El-Afandi, is orginally from Egypt. If you would ever like to ask him any questions about me, I could pass on his e-mail address. I am familiar with Ramadan but I'm always looking to learn more. I'm glad we found out about the e-mail problem. Thank you for telling me about your family. What does your husband do? How old is your son? About our project(s). When might you like to begin and end? Thank you again. Salaam, (Is it o.k. to be using the cultural greetings?) Dwayne
A perly from Soher to Dwayne the American teacher:
Hi Dwayne, It's kind of you to care about having such correspondance with me . I have a good impression about the Americans and I trust them and their attitudes towards any issue . I needn't know more about you from the Egyptian professor yet if you insist it's allright you can send me his email . We can start our project in October as my students will start their year on 20th September but they ought to have sometimes in settling down and recieving their books and timetable . Does it sound ok for you ? We can have the students' emails both of us and I recommend epals to have them exchanging emails in order to watch the emails before being recieved by them It's so important for me . Some of my students are girls and they like to talk to girls What do you think ? Let's have one of these projects . 1 - Do names give the true character of a person . What does each one's name mean ? 2- A girl is what she wears . We can talk about costumes in all over the world 3 - Famous dishes in the different countries . 4 - Monuments in both Egypt and America 5 - The different customs and traditions in both Egypt and America I hope you and your students will like one of the above topics and we can have it as a base to other projects which I aspire to have with you My husband works as a researcher in a research centre in the field of agriculture in Egypt . He is 54 years old. My son is a chemist in a company here and he is 22 years old and I'm a teacher of English here in Egypt. That's all for today and have a nice evening . Do you like to be invited to a piece of Konafa ? you'll like it very much maa elsalama . ( good bye ) Suher
Dwayne wrote this email to Soher
Hello Suher, Assalamu Alaikum. Thank you for your reply. 1. Egypt-American College Professor: I'll send you Ahmed's e-mail address in a seperate e-mail and introduce the two of you. 2. Start Date: October sounds good. Do you want to set a target date now or should we wait? 3. E-pals Web Site: We can use the e-pals web site if you like. I have not used it before. Does it work well with students? 4. Girls Talking With Girls: Sure, we can do that. Would you prefer to have girls only talking with girls and boys only with boys? How old your students again? How many students do you have again? I will have about 32 students and they range in age from 14-18. Does your school have a web page that I can access? I realize I don't speak Arabic but might it have pictures I could view? I could also try to have the web page translated using Babblefish or some other program like that. My HIgh School's web page can be found on my teacher's web page below. 5. Possible Discussion Topics: I like idea # 5 the best, different customs and traditions. Is that o.k. with you? 6. Konafa: I'm sorry but I don't know what that is. Can you explain it? One last question. Does your school week run from Sunday through Thursday? Our school week runs from Monday through Friday. Have a great day. :-> Salaam, Dwayne
Soher wrote this email to Dwayne
How wonderful to write to you again . It's great to carry out a project with you as well ,Dwayne. I like your organised mind and the way you write your emails . I agree to the topic of the project . The customs and habits in both Egypt and America sounds good as a topic . Of course most of your students know about ICT . They can perform ppt presentations and do researches on the internet . Mine can do that and they are the same age of your students . I prefer epals account simply because the emails exchanged between the students are watched by us before they are recieved by the students .As you liked the idea I thank you for that . I need to refuse any inconvenience that might happen from pop ups that may appear on any websites created by both groups there fore I need to garantee the materials that might reach my students .I need to know about your opinion on this matter . As for konafa it's a sweet dish we the Egyptians are famous for it in ramadan .Flour is cut into pieces long just like hair and they are rolled containing hony and cream inside . It's a delicious dish . I might invite you to Egypt and let you taste it. I'll attach a file including a ppt presentation about my school and a file about Ramadan later. I attached a file including the achievements of the English department but it's in Arabic the last slide includes some photos about my school I hope some Arabic friends might translate to you. Let me challenge you !!!!!!!!. I hope that you like my email P.S Our school starts on sunday and ends on Thursday . Waiting eagerly for your reply telling me about your impression about me so far . Best regards Suher
Dwayne wrote this to Soher
Hello Suher, Thank you very much for the Power Point slide show. It came through just fine. The pictures started on slide #11 and they were great. The pictures showed different parts of your school. Your students look wonderful. :-> I have access to some translation web sites but I'm not sure if they will work if I copy and paste from Power Point slides. Does your school have a web page? If so, I think I can translate more easily from web pages. About your school. May I ask some follow-up questions? Is your school public or private? Is it a religous school or do the students have a choice about how they dress? Of course, I completely respect either kind of school. About the e-pals website. Sure, we can try that web site. I have not used it before. Have you? I will try to have my students register at the web site later this week. Just to clarify, you would like all e-mails to go through the addresses they get from that site, right? They should not use their other e-mail accounts, right? If so, that is perfectly fine with me. Yes, I also do not like pop ups that come from some web pages. Please let me know what we can do to avoid those terrible things. About konafa. No, I have not had it yet but it sure sounds delicious. I would love to come and try it one day. ;-> When I was in Saudi Arabia, I tried umali and I loved it. I'm probably misspelling it. It's the yellow dessert. May I ask you a favor? When we reply to each other's e-mails, could we include the prior messages? If that is a problem, then of course we need not do it. But if it is possible, it will help remind me of what we are planning. Since we are discussing different ideas, I will sometimes forget what we had discussed. Plus I'm getting old (at age 41) and losing my memory. ;-> Salaam, Dwayne
Microsoft PowerPointThe pyramids.ppt 597.0 kB
Dwayne wrote this after watching the ppt presentation about the pyramids:
Hello Suher, I have a crazy question for you. Yesterday when I was telling my Ancient History class about your Power Point slide show a very interesting conversation started. The students wanted me to ask you this question. Might it ever be possible to have some of my students come and visit your school and city? It turns out that I'm not the only one who wants to visit Egypt. :-> I know it might be impossible to arrange but I told the students I would at least ask. Salaam, Dwayne
Soher wrote this to Dwayne
I have the ability to go to my pc in the other room to follow up with my emails as I join the British Council forum and work as a facilitator to a site that belongs to them. I found your email and felt excited about your question . I'm afraid if you visit Egypt and your students the costs will be on your account but all what I can do is to coordinate the visit and put a programme for it .I mean to arrange a visit to my school my students speak English well . They can exchange information and have nice times together . Let the visit through the American embassy and to do like the British council they arrange visits through them and we just show them the places and let them attend the classes in our school . It will be an exciting visit . so I think It's great to have such exchange but the problem is the fund for the visit if it will be on our account . Don't say we are miser but these are our facilities as a public school .As for me personally if you just come with your family on a tour I can do a lot I can even invite you to my house to stay in . Thank you for your care to visit Egypt . P.S I'll invite you and your students to a visit to the pyramids . There you will stand with astonishment and your head is raised to an outstanding height and you can't imagine how the ancient Egyptians could build such huge site andddddddddddd I 'll let your students ride camels Waw what a terrific visit
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Dwayne tells Soher about a custom used to be done by the Americans on 31st of October every year
Hello Soso, Thank you very much for the card. It was very nice of you. About Halloween. Here goes a quick version. Like most American customs, they come from somewhere else. The customs are usually a combination from different countries. Halloween has parts from Mexico, England, Ireland, Rome, and probably some other countries. Most Americans no longer know where the current customs come from, they just do them. What is Halloween today? It is mostly about the children. They dress up in costumes and go trick-or-treating at night. They walk around and ring people's doorbells and they are given candy. It has changed some since I was young. Adults sometimes, but not often, will have their own Halloween or costume parties.

