It has become increasingly common for Egyptians to move out of their parents’ house. While not 100% socially acceptable, plenty of Egyptians are opting to move out for many reasons. It could be that their parents’ house is too far from their workplace, or that they just want that extra bit of freedom. Reasons aside, some people end up moving back in with their parents. We spoke to some Egyptians who moved out, then moved back in with their parents to get some insight.
“But now at the age of 36 with an MA and more than one job, my father still wants me home by 11”
For Ahmed El Nahal, Marketing Executive, the decision to move out was all about freedom, “my mom wasn’t giving me enough space. I had a curfew and she worried too much, which was suffocating me. So I needed space”, he tells, “and also I felt like I was too spoiled, there was always food in the fridge. I needed to work on myself because I was becoming lazy”. As for Mohammed Anwar, IT Security Engineer, he moved out simply because he wanted to live closer to work. While for Maryam Massoud, University Instructor, it was a little bit of both, she had another job, but she also wanted to leave her parents’ house, “I wanted to see the world. I moved to Kuwait because moving out within the same city wasn’t an option”, she says, “the house was also full of unnecessary conflicts which I couldn’t take anymore”. Mahmoud El Ayat, an up and coming actor and freelance editor, had reasons which were more similar to Ahmed El Nahal’s, he needed more privacy.
“I’m very close to my mother and for a while I felt like I’m drifting apart from her because life gets so busy”
All those individuals moved back in with their parents, but the experience of moving out had changed them. All of them stated that they have become more independent and self reliant. They reported that they could pull their own weight a lot better. There were other changes as well, for Mahmoud, he learned to handle money better, “when you live with your parents you know that if you finish your money, they will give you some, you won’t starve”, he tells; Nahal reported the same thing. For Maryam, she found that fights with her parents diminished, “they treat me really nicely now”, she tells. Mohammed’s experience was slightly different. He was closer to his family during the time when he wasn’t living with them, “my relationship with them got a lot better when I left home. We talked more when I didn’t live there”, he explains.
Having gained experience from moving out, Ahmed and Mahmoud realized the importance of their family to them when they moved out. For Ahmed, moving out showed him how much he meant to his mother, “I realized that it made her so happy, so I went back because she’s happy with life the way it is”, he tells. As for Mahmoud, it was the very reason he moved back in “I’m very close to my mother and for a while I felt like I’m drifting apart from her because life gets so busy”, he tells.
“My relationship with them got a lot better when I left home. We talked more when I didn’t live there”
While moving back in is clearly not all bad; it’s not all great, either. The freedom of living alone is still taken away, “I was able to get a suite on the roof to separate myself from the noise of everyday life, but now at the age of 36 with an MA and more than one job, my father still wants me home by 11”, Maryam explains. As for Mohammed, he would move back out simply because he got along better with his family when he lived on his own, “my family and I got along better when I didn’t live with them, we were more comfortable”, he tells.
“I felt like I was too spoiled, there was always food in the fridge. I needed to work on myself because I was becoming lazy”
Moving back out is always a valid option, but not everyone can make that decision. For Maryam, she has mixed feelings, “independence is bliss, but I didn’t like living alone, either. I guess living with a roommate with whom I have healthy boundaries would be the best case scenario”, she explains. Mahmoud El Ayat’s conditions for moving out are different, “I have to be close to my family, and I need to work more so I can be financially prepared”, he tells. While Mohammed is preparing to move out again, Ahmed decided to have the best of both worlds, “I got another apartment just to have my own space; my clothes won’t go there, but I’ll take my work and my painting supplies, it’ll be like a workshop because working from home isn’t that great”, he tells.