Today was a cruise day, so a relaxing day with lots of unnecessary food to eat. SS Misr was scheduled to leave at 5.30, and arrive at Asyut before sunset. We had a lock to go through just before arriving at Asyut. The barrage and lock had been built by the British in 1902, and a hydroelectric plant was added in the 1980s. Since then, new locks have been built.
Before dinner, there was a talk by our guides Anwar & Sharif about Modern Egypt. He mentioned he was a Muslim but went to a Christian school. The result was he had more holidays and didn’t have to go to school on Fridays and Sundays. His friends and work colleagues were both Muslim and Christian. He painted a very rosy picture of the relations between Christian and Muslim. The country is 15% Christian, while the city of Asyut where we were heading was 50% Christian.
On education, Anwar mentioned there were public schools and private. In many areas, in the public schools, the children were divided into morning or afternoon pupils. I think children should be educated until
With health care, the state provided a very basic level of health care. Better quality health care was available with insurance premiums and schemes run by the companies you worked for.
Though Muslim men could marry up to four women, this was not considered normal and was frowned upon. Sometimes it was good in that you could marry someone in addition who had been widowed and thus could support them. It also seems from what Anwar said, women could earn and keep their own money, while the men had to earn and support their wife. A wife could divorce her husband if he was not supporting her properly. She could complain to the courts if she was asked to pay for example for the electricity bill, which her husband should be doing. She would also get the house, all the furniture and maintenance after the divorce. It was noticeable how many of the women in the audience paid close attention to this part of the lecture.
After the lecture we went through the lock at Asyut before docking in our secure mooring outside the Security Diretorate.
On the trip, I managed to grab some pictures of river life, fishing boats, birds and people farming.