news icon The project development

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Dwayne the American teacher created a page on wiki space for Egypt project and the students of both countries had assignments through writing og the wiki Here are the assignments : Egypt Project Egypt Teacher: Ms. Soher Mostafa Ahmed Elrayes Egypt School Web Page: Elnasr Experimental Language School, City: Six of October Governorate (a suburb of Cairo) American Teacher: Mr. Dwayne Voegeli American School Web Page: Winona Senior High School, City: Winona (state of Minnesota) -------------------------------------------------------------------------------- Assignment # 1: Introductions Start Date: Monday, November 10th, 2008 End Date: Thursday, November 13th Directions: Write at least 5 complete sentences that tell about yourself. Write the introduction on the "Discussion" tab at the top of the page. Tell about your family, hobbies, pets, music, if you had three wishes, or anything else you would like. Just remember to keep your writiing appropriate for a class assignment. Do not use inappropriate language or internet slang. Have fun and be creative but also be respectful. Assignment # 2: Customs and Traditions Start Date: Thursday, November 13th, 2008 End Date: Monday, November 17th Directions: Write at least 5 complete sentences that tell about a custom, tradition, or holiday that in your country. Describe the custom on the "Discussion" tab at the top of the page. Start off by listing the custom, tradition, or holiday and then give some background information on it. You can also tell how you or your family or tradition celebrate that custom, You may also express your opinions or thoughts on the holiday. Here are some sample sentence beginnings: A. I like this custom because... B. I wonder why we do this holiday because... Assignment # 3: U.S. Presidential Election Start Date: Monday, November 17th, 2008 End Date: Monday, November 24th Directions: Write at least 5 complete sentences that tell about your thoughts, opinions, or questions about the U.S. Presidential election. Write the introduction on the "Discussion" tab at the top of the page. Here are some sample and optional sentence beginnings: A. In my opinion, the election of Barak Obama to be the next President of the U.S. means... B. I hope the next U.S. President will or can... C. I fear the next U.S President may... D. The biggest challenges President Obama will face are... E. How do you, your family, or any of your friends feel about the election? F. What questions do you have about the election? What do you wonder about? G. Do you think our two classes should write some kind of joint letter to both the U.S. and Egyptian Presidents? H. Other ideas?

