I find that most individuals in Egypt enjoy having their photo taken if I treat them with respect. While some individuals refuse my request, other individuals either explicitly ask me to take their photo or implicitly ask by making the universal language of holding an imaginary camera to their face and pushing the shutter button.
I love taking pictures not only of young infants, but also of a smiling parent.
A smiling young son and two sons posing at Karnak for a father are a joy to photograph.
I figure that a family taking a selfie in front of the Sphinx is fair game for my picture taking.
There are many people who provide security for travelers. While having breakfast one morning at the hotel, I counted six security men having breakfast. It is easy to identify them: dark suit and a bulge at their waste in the back. I was surprised when my private security guard allowed me to take his picture at the end of our trip.
Bantering with the men working the street stalls, I find that they are wonderful to photograph. One man is selling vegetables; the other man is selling Egyptian bread.
I notice that I have taken more photos of older men. Is it because they are generally more likely to say yes? Is it because both they and I are close in age? One man is enjoying his cigarette and morning cup of tea. Another man sells semi-precious stones in a stall one-hundred meters from the top of Mt. Sinai. He works and lives for twenty-days, and then returns to his family for five days.
Like everybody else, I have my stereotypes of Egyptians. I hope, however, that as I take pictures of different ordinary Egyptians, I can realize that the people of Egypt are as diverse as any other nation and as similar as you and me. I hope that I can realize that Egyptian parents enjoy being with their children, that Egyptians love the companionship of their friends and family, that Egyptians enjoy some of the simple pleasures of life.