and see the sunset from an island on the oasis lake. I had to walk through village areas far from the town centre and many kids would come up to me and speak… Modern Standard Arabic. It was curious because it was the first time I had ever heard “mā ismak” outside of tape recordings, since people in Egypt have been generally using the dialect version, “ismak eh” for What's your name?
The reason for this, is because the first language of a lot of these people was actually Berber, not (a dialect of) Arabic. So any Arabic they would use with people, would tend to only be that they learned in schools.
It was fun to chat to a couple of the kids there, but I definitely noticed a big difference in the women I would see. Very few of them were out of the house, and the few that were, were completely covered up. Even their eyes were covered with what I presumed (or hoped) was black see-through cloth. In the rest of Egypt I'd see an equal spread of younger ladies whose hair you can see, a lot wearing hijabs, and then some wearing a completely full black covering, that had slits cut through it for the eyes at least, but this was the first time I saw even the eyes getting covered.