news icon The fourth assignment

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Assignment 4 Form files or ppt presentations about any custom and tradition you practice in your country .Send the files to us the Egyptian and American teacher to look at and let them be compressed in order to be able to upload easily
One Of the American students talking about a custom in America:
CoryP re: Assignment # 2: Customs, Traditions, Holidays

Hey people. Thanksgiving is one holiday that I really enjoy, and luckily it is coming up at the end of this month. The best part of this holiday is of course the food. My dad and I drive two hours to my Grandma's house, and a bunch of family members have a Thanksgiving dinner there. My grandmother is a great cook! To make Thanksgiving better, there is always football on television, my favorite sport to watch. I can't wait for it!
YOMNATAREK re: re: Assignment # 2: Customs, Traditions, Holidays

we in egypt has many customs like :

-- 1st day of Spring : It is called Sham El-Nessim day each family met and spend this day together eat , play and enjoy together.

-- Eid El-Adha (Sacrifice feast) : Comes right after the pilgrimage season, it lasts for four days and our family give the children money to buy what they like .

-- Eid El-Fitr (Breakfast feast) : Comes right after the Holy fasting month of Ramadan , the family baking something called (kaik) this (kaik) make every feast every year and our family give the children money to buy what they like .

This is the most famouse customs in Egypt it so exciting custom i love it so much beacause it make us happy
This is what Yoma Barakat wrote about customs in Egypt
Another Egyptian student talks about a custom in Egypt
Posted Dec 11, 2008 5:44 am - [delete]
DinaEmad re: re: Assignment # 2: Customs, Traditions, Holidays

Eid-el Fitr....Is the first Eid al-Fitr Muslim holiday, which celebrates the Muslim day of the first month of Shawwal, followed by Eid al-Adha in a argument. The Eid al-Fitr comes after the fasting month of Ramadan and the first day when Muslims break the fast after fasting the whole month, therefore, called Eid al-Fitr.
Seyam denied the first day of Eid al-Fitr, the holiday will continue for three days.
On Eid is a day of joy and pleasure, the joys of the faithful and worldly Okriham Haashimi, whose teacher is thanks to the advantage of Eid al-Fitr that the last day before the payment of zakat can Fitr due to Muslims. The Muslim Eid in the morning after sunrise hour about a third of the Eid prayer and Muslims meet and exchange Eid greetings and visit their families and their relatives, so-called unrelated womb. Muslims also visit friends and meet friends and neighbors,Compassion for the poor . The continued practice in many Muslim countries that Muslims eat in the feast Altmrat some good holiday cakes or stuffed Bazubayb
An American student talking to an Egyptian one
RachelN420 re: Assignment # 2: Customs, Traditions, Holidays

Hey there!
Here in America, we celebrate many different holidays. One of my favorites is Halloween! Most people (especially little kids) go around from door to door and say trick-or-treat and get candy. We dress up in costumes of any kind that we want to. It is a lot of fun. I like to eat candy

news icon A piece of news about the project

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A local newspaper in America talking about the project Published - Tuesday, February 10, 2009 Students in Winona, Sweden, Egypt meet and learn from one another By Nolan Rosenkrans | Winona Senior High School students aren’t learning about global cultures just from textbooks anymore — they’re going straight to the source. Students are meeting and learning directly from other students a world away. No, passports and plane tickets aren’t complimentary with enrollment. The trips are occurring online. The class is building a “student Wiki” page. Popularized by Wikipedia. com, Wiki’s are web pages generated by user content. Students in Dwayne Voegeli’s global studies class are working with peers in Sweden and Egypt, teaching each other how they use media sources. “It makes it feel like the world is smaller than we thought,” Sonya Hernandez said. Courtney Meier, 17, introduces herself Monday to a student online at Fredrika Bremer High School in Stockholm, Sweden using a Wiki page in her Global Studies class at Winona Senior High School. (Photo by Melissa Carlo/Winona Daily News) A survey about how students get information was given to them. They’re asked where they get their news, what kind of news they look for and how reliable they think their media sources are. The Swedish students claim they get more of their news online, while nearly half of the Winona students get their top stories from TV. American students said they read less international news than their foreign counterparts. Students became pen pals with other students in Morocco, Australia and Denmark. Discussion boards on the Wiki pages spark conversations about serious topics such as politics and government. The not so serious — fashion, sports, celebrity news — are just as prevalent. “Even though we are so far away, we’re still teenagers,” Alexandra Eddy said. Instead of learning about other cultures from books and movies, the students are learning directly from each other. One message from a student in Cairo detailed her country’s restrictions on public interaction between men and women. Winonans can learn about those cultural differences from CNN or the BBC, but it’s better to have their peers tell it themselves, Eddy said. The student Wiki project has expanded over the years from smaller groups, and this year is the school’s first attempt at three countries at once. Voegeli hopes to expand the project to eventually include classes from six continents. He’d like to do seven, but finding students in Antarctica might be hard, he said. All stories copyright 2000 - 2008 Winona Daily News and other attributed sources